Boys of the Battleship North Carolina

Boys of the Battleship North Carolina

4.6 5
by Cindy Horrel Ramsey
     
 

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�This book�s great appeal is the skillful way Ramsey blends the stories of the ship with those of the men who made up its crew. The author tells us enough about their backgrounds for us to start caring about them. Then, she uses them and their experiences to explain to us in simple ways something about the ship�s very complex operations.�
D.G. Martin, The Chapel

Overview

�This book�s great appeal is the skillful way Ramsey blends the stories of the ship with those of the men who made up its crew. The author tells us enough about their backgrounds for us to start caring about them. Then, she uses them and their experiences to explain to us in simple ways something about the ship�s very complex operations.�
D.G. Martin, The Chapel Hill News

On July 11, 1942, the USS North Carolina steamed into Pearl Harbor. She was a magnificent ship�the first in a new class of battleships, simultaneously monstrous and fast. She was two-and-a-half-football-fields long and so wide she could barely pass through the Panama Canal on her journey to Hawaii. At any given time, 2,339 sailors manned the ship�a total of more than 7,000 during the six years she served. As she glided into the ravaged harbor, past the wreckage of sunken American ships, the morale of the men in the surviving Pacific fleet soared.

A little over two years earlier, more than 57,000 people had gathered in the Brooklyn Navy Yard on the day she was launched. As she went through her �shakedown� period, she returned repeatedly to that same naval yard for adjustments and modifications. Many New Yorkers, including radio commentator Walter Winchell, often witnessed the ship entering and departing New York Harbor and began calling her the �Showboat.�

Although she was an impressive structure, she was more than just a showboat. After coming to Pearl Harbor, she saw action in some 50 battles in almost every campaign in the Pacific from Guadalcanal to Tokyo Bay.

In 1960, when the navy announced its intention to scrap the ship, North Carolina citizens, including countless schoolchildren, raised over $330,000 to bring the ship to Wilmington, North Carolina, and preserve her as a state war memorial.

In this book, Ramsey tells the story of the battleship through the eyes of the men who served her. After doing research about the ship at the National Archives in 2000, Ramsey spent six days helping the staff of the memorial compile a living-history archive of personal interviews conducted with the surviving crewmembers when they attended the ship's annual reunion. She became fascinated with the stories these men told. For the next few years, she continued talking to the men to flesh out their stories. The result is this narrative about one of the most decorated American battleships in World War II, as seen through the eyes of the young sailors who matured into men while manning this floating fortress.

As Ramsey says in her introduction, �Sailors know the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story. A fairy tale begins, �Once upon a time.� A sea story starts simply, �Now, this is no bullshit.� This book is a sea story.�

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780895875242
Publisher:
Blair, John F. Publisher
Publication date:
04/25/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
319,423
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

Cindy Horrell Ramsey, a former editor-publisher of The Pender Post, grew up on the Black River, just 15 miles north of the Battleship North Carolina Memorial’s berth on Eagles Island. As a schoolchild, she contributed spare change to help bring the battleship to Wilmington.

She attended her first reunion of the North Carolina’s crew in 2001. “I spent six days with the guys, helping with the oral history interviews,” she said. This inspired her to write a book, so she talked with more than 100 of the veteran sailors and Marines, in person or by phone. Many of them, she said, became like family. The book became her thesis for an MFA in creative writing from UNC Wilmington.

She is currently the director of Isothermal Community College’s Polk County campus. She lives in Columbus, North Carolina.

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Boys of the Battleship North Carolina 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable history. Well researched
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It tells the story of the sailors well. It's not a defining history, but it was never intended to be. The reader will have little trouble following the events that this ship and crew experienced during the war.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a history buff, however, one of the main characters in this book is my father, so it definitely held my interest. Cindy wrote the story of these boys who went off to war in a very personal and interesting manner that caught my attention and held it throughtout the book. I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It brought not only the ship to life but also some of the boys that served on her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good book....I feel I know each one of the sailors introduced in the book.