In February 1945 eight battleships, five heavy cruisers, three light cruisers and ten destroyers met near a small volcanic island just 650 miles from Tokyo. Iwo Jima was located on the bomber route between Tokyo and Saipan in the Mariana Islands. Japan was sending planes through Iwo Jima’s airfields to bomb the allied base at Saipan. And the U.S. Army Air Corps’ B-29 long-range bombers were making wide, gas consuming detours around Iwo on their runs to Tokyo.
The allies needed Iwo Jima as a base for the bomber’s fighter escort planes and for refueling and repairing B-29 bombers. The 22,000 heavily fortified Japanese on Iwo Jima were willing to fight to the death from their maze of underground caves, bunkers and tunnels to stop the allies from taking Iwo Jima.
Sunrise on February 19th was greeted with the largest naval bombardment in history and the USS NORTH CAROLINA was there. The battleship pounded the island for four days then moved to her next assignment.
The ship’s 16-inch guns bombarded Iwo Jima for the first two days. 855 projectiles were fired, each capable of making a hole 20 feet deep and 50 feet wide. At times firing was delayed as friendly ships went across the range.
The 5-inch guns fired on Iwo Jima on all four days for a total of 2,675 rounds. 78 white phosphorous smoke projectiles were also fired so the air spotters could see the ship’s targets. http://ow.ly/i/8HClO http://ow.ly/i/8HCmu
Primary responsibilities include welding, brazing and painting onboard the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA and the shore side visitor center. Additional knowledge and work at a journey level, both on the ship and shore side buildings, in HVAC, electrical, plumbing, pneumatic systems and carpentry is required. Must be able to read basic blue prints and plans and demonstrate welding/brazing competencies. Must be able to work independently or as part of a team to repair, maintain, renovate and restore a 70+ year old registered historic landmark and decommissioned naval vessel. Supervision of inmate labor force is required on a limited basis. This is a State position (Grade 65) with full retirement and medical benefits and a starting salary of $33,001 - $36,000, negotiable based on qualifications and experience plus comprehensive benefits package.
The ship’s two Kingfisher planes were launched minutes before the bombardments started. The spotters were the ship’s eyes on the battlefield. They watched where the shells landed and radioed back targeting corrections.
On the 19th, 20th and 21st the planes were piloted by Lt. Wogan, Lt. (jg) Werder, Ensign Oliver, ARM 1/c Means, and ARM 3/c Dunn. Lt.
Al Oliver received an Air Medal “for meritorious achievement in aerial flight…during operations against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima and Okinawa Shima from February 21 to April 19, 1945. Completing several spotting missions over strongly defended enemy positions during this period, Oliver skillfully performed his assigned duties despite heavy enemy antiaircraft fire and assisted his ship in bringing accurate gunfire to bear on hostile positions.” http://ow.ly/i/8HGPh http://ow.ly/i/8HGPD http://ow.ly/i/8HGQU
Moored in quiet dignity and majesty the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, across the river from downtown Wilmington, beckons visitors to walk her decks. Envision the daily life and fierce combat her crew faced in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.
From all across our Nation they came, young men who had grown up in the crucible of the Great Depression and now determined to serve their Country in its time of need. These are the men whose stories you will encounter through their oral histories, photographs, and mementos as you experience the Ship and the exhibits.
Step back in time and let history come alive through the crews’ stories. Discover and build your personal connection by steering the ship, starting her engines or even firing the guns. The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA It's Your Experience.