In 2267, the Carolina was registered as being in the same sector as Capella IV. A distress signal was ostensibly transmitted by the Carolina to the USS Enterprise. However, as the Enterprise had previously been diverted by a fake distress call from the SS Dierdre, acting captain Montgomery Scott decided to ignore the "Carolina", observing, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." (TOS: "Friday's Child")
This starship was only mentioned in dialogue.
According to the second and third editions of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, the Carolina was identified as an old Daedalus-class starship with either the registry number NCC-235 on page 66 or NCC-160 in the ship list on page 417. This was despite the fact that Daedalus-class had been retired from service seventy-one years earlier, as stated in TNG: "Power Play". In the latest Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 327), NCC-160 was changed in the ship list to NCC-235 and the class was not mentioned. However, on page 122 of the first volume, there was a picture of the Daedalus-class Carolina.
The novel Beneath the Raptor's Wing referred to a 22nd century Daedalus-class USS Carolina (β), while the Decipher role playing game supplements described a 23rd century Ranger-class USS Carolina (β).