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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A piece of history has returned to the Battleship North Carolina.

The Battleship has housed a rare rubber relief map of Iwo Jima for more than 50 years, but sent it to East Carolina University to preserve it. After five months of work, ECU conservationists brought the map home today.

It’s a topographic map that shows airstrips and landing procedures so the navy would know how exactly to get on Iwo Jima.

“For some sailors, it was the first time… they’d never even gone international before,” Battleship spokeswoman Heather Loftin said. “They might be over the the states looking at this map, trying to focus and see what their strategy was going to be, moving into war when they got into Iwo Jima, so it was a way for them to see the world before they even got there.”

Loftin said the map will be stored in the archives for now. It will make its grand appearance in April at the annual crew reunion and the ship’s 70th birthday.

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