WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) — History overwhelmed the Battleship North Carolina Saturday from preserved artifacts to the veteran fighters.
One airplane built in the 1940s drew a crows at the “Battleship 101” event.
Former Navy pilot Dick Butler was stationed at the King Fisher. He says this 45 horsepower engine plane is one of five still in existence, today. Butler says it has two machine guns on it, but it only few at 115 miles per hour, which made it very susceptible to fire by enemy crews during World War II.
He says the plane crashed in the early 1940s in Canada, but was discovered many years later by hikers, restored and then donated to the Battleship North Carolina.
“They sat on top of catapults which we don’t have, but they would launch these planes off,” Butler said. “Their original mission was spotting and observation, but, with the advent of radar, the spotting of the guns was done by radar so they became primarily observation as well as rescue for downed pilots.”
Other volunteers posted about the vessel explained topics including gunnery, radar, sick bay, engineering and daily shipboard life.