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USS North Carolina

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Engine Rooms

Leading down into the one of the engineering rooms, you had to take two ladders down, from I think the mess deck (so you were down on about the 3rd deck, or maybe even the 4th). The floor was an open grate system, allowing you to look down into the boiler room (but we weren't allowed down to that level). This is a picture of the upper section of one of the boilers (the boilers were clad in a shiny material, maybe tin?) http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00127.jpg

Behind me, from where I took this picture, was the auxiliary electrical generator - it was a straight 8 diesel engine attached to a generator, and there was a switch bank next to it.

Here's a picture of an explanation placard, and a picture of the upper section of a boiler. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00125.jpg http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00126.jpg

From this area, you walked into one of the engineering rooms. Now, I always thought that the engine was some huge, monolithic kind of device; in reality, the engineering rooms contains two turbos, and the reduction gears (I guess you could say the reduction gears are similar to a car's transmission - it takes the high revolution, low torque output of the turbines and turns it into low revolution, high torque output for the ship's propeller shaft).

Here's a picture of the high pressure turbine, and its input steam pipe. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00132.jpg

You'll notice that the input steam pipe is relatively narrow. In the background, in the black color, is the upper part of another boiler that projects into the engineering rooms(it's not the same boiler from the previous picture). In this picture, from the low pressure turbine side, http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00131.jpg

the large overhead pipe that says "EXHAUST" is actually the steam output from the high pressure turbine, and the input into the low pressure turbine. For some ships, this pipe was called the crossover pipe. The pipe is much larger, due to the relationship of pressure, volume, and temperature - the steam has lost some of its pressure, and therefore, takes up a larger volume.

This is a picture of the reduction gears, on the low pressure turbine side. There must be some huge gears inside, or maybe just a lot of gears, to have this unit weigh 140,000 pounds. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00129.jpg

This is a look at the low pressure turbine, from the behind the reduction gears. The bolted-on cover plates you see about mid-picture are cover plates for the reduction gears. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00130.jpg

Here's a picture of the engineering rooms control board, or throttle man's control board. The brass box with the three windows is the RPM counter. The gauge on the upper left is the main steam pressure gauge. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00133.jpg

The below-decks part of the tour started with the crew's mess. While most of the tables and chairs have been removed, it's easy to see that the mess area was quite large.

Here's a picture of the motor & gearing for a warping capstan, where the capstan is located on the main deck, on the fantail (the mess area was below the fantail). http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00135.jpg http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00136.jpg

Close to this motor, was a placard indicating that the ship's refrigeration lockers (or reefers) were located on the next deck down. There are 4 reefers, for meats & produce. It appeared that there was only one hatch leading down to the reefers; I couldn't imagine having to climb up the ladder with a side of beef perched on my shoulder! Still in the mess area, I happened upon the butcher's shop. It was very easy to tell this was the butcher shop, as the band saw was a dead giveaway. Plus, as you can see at the top of the picture, the hooks to hang a side of beef (or pork) from. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00134.jpg

Moving on, the door to this compartment was open, and the adjacent placard said it was refrigeration equipment to keep one of the 5 inch gun magazines at a constant temperature (around 80 - 85 degrees F). http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00122.jpg http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00123.jpg

Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be too many signs indicating what deck you were on, or what compartment you might be near, or if you were facing forward or aft, or if you were on the starboard or port side of the ship. With that being said, the next three pictures are of the starboard steering gear; this picture [DSC00141] is the steering gear for the port rudder. Inside these compartments, though, it felt more like the port side was starboard, and starboard was port. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00138.jpg http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00139.jpg http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00140.jpg

This is a picture of a 5 inch gun projectile handling room. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00147.jpg http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00148.jpg

The brass plate on the bulkhead indicates that I'm on the 4th deck, with forward bulkhead of this compartment at or near frame 81, and that this is the 3rd compartment to starboard of the center line of the compartment. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00149.jpg

Continuing my tour, I went down a ladder, and then through a doorway, and wound up in one of the several machine shops that were aboard. Here's a couple pictures of the lathes that you encountered once going into the compartment, http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00142.jpg http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00144.jpg

...and here's a picture of a shaper (the machine on the left), and what I think might be a milling machine on the right. Notice the size of the belt from the motor to the drive gear on the right-hand machine![DSC00146]

In another compartment, I came across the ship's gyro-compass. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00152.jpg http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00153.jpg

This compartment was past the fire control equipment for the turret guns. And speaking of the fire control equipment, I couldn't help but notice that on one bank of equipment, there looked to be a series of bottles clamped to the cabinet, with wires going into each bottle. It turned out that the "bottle" was actually a vacuum tube, and the wires were for plate and grid voltages. http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00150.jpg http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/photos/feature/6730/dsc00151.jpg

About the Author

About Timothy E Parker (timmyp)


If you want to get an idea of Battleship action during WWII read about the BB battles around Guadalcanal during 1942 and 1943. the North Carolina was deep into you.
OCT 19, 2017 - 07:47 PM
This is a great reference, thanks! If you have any more exterior shots, they would be most welcome...
JAN 16, 2018 - 01:49 AM
Tim, I think most of the exterior shots were posted. I spent most of my time below decks; it was a hot day, and I was pretty wrung out when I finally got topside. Didn't have much energy at that point to go up into the superstructure and look around.
JAN 16, 2018 - 12:36 PM
Fascinating pictures Timmy of a most interesting ship! Thank you for sharing! ... if only the RN had been allowed to keep a KGV as a museum piece
MAR 04, 2018 - 08:13 AM
Glad you liked the photos, Russell. Always willing to share that kind of stuff! Hopefully, my next walkaround will be for the USS Constitution.
MAR 04, 2018 - 11:23 PM