Local News

State Natives Among Crew of USS North Carolina

Posted April 28, 2008 5:44 p.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2008 11:54 a.m. EDT

— The USS North Carolina arrived in Wilmington Monday, prepared for an official christening later this week. The nuclear submarine has plenty of Tar Heels among the crew for its first mission as part of the Navy's Pacific Fleet.

Lead Yoeman Matt Dooley, from Mount Airy, and Electronics Technician Carl Lattimore are among the crew that keeps the high-tech, high-dollar submarine shipshape.

Plaques and pictures throughout the interior remind the modern sailors of this sub's humble heritage. Teak, recycled from the decommissioned battleship North Carolina, was even used on some surfaces.

Space aboard the 377-foot submarine is tight and leads to tight bonds among the crew. Garner native Tyler Murray considers these sailors an extension of his Wake County family.

"You know everybody by face, you know their families, you know their kids' names," he said.

Sonar man Lee Bolling thinks he has the best job on board. "I listen to the water. It is an awesome job."

He gets an argument from the man in charge.

"It's a blast, I have the greatest job in the world doing this," Capt. Mark Davis, commanding officer of the North Carolina, declared.