Monthly Archives: June 2015

Bake Shop

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Bakers Ratings Instruction book

Bakers Ratings Instruction book

“Baking is a definite profession. The expert baker is a skilled craftsman. The baker, to succeed, must take pride in his profession and become a master of the science of baking. Bakers should learn to so blend the ingredients for bakery products that they can point with pride to the finished article. The baker should realize that good bread or rolls makes the meal, and a good cake or pie tops it off. Be a craftsman!”

Instructions for Use in Preparation for Baker Ratings, USN, 1939

Donald Ayers recipe book

Donald Ayers recipe book

Donald Ayers recipe notes

Donald Ayers recipe notes

“I worked in the bake shop on Noumea until the NORTH CAROLINA came in and needed a third class baker. We had about 20 bakers and worked 24 hours on and 24 hours off. The hours on were not all work time…when we had everything done for the day we would clean up the shop and then usually used the area for writing letters, pressing our uniforms, having birthday parties and generally had a lot of companionship. The bake shop was a very popular place as the whole crew always liked sweets and if they had a buddy in the bake shop, they had it made. Even officers on night duty would send a messenger down to see if we might have a pie or a pan of sweet rolls that we could part with. Of course, this helped us too when we wanted to sneak ashore in Pearl or elsewhere and the officer of the deck owed us a favor. We had a little radio in the bake shop and we used to listen to Tokyo Rose every night.”

Don Ayers, Baker

“Bakers only seem to be able to do their work in the early hours of dawn long before the crew was ready for breakfast. They had to have bread ready to toast. The flour was white and so were the bakers, covered head to toe. They looked like ghosts most of the time! They had to have a lot of bread prepared for our favorite meal, dried ham in a white sauce. I will say the bread was good no matter how you sliced it.”

Lloyd Reedstrom, Radioman

Joe and well iced cake

Joe and well iced cake

“When I first came aboard ship I was working in the Shipfitter shop. The Bake Shop wanted steel racks to hold the hot trays that came from the oven. They had submitted a formal request and the work was not getting approval so the head of the Bake Shop talked to the head of the Shipfitter shop and before you knew it the racks were built and they are still there today. I guess you know the shipfitters never went hungry. For my 19th birthday one of the bakers baked me a large flat pan, five layer chocolate cake.”

Charles Foster, Seaman 1/c

Party in the Bake Shop

“Our bakery was exceptional. We had pies, cake, homemade bread and rolls. One thing we always were sure we did when we had biscuits or bread was before we ate it we held them up to the light to make sure there weren’t any black spots in them as we did have a lot of cockroaches! Quite often we would find them in the bread and sometimes so many of them we thought there were raisins in them!”

Robert Palomaris, Seaman 1/c

Oscar Taylor, Baker BB55, recipe notebook

Oscar Taylor, Baker BB55, recipe notebook

“A lot of New York boys [in the Bake Shop]. One guy I knew was in the same high school as I was. Now I was fortunate to know him because if anything was left over he would up the Engine Room, ‘Neumann, send up a messenger. I have some leftover pies.’ I would send up the messenger and he would come back with the pies and I always had something to eat. He [baker] would make a pie or cake. He would actually make a flat pizza pie and he would send some down to us. He always took care of me like that. We were always buddies in that frame of mind.”

Leo K. Neumann, Machinist’s Mate

Navy Cup Cakes 1940

Navy Cup Cakes 1940

“To the bakers of the NORTH CAROLINA: We are now on a course of 145 after having struck Hong Kong. TF 38 has taken another chap out of the XXX that have caused us to be out here as long as we have. We don’t have a…lot of dope as to the damage done today except that we sunk a few small ships and caused a lot of fires. We’ve been up here not doing a lot except sitting on our butts looking for a bogey, not doing enough work to cause an appetite. We started talking about the bakery and I’ll be…if we aren’t all starved. [ ] to whip up a ration for the boys.”

Letter from the Combat Watch Officer, no date.

“The Italian bakers sent me a welcome aboard present when I became the Division officer. It was my first pizza. It was 1944 and I had never even heard of one.”

Ensign Henry Little

Bakers posed in Bake Shop

Bakers posed in Bake Shop

“I worked in the bake shop slicing bread, filling cream puffs…two squirts per puff. Some I would give them a couple of extra squirts and watch for the results.” [Note: “touchy to make in the tropics.”]

Harold Smith, Fire Controlman

“Smoking, washing or drying clothing, shaving or bathing and stowage of personal articles in the Bake Shop is prohibited. Bakers on watch will wear clean uniforms at all times.”

Lt. (jg) Watts, Supply Department officer


In August and September 1944 the Battleship was in Bremerton, Washington, for upgrades. The bakers must have been on liberty because the Ship bought hundreds of pounds of jelly rolls, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts and cupcakes as well as pies from local bakeries. And the Ship bought 19,755 pounds of wheat flour and before heading out to the sea the Ship received 104,000 pounds of wheat flour alone!

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JULY 2 – 5, 2015

Apple Annie’s Bake Shop located at Kerr Avenue and The Forum will donate $1 to the restoration fund of the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA for every red, white, and blue cupcake purchased during the Independence Day weekend, from Thursday, July 2nd through Sunday, July 5th.

Help us restore our State’s Memorial that honors the Greatest Generation and all who have served. Thank you for your support.

