Meet the Showboat

by Feb 5, 2021Events, North Brunswick

Battleship NORTH CAROLINA expands its free series of live online presentations.

Battleship NORTH CAROLINA has added a new session to its Meet the Showboat series of free online presentations.

The addition highlights the life for crews of the ships named NORTH CAROLINA, following a previously scheduled session on the traditions and innovations of those ships. With “Sailing Through Time Aboard Ships Named NORTH CAROLINA, Part One and Part Two,” Meet the Showboat now has six virtual sessions left in the series.

Each is presented through Zoom and lasts 30 to 45 minutes, followed by time to engage with the presenter. The programs are free, but online registration is required. Details and a link to register are available at

Meet The Showboat Wilmington NC

Battleship volunteers RDML Ron Henderson, USN, Retired; LtCol John Munn, USMC, Retired; CDR Charles Gore, USN, Retired; LCDR Mike Bowers, USN, Retired; and Alex Dydula lead the programs on the ship’s history, daily life, ship design and innovations, marine detachment, gunfire control systems and the legacy of ships named NORTH CAROLINA.

“The series provides a detailed look at popular topics surrounding the Battleship,” says Kim Sincox, director of museum services. “Each session allows people to learn from our expert volunteers about what sets the ship apart, even if they aren’t able to visit us in person. We can’t offer the usual in-person programming because we are following safety protocols regarding COVID-19. The virtual presentations are an excellent introduction to our adult learning programs, which we will offer again on the Battleship as conditions allow.”

The Battleship received a NC CARES: Humanities Relief Grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council to support online programs including the Meet the Showboat series. Funding for NC CARES has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.

In addition to this series, the grant also supports The Showboat Podcast and the Discover the Showboat collection of video tours. The podcast released its second episode, “Ship Shape,” in December. It can be heard at or by searching for Showboat on popular podcast apps such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. The video series begins in the Butcher Shop and can be seen at

Wilmington NC USS Battleship

Want to watch?

Meet the Showboat Virtual Presentations

The first two sessions, “A Brief History” and “City at Sea: Life Aboard,” were presented in January. Here is the schedule of remaining presentations.

Engineered for Victory: Design and Technology

Saturday, February 6, 2 to 3 pm
A true engineering wonder of her day, the Battleship showcases an array of technological advancements. Discover design considerations and innovations that continue to amaze visitors from LtCol John Munn, USMC, Retired.

The Few, the Proud: BB55 Marine Detachment

Saturday, February 20, 2 to 2 pm
From their founding in 1775, Marines have performed vital functions aboard American naval ships. Follow LtCol John Munn, USMC, Retired, into the world of the Showboat MarDet: the men, the mission, the equipment.

Fire Control: The Mechanical Brains Behind the Guns

Saturday, March 13, 2 to 3 pm
The Battleship is a floating weapons platform, but the finest guns are of little use without the means to direct their fire accurately at the target. Fire control expert Alex Dydula will explore the ship’s fire control equipment (directors/optical range finders, radar, computers) and how main and secondary battery plotting rooms operated.

Fire Control: The Human Element

Saturday, March 27, 2 to 3 pm
Developing a successful approach to fighting the ship effectively required a team of officers and enlisted men. They developed procedures and tactics based on lessons learned from engagements and adapted to evolving technologies. CDR Chuck Gore, USN, Retired, will introduce the gunnery department, its missions and how tactics changed during the war years.

Sailing Through Time Aboard Ships Named NORTH CAROLINA, Part One

Saturday, April 17, 2 to 3 pm
Gracing the seas from 1824 to today, ships named NORTH CAROLINA provide insights into the traditions and innovations involved in navigation, propulsion, fire control (tracking targets and aiming guns), weapons and daily life. Join LCDR Mike Bowers, USN, Retired, as he provides a peek into the workings of our Navy vessels and her crews over the centuries.

Sailing Through Time Aboard Ships Named NORTH CAROLINA, Part Two

Saturday, May 8, 2 to 3 pm
LCDR Mike Bowers, USN, Retired, focuses on life at sea for the crews manning ships named NORTH CAROLINA. What was it like to work and live on these ships? He’ll explain watches, watch section rotation, battle stations, damage control, rank structure, discipline and uniforms. How has being a sailor evolved over time? How has changing technology impacted staffing? Find out if you’re cut out for the life of a bluejacket.

For more information, visit or follow them on, and
The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is a historic site within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (

Image courtesy of Dawn Damico