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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Battleship North Carolina is getting help from the state to preserve the aging landmark.

The state’s World War II memorial will get $500,000 from the Office of State Budget and Management’s Repair and Renovation Contingency Reserve to repair the ship’s thinning hull.

“Our administration values the wealth of North Carolina history that hinges upon the upkeep and support of the Battleship North Carolina,” Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement. “We are committed to supporting thorough and efficient repairs of this storied ship.”

The Navy told the Battleship in 2009 it needed a plan to dry-dock the ship or work with the Navy to get rid of the ship.

Normally ships like this are taken out of the water every few years for inspection, but the Battleship has not been taken out of the water since the 1940s. It came to Wilmington in the early 1960s after donors saved it from being scrapped.

“These funds will begin the permitting and engineering portion of the USS North Carolina Battleship hull repair project,” Battleship executive director Capt. Terry Bragg said in a news release.

According to the governor’s office, the money will also help pay for a geotechnical investigation and diagnostic boring approximately 50-75 feet below the Battleship’s surface level. Findings from the research will predicate the structure of a proposed cofferdam that will allow the battleship’s hull to be repaired on site.

Battleship staff has previously said the repair plan could cost up to $15 million, but nothing is certain until the underwater work is done.

Comment on this Story

  • Robert OB

    True, NC residents back in the late 50’s raised funds to bring the battleship home to Wilmington. But, while the battleship was transferred to the care of North Carolina, the Navy still retains an interest in the ship. The last thing they wanted was to see great ships such as the North Carolina being transferred completely out of their care and being allowed to “go to pot” so to speak through lack of care. So, while the Navy won’t help in the upkeep, they will take custody of her and scrap her before they let her rust to nothing.

  • John

    The Navy told the Battleship in 2009 it needed a plan to dry-dock the ship or work with the Navy to get rid of the ship.

    The above comment seems to be wrong. The navy no longer has anything to do with this decommissioned ship. Yes, North Carolina and we in New Hanover should keep the ship in good condition but, maybe more of the money taken in by visitors and public functions should be put aside for this purpose. This historic ship is an important tourist draw for our area. Maybe more imaginative uses need to be explored .


  • Vog46

    Here’s a thought.
    Get the Battleship renovated, but MOVE it to the down town side of the river. Convert the Convention center to a maritime Museum (we DO have a rich sea going heritage here). Bring in smaller ships like old submarines and or destroyers.
    Tourists don’t have to go across the river and would spend loads of money on our side. Imagine walking the River Walk along side this great ship !!! Imagine the CC actually making money as a museum.
    Imagine the hotels booking tour groups down town.

    Ah but to dream……….


  • SurfCityTom

    and for that reason, along with one or two others, it will never fly. Plus, look south.

    Saffo and Company would have Wilmington be a Charleston wannabe.

    They have Patriot Point with the Yorktown and at least 1 other ship, I believe a WWII era sub. So the city could duplicate that.

    But to convert the sacred Convention Center? That would be an admission the Council made a bad decision in funding that albatross. And that will never take place.

    Your problem is the application of logic and common sense to issues. And, you have the ability to see through the City’s use of smoke and mirrors.

  • Guest000000

    My Wilmington historical knowledge isn’t the greatest, but wasn’t the battleship placed where it is as a compromise between Brunswick and New Hanover County lawmakers many moons ago? It actually resides on the Brunswick County side of the River, correct?

  • Vog46

    But I am definitely not as smart as you imply….
    To go “one further” – what about using the CURRENT battleship location as the exit point for a cross river tunnel? use the street coming down past the old parking deck and just tunnel down there and have it come up where the battleship is currently located? It is the SHORTEST distance cross river and mixes right into 421. Go south and you’re at 74/76 – go north and you’re at I140. The short distance MIGHT make the angle of the entrance and exits too steep. Heck you could make the tunnel “cars only” to minimize it’s size.

    Yeah I am familiar with the Maritime museum idea as well…..
    God forbid the council would have to admit to a mistake though……


  • guesty

    It is on the Brunswick County side but that property and up HWY421 to Vitamin Dr where the BASF facility is located is still New Hanover County.

  • Southern Comfort


    According to this article there were three possible sites considered…Wilmington, Southport and Morehead City. I remember collecting dimes to bring the battleship back to NC. I also remember the difficult time they had maneuvering her into the spot she sits today.


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