Visit the webpage for location information




Save The Ship

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Save the Ship Campaign, 1961

School fundraising poster

“You and your committee are doing a wonderful thing in preparing a permanent memorial with the NORTH CAROLINA. Too often, I feel, our people forget very quickly the sacrifices our predecessors made in order that we may continue to enjoy the privileges of being free Americans. The responsibilities of citizenship receive little public notice. This is a very sad thing and it is one of the primary reasons why I think the memorial to the NORTH CAROLINA is such an important effort.

The people…who come to see this great ship will inevitably think of the men who sailed in her and the part they played in preserving the institutions which have become so dear to us. Perhaps it may reawaken in these people a deeper sense of responsibility which they must now shoulder in order to preserve the things for which the men in the NORTH CAROLINA fought.”

Admiral Arleigh Burke, Chief of Naval Operations, May 20, 1961

Admiral Nimitz

“If the citizens of this area will work together on projects in the future as they have done, and are doing on the Battleship Project, it seems New Hanover County will be even a finer place to live in the years ahead.”

Gilbert Burnett, May 17, 1961

President Kennedy Admiral in the NC Navy

“All my life (16 years) I have loved the Navy and I have always hoped that someday I could do something for it. Bringing the U.S.S. North Carolina here to its resting place has given me that chance. I am sending my weekly allowance so that it can be used to bring our war heroine home where it belongs.”

Sandra Moore, Charlotte, NC, July 7, 1961

Admit One Student Ticket

“Thanks to the full cooperation of the United States Navy, the determined campaign of the North Carolina Battleship Commission and the contributions of men, women and children across North Carolina, this ship is not headed for a mothball fleet nor a scuttling yard. She will stand as a monument of valor to the men and women…who fought freedom’s fight in World War II.”

Governor Terry Sanford, September 1961

“May she speak out to all who will see here about those deeds of courage which we are called upon to perform in times of crisis.”

Chaplain Karl Karpa, September 1961

Charlotte Observer Gene Payne cartoon about Hugh Morton Proud Papa

Charlotte Observer Gene Payne cartoon about Hugh Morton Proud Papa

“We used the return home theme because it seemed to have appeal. Our slant was that here was a ship that had advertised our state in a wholesome and patriotic way to the nation and to the world [and] that she was now without a home and in imminent danger of being scrapped, and it was up to us to provide the home she had earned and deserved.”

Hugh MacRae Morton, Chairman, Battleship Commission, December 17, 1962

Hugh Morton explains the genesis of saving the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA.

The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is a powerful symbol of our gratitude and pride for those who served in World War II and for all who serve in our nation’s armed forces and their families. It is our state’s memorial to the 10,000 North Carolinians who died during World War II. It is a powerful testimonial to those who continue to give their lives in support of our freedom today.

The current Generations Campaign is a Call to All Hands to actively support this treasured monument as a powerful place to share our history and introduce the call to duty – to teach, to learn, and to serve.

Join Us! All Hands on Deck to help save the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA. To help in her restoration, text the word Battleship to the number 41444, visit or mail a check made payable to the Friends of the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, with memorandum Generations Campaign to PO Box 480, Wilmington, NC 28402 to show your support.

Secondary Battery: the Five-Inch Guns

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Five inch shell casings piled at the entrance to Radio IX following the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.

Five inch shell casings piled at the entrance to Radio IX following the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.

“…This ship is setting records left and right and I am mighty proud to be on it. I wish I could tell you all what these 5 inch guns can do (and did do), but it is a great secret…”

Ralph Swift, Seaman 1/c, in a letter home, 10/18/1941

“I was in the upper handling room of mount six. Usually when we went to general quarters, they would cut off all air below decks because of possible poisonous gassing. They cut off all of the fresh air system so it was extremely hot in these handling rooms. I think there were about 12 of us working in there. This was about a 12 by 12-foot square room with all the storage in the upper hoist in it. This left very little space to operate in.

During [an] air attack which lasted 14 minutes, enough sweat came from those of us in this upper handling room that my shoes were just sloshing in sweat. I noticed this after it was all over. I looked on the deck and as the ship rolled you could see the sweat rolling from one side of the room to the other. Now this is the honest truth if I’ve ever told it, I reckon half of it was my sweat. At that time we were expected to get and keep the ammunition supplied to the guns and we did our best to do it. We worked real hard, and by the hard work in the hot room and being scared too, I said I’m sure we can vouch for all that sweat.”

Willie N. Jones, Gunner’s Mate 1/c

Bill Taylor, Boatswain’s Mate 1/c, explains how the 5-gun gun was loaded.

“In connection with the development of procedures, one of our most important ones for the five-inch/thirty-eight battery was Ensign Bill Lemos. We would work hours and hours on the coordination of the directors and fire control with the computers.

One of the most difficult problems to solve was that of what we called dead time. This is the time between when the projectile is taken out of the fuse pot and put into the gun and fired. That depended upon the ability of the loading crew and it also depended on the elevation of the guns. If you varied it two seconds, that would allow a difference of two seconds of motion of your target. It’s things like that that required not only knowledge of how fast your loaders are going to be loading at different angles of elevation, but also the difference in your loading crews.

One of the remedies for that [problem] turned out to be the proximity fuse. There again, it was not a cure-all, because we found from practice that the bursts were confusing to the attacking planes; and instead of going completely to the proximity fuse with the theory that we were going to hit all the planes that were attacking, we had a mix of about two regular time fuses to one proximity fuse. That seemed to work it out quite well.

We figured, and I think it was a sound conclusion, that we were just as happy if the attacking planes would leave us alone; and out second effort, if he didn’t, we would like to see him shot down. But we did know that you can’t always depend on hitting them. So, if they moved away – that’s fine.”

Commander John Kirkpatrick, Air Defense Officer