Battleship celebrates 80 years with free admission

WILMINGTON — On April 9, 1941, the USS NORTH CAROLINA was commissioned into the U.S Navy, where it served in World War II and received 15 stars — the most decorated of its time.

2021 marks its 80th birthday, so the Battleship is celebrating by offering free admission for up to three children with any one adult admission ($14). Children play a crucial part in bringing the ship to its home in the Cape Fear River.

In the 1960s, a Save Our Ship campaign was launched to prevent the Battleship from being scrapped after she was decommissioned in 1947. The campaign raised $315,000 — $60,000 from Wilmington — without state funds. 700,000 school children donated 10 cents each, and in return got a ticket to visit the attraction.


She was dedicated along the Cape Fear River in April 1962.

As part of her 80th celebration, the Battleship welcomes children to create birthday cards and share it in the comments on its Facebook post or submit it via the ship’s website (no photos or cards will be collected at the ship). The Battleship will share all submissions on Apr. 5.


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