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World War II: A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Perspective



World War II had a tremendous impact upon Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Thousands of men went off the war, many never to return. These photographs provide a brief glimpse into the ships that took men into harm's way. We are interested in gathering other photographs that show the imapct of World War Two on the people of Mecklenburg County. Call us at 375-6145 if you would like to share your memories of this momentous era.

Photograph No. One


The U.S.S. Starr, named for a County in Texas, rides high in the water in San Francisco Bay. It was an attack cargo transport ship, meaning that it took vehicles and cargo into battle at places like Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The U.S.S. Starr was built in and launched from Wilmington, NC.

Photograph No. Two


Nestled beside the U.S.S. Starr is one its so-called Tank Lighters. Fifty feet long, these boats were used to carry tanks to the beaches. The Starr also carried Jeeps, rocket launchers, and general cargo.

Photograph No. Three


This is the U.S.S. Starr's five-inch gun. You might wonder why a cargo ship should have a gun. Attack cargo transports were in the middle of amphibious operations throughout the Pacific. In fact the Starr was struck by a Japanese suicide boat off Okinawa.

Photograph No. Four


The man sitting on the far left of this photograph is Harold Beaver. Now retired and living at Sharon Towers, he worked for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Schools for many years, including serving a principal of Cotswold Jr. High School.

Photograph No. Five


Harold Bender and Gib Allen enjoy themselves during a peaceful moment aboard the Starr. Gib Allen is retired, lives in Charlotte, and is active in the Little Church on the Lane.