USS North Carolina (BB-55)

Made it back home last night, and I’m finally feeling better. I’ve got the day off, which means getting caught up on house work and totally not playing with the Corvette Configurator all day.

On Wednesday we finished up early so I went down to visit the USS North Carolina.

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My grandfather was a Marine attached to the ship and worked as an anti-aircraft gunner on one of the bow mounted 20mm Oerlikon guns. Number 3 on Starboard is what everyone in the family says, so I posed with it.

I asked if I could bring it home, its a family heirloom after all, but was given a resounding no. Anyways I’m not sure how the ATF would feel about that.

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I ran into a docent near the Marines quarters, which isn’t normally part of the tour, and I told him about my grandfather and he was kind enough to let me in to have a look around. This is where my grandfather would have slept on the ship. The tables were for servicing the 20mm guns, which they would periodically haul down from the deck to work on.

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Outside of the Marine’s quarters was a series of displays about the history of the Marines, the functions of the Marines on ships, and the Marines aboard the North Carolina. The top right image on this display is a blow up of the picture below from an article in Stars n Stripes (war time newspaper) detailing the exploits of the Marine gun crew. My grandfather is seated in the front row, far right, with his helmet and shirt on. The strapping young shirtless man sitting next him is his best friend, Mike Delida. They grew up in the same town and enlisted together and somehow got stationed together on the ship.

Despite being sick I had a good trip, a fun time with the Marines, and some adventures. I just hope if I go back it can be at a time when its a bit less hot.

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