New Bern (EdNC)- On an early spring day in 2014, several NC Community College System Office leaders were touring Craven Community College’s machining labs when a member of the tour group noticed a drab, gray lathe sitting in a corner. Mounted to the side of the lathe was a plaque that read, “This Machine Conforms To The Orders Of The War Production Board.” Surprisingly, the lathe is a veteran of World War II and rumored to have served aboard the USS North Carolina.Where and how the lathe officially served is not known, but this machine represents five tales that call for discussion. The first story resides within the history and events this one machine experienced while serving to make parts to repair or build ships and tanks for the war effort. Imagine if this lathe did serve aboard the USS North Carolina, making or repairing damaged parts while the ship was at sea in military action during World War II. What tales would it tell of the battleship crew’s bravery or disaster inflicted by submarine torpedo attacks?
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