Battlewagon Wednesday – 12 Aug 2009

USS North Carolina visitors up 12.3%

The North Carolina Zoo, state aquariums and the Battleship North Carolina all beat last year’s numbers for the month.

“It’s very affordable and we’re not far away,” said Heather Loftin, with the Battleship North Carolina.

Most attractions that saw the bump are only a day trip for most in the state, and they’re affordable.

“As far as affordable it’s a no-brainer. It takes as much gas for me to go to the airport as it does for me to get down here,” said Norm Vuchetich, a Goldsboro resident.

Tourism experts said that’s a winning combination in this economy.

Battlewagon Wednesday at Murdoc Online

Danton wreck found in deep water

The French pre-dreadnought Danton, sunk by a German U-Boat in 1917 in the Mediterranean, was found in 2007 and positively IDed this spring. She sits upright over 3,300 feet down and appears mostly intact. Video, maps, and images at the BBC page.

Battlewagon Wednesday at Murdoc Online

USS Utah had long, distinguished history in naval fleet

The completed battleship was commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard across the Delaware River from Camden on Aug. 31, 1911. It drew approximately 28 feet of water, weighed 21,825 tons and carried a crew of more than 1,000.

In 1914 it landed a battalion at Vera Cruz, Mexico, in an American show of force. During the fighting that followed, according to the site, seven of the crew earned Medals of Honor. A few years later, the ship helped protect American convoys crossing the North Atlantic during World War I.

The naval disarmament treaty of 1922 required the USS Utah’s conversion to a target ship. From then on, it served as the target for bombing and submarine attacks, including dive bombing, torpedo bombing and high-level bombing. Although dummy munitions were used, they were capable of penetrating steel decks, and thick timbers were erected to protect crewmen.

USS Utah also did duty as a machine-gun school. On its last sea voyage, it sailed for Hawaii in August 1941. It was a target ship for bombing exercises until that morning of Dec. 7, when it was among the first ships to be hit by Japanese torpedo bombers in the attack.

I’m not sure that I realized the hulk of the Utah was still in the harbor. Here’s a shot of it I found:

Wreck of USS Utah (BB 31) at Pearl Harbor

Wreck of USS Utah (BB 31) at Pearl Harbor

Battlewagon Wednesday at Murdoc Online

I’ve mentioned the Red Bull Battleship skateboard event aboard the USS North Carolina in previous editions of Battlewagon Wednesday. Here’s a video of the event I found:


Battlewagon Wednesday at Murdoc Online


  1. I have a piece of the North Carolina’s deck sitting on my fireplace mantel.

    About 20 years ago, I was touring the ship, and I tripped and fell on the upper deck. My hand landed in a spot that was half rotted.

    I got some serious scrapes, and a couple splinters. It looked nasty, and prone to serious infection, because there were lots of little particles imbedded in my hand. But nothing ever came of it.

    When I fell, I also knocked off a piece of sound wood about ¾ inch diameter by 4 inches long. Instead of suing, I just kept that chunk of wood.

    I really like fondling it, and thinking about what that little piece of wood has witnessed.

  2. Damn,

    I lived in North carolina for 2+ years and never got to see the mighty USS North Carolina.

    When I get my new knee replacement (before Obamacare, of course) I’m gonna ask the surgeon to implant it backwards so’s I can kick myself in the ass.

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