USS North Carolina (ACR-12)

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USS North Carolina (ACR-12)
USS North Carolina (ACR-12), starboard bow view while underway, date and location unknown.
United States
Name: North Carolina
Ordered: 27 April 1904
Awarded: 3 January 1905
Builder: Newport News Drydock & Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Virginia
Cost: $3,575,000 (contract price of hull and machinery)
Laid down: 21 March 1905
Launched: 6 October 1906
Sponsored by: Miss Rebekah Glenn
Commissioned: 7 May 1908
Decommissioned: 18 February 1921
Renamed: Charlotte, 7 June 1920
Reclassified: CA-12, 17 July 1920
Struck: 15 July 1930
Fate: sold for scrap, 29 September 1930
General characteristics (as built)[1]
Class and type: Tennessee-class armored cruiser
  • 14,500 long tons (14,733 t) (standard)
  • 15,981 long tons (16,237 t) (full load)
  • 504 ft 5 in (153.75 m) oa
  • 502 ft (153 m) pp
Beam: 72 ft 10 12 in (22.212 m)
Draft: 25 ft (7.6 m) (mean)
Installed power:
  • 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)
  • 21.91 knots (40.58 km/h; 25.21 mph) (Speed on Trial)
Complement: 83 officers 804 enlisted 64 Marines
  • Belt: 5 in (13 cm)
  • Deck: 1 12–4 in (38–102 mm) (amidships)
  • 3 in (76 mm) (forward & aft)
  • Barbettes: 4–7 in (100–180 mm)
  • Turrets: 5–9 in (130–230 mm)
  • Conning Tower: 9 in (230 mm)
General characteristics (1921)[2]
  • 4 × 10 in (250 mm)/40 caliber Mark 3 breech-loading rifles (2×2)
  • 16 × 6 in (150 mm)/50 caliber Mark 8 breech-loading rifles
  • 2 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 caliber anti-aircraft guns
  • 4 × 6-pounder (57 mm (2.2 in)) Driggs-Schroeder saluting guns
  • 4 × 21 in (530 mm) submerged torpedo tubes

USS North Carolina (ACR-12/CA-12) was a Tennessee-class armored cruiser of the United States Navy and the second Navy ship so named. She was also known as "Armored Cruiser No. 12" and later renamed and reclassified Charlotte (CA-12).

She was laid down on 21 March 1905 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Virginia, launched on 6 October 1906, sponsored by Miss Rebekah Glenn, daughter of the Governor of North Carolina R. B. Glenn, and commissioned at Norfolk on 7 May 1908, Captain William A. Marshall in command.[3]

Pre-World War I[edit]

Following shakedown along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean, North Carolina carried President-elect William Howard Taft on an inspection tour to the Panama Canal in January–February 1909. From 23 April – 3 August, the new cruiser cruised the Mediterranean. Sailing with Montana to protect Americans threatened by conflict in the Ottoman Empire. North Carolina sent a medical relief party ashore on 17 May to Adana, Turkey, to treat both wounded and desperately ill Armenians, victims of massacre. North Carolina provided food, shelter, disinfectants, distilled water, dressings and medicines, and assisted other relief agencies already on the scene. For the remainder of her Mediterranean cruise, North Carolina cruised the Levant succoring both American citizens and refugees from oppression.[3]

In the years before World War I, North Carolina trained and maneuvered in the western Atlantic and Caribbean and participated in ceremonial and diplomatic activities. Highlights included attending centennial celebrations of the independence of Argentina (May–June 1910) and Venezuela (June–July 1911); carrying the Secretary of War for an inspection tour of Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Cuba, and the Panama Canal (July–August 1911); and bringing home from Cuba bodies of the crew of the destroyed Maine for their final interment in Arlington National Cemetery.[3]

World War I[edit]

As war began in Europe, North Carolina departed Boston on 7 August 1914 to protect Americans in the Near East by helping them evacuate and return to the United States. She rendezvoused with the USS Tennessee off Cape Cod before crossing the Atlantic. After calling at ports of England and France, she cruised constantly between Jaffa, Beirut, and Alexandria, her presence a reminder of the might of still neutral America. She returned to Boston on 18 June for overhaul.[3]

1916 catapult sea plane.jpg
1916 catapult launcher on USS North Carolina.jpg

Pensacola, Florida on 9 September, North Carolina contributed to the development of naval aviation through service as station ship. On 5 November, she became the first ship ever to launch an aircraft (a Curtiss Model AB-2) by catapult while under way, flown by Captain Henry C. Mustin, Navy Air Pilot No.3, and Naval Aviator No. 11. This experimental work led to the use of catapults on battleships and cruisers through World War II, and to the steam catapults on present-day aircraft carriers.[3]

When the U.S. entered the war, North Carolina sailed north to escort troop transports plying between Norfolk and New York.[3]

Inter-war period[edit]

From December 1918 – July 1919, she brought men of the American Expeditionary Force home from Europe. Renamed Charlotte on 7 June 1920 so that her original name might be assigned to a new battleship, she decommissioned at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington on 18 February 1921. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 July 1930, and she was sold for scrapping on 29 September.[3]


  1. ^ "Ships' Data, U. S. Naval Vessels". US Naval Department. 1 January 1914. pp. 24–31. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Ships' Data, U. S. Naval Vessels, 1921-". US Naval Department. 1 July 1921. p. 50. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "North Carolina II (Armored Cruiser No. 12)". Naval History and Heritage Command. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

  • Alden, John D. American Steel Navy: A Photographic History of the U.S. Navy from the Introduction of the Steel Hull in 1883 to the Cruise of the Great White Fleet. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989. ISBN 0-87021-248-6
  • Friedman, Norman. U.S. Cruisers: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1984. ISBN 0-87021-718-6
  • Musicant, Ivan. U.S. Armored Cruisers: A Design and Operational History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1985. ISBN 0-87021-714-3
  • Taylor, Michael J.H. (1990). Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I. Studio. ISBN 1-85170-378-0. 

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS 'North Carolina' (ACR-12) at NavSource Naval History