Real-life Sailors, Marines Help Celebrate Battleship's 75th

USS North Carolina (BB-55) anchored off the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Washington, 24 September 1944. She is painted in what may be a variant of Camouflage Measure 32, Design 18D. (U.S. Navy photo)
USS North Carolina (BB-55) anchored off the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Washington, 24 September 1944. She is painted in what may be a variant of Camouflage Measure 32, Design 18D. (U.S. Navy photo)

Active-duty sailors and Marines from Camp Lejeune will help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the USS North Carolina's commissioning by helping re-create everyday life on the battleship during its World War II service.

Sailors attached to the 2nd Marine Division and Marines from the Corps' 2nd Tank Battalion will join members of the battleship's Living History Crew and the Marine Corps Historical Association on April 9. Many will portray North Carolina crew members in period uniforms. They'll also help interpret the battleship for visitors.

The Navy and Marine Corps personnel are all volunteers, said Lt. Cmdr. Jason M. Constantine, a Navy chaplain at Camp Lejeune and one of the organizers of the event.

Camp Lejeune sailors and Marines regularly volunteer for service projects aboard the floating memorial, according to Kim Robinson Sincox, museum services director for the battleship.

Queen Azalea Anna Kooiman wlll be on hand at 1 p.m., along with her court and invited Azalea Festival guests, to cut the official "Showboat" cake aboard.

Members of the East Burke High School Jazz Ensemble from Connelly Springs, N.C., will perform patriotic music throughout the day. The East Burke Cavalier Marching Band has been chosen to represent North Carolina and the battleship this December in Honolulu at 75th anniversary observances of the Paarl Harbor attack.

The USS North Carolina was formally commissioned on April 9, 1941, at the New York Navy Yard.

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