USS New Jersey (BB-62)
"New Jersey"'s next war cruise, 13 April–4 May 1944, began and ended at Majuro. She screened the carrier striking force which gave air support to the invasion of
Aitape, Tanahmerah Bayand Humboldt Bay, New Guinea, 22 April, then shelled shipping and shore installations at Truk 29 April–30 April. "New Jersey" and her formation shot down two enemy torpedo bombers at Truk. Her 16 inch salvos pounded Ponape 1 May, destroying fuel tanks, badly damaging the airfield, and demolishing a headquartersbuilding.
After rehearsing in the Marshalls for the invasion of the Marianas, "New Jersey" put to sea 6 June in the screening and bombardment group of Admiral Mitscher's Task Force. On the second day of preinvasion air strikes, 12 June, "New Jersey" shot down an enemy torpedo bomber, and during the next two days her heavy guns battered
Saipanand Tinian, in advance of the marine landings on 15 June.
The Japanese response to the Marianas operation was an order to its mobile fleet: it must attack and annihilate the American invasion force. Shadowing American
submarines tracked the Japanese fleet into the Philippine Seaas Admiral Spruance joined his task force with Admiral Mitscher's to meet the enemy. "New Jersey" took station in the protective screen around the carriers on 19 June 1944 as American and Japanese pilots dueled in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. That day and the next were to pronounce the end of Japanese naval aviation; in this " Marianas Turkey Shoot", the Japanese lost some 400 planes. This loss of trained pilots and aircraft was equaled in disaster by the sinking of the Japanese aircraft carriers and ] 24 August, becoming flagship of the United States Third Fleet. On 30 August "New Jersey" set sail from Pearl Harbor, and for the next eight months was based at Ulithito lend support to Allied forces operating in the Philippines. In this span of the Pacific War, fast carrier task forces ranged the waters off the Philippines, Okinawa, and Formosa, making repeated strikes at airfields, shipping, shore bases, and invasion beaches.
In September the targets were in the
Visayasand the southern Philippines, then Manilaand Cavite, Panay, Negros, Leyte, and Cebu. Early in October raids to destroy enemy air power based on Okinawa and Formosa were begun in preparation for the Leyte landings of 20 October 1944.
This invasion brought on the last great
sortieof the Imperial Japanese Navy. Its plan for the Battle of Leyte Gulfincluded a feintby a northern force of planeless heavy attack carriers to draw away the battleships, cruisers and fast carriers with which Admiral Halsey was protecting the landings. This was to allow the Japanese Center Force to enter the gulf through San Bernardino Strait. At the opening of the battle planes from the carriers guarded by "New Jersey" struck hard at both the Japanese Southern and Center Forces, sinking a battleship 23 October. The next day Halsey shaped his course north after the decoy force had been spotted. Planes from his carriers sank four of the Japanese carriers, as well as a destroyer and a cruiser, while "New Jersey" steamed south at flank speedto meet the newly developed threat of the Center force. It had been turned back in a stunning defeat when she arrived.
"New Jersey" rejoined her fast carriers near San Bernardino 27 October 1944 for strikes on central and southern
Luzon. Two days later, the force came under suicide attack. In a melee of anti-aircraft fire from the ships and combat air patrol, "New Jersey" shot down a plane whose pilot maneuvered it into the port gun galleries of USS|Intrepid|CV-11|2, while machine gun fire from "Intrepid" wounded three of "New Jersey's" men. During a similar action 25 November three Japanese planes were shot down by the combined fire of the force, part of one flaming onto the flight deck of USS|Hancock|CV-19|2. "Intrepid" was again attacked; she shot down one would-be kamikaze aircraft, but was crashed by another despite hits scored on the attacker by "New Jersey" gunners. "New Jersey" shot down a plane diving on USS|Cabot|CVL-28|2 and hit another plane which smashed into "Cabot"'s port bow.
On 18 December 1944 the ships of Task Force 38 unexpectedly found themselves in a fight for their lives when
Typhoon Cobraovertook the force— seven fleet and six light carriers, eight battleships, 15 cruisers, and about 50 destroyers— during their attempt to refuel at sea. At the time the ships were operating about convert|300|mi|km|-2 east of Luzon in the Philippine Sea.cite web | title = Typhoons and Hurricanes: Pacific Typhoon, 18 December 1944 | url = http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq102-4.htm | |publisher= Department of the Navy -- Navy Historical Center | date =10 April 2001 | accessdate=2006-01-08] The carriers had just completed three days of heavy raids against Japanese airfields, suppressing enemy aircraft during the American amphibious operations against Mindoroin the Philippines. The task force rendezvoused with Captain Jasper T. Acuff and his fueling group 17 December with the intention of refueling all ships in the task force and replacing lost aircraft.cite web | title = Third Fleet in Typhoon Cobra, December 1944 | url = http://www.compass.dircon.co.uk/cobra2.htm | work = History of US Naval Operations in World War II |publisher = Dave James' homepage | author= Samuel Eliot Morison | accessdate=2006-01-08] Although the sea had been growing rougher all day, the nearby cyclonic disturbance gave relatively little warning of its approach. Each of the aircraft carriers in the Third Fleet had a weatherman aboard, and as the fleet flagship "New Jersey" had a highly experienced one: Commander G. F. Kosco, a graduate of the aerology course at Massachusetts Institute of Technologywho had also studied hurricanes in the West Indies; despite this, none of these individuals or staffs were able to give Third Fleet due warning of the impending typhoon. On 18 December, the small but violent typhoon overtook the Task Force while many of the ships were attempting to refuel. Many of the ships were caught near the center of the storm and buffeted by extreme seas and hurricane force winds. Three destroyers, USS|Hull|DD-350|2, USS|Monaghan|DD-354|2, and USS|Spence|DD-512|2, capsized and sank with nearly all hands, while a cruiser, five aircraft carriers, and three destroyers suffered serious damage. Approximately 790 officers and men were lost or killed, with another 80 injured. Fires occurred in three carriers when planes broke loose in their hangars and some 146 planes on various ships were lost or damaged beyond economical repair by fires, impact damage, or by being swept overboard. As with the other battleships of TF 38, skillful seamanship brought "New Jersey" through the storm largely unscathed. She returned to Ulithi on Christmas Eve to be met by Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.
ervice with Battleship Division Seven, Admiral Badger
"New Jersey" ranged far and wide from 30 December 1944 to 25 January 1945 on her last cruise as Admiral Halsey's flagship. She guarded the carriers in their strikes on Formosa, Okinawa, and Luzon, on the coast of
Indo-China, Hong Kong, Swatow and Amoy, and again on Formosa and Okinawa. At Ulithi 27 January Admiral Halsey lowered his flag in "New Jersey", but it was replaced two days later by that of Rear Admiral Oscar C. Badger IIcommanding Battleship Division 7.
In support of the assault on
Iwo Jima, "New Jersey" screened the USS|Essex|CV-9|2 group in air attacks on the island 19 February–21 February, and gave the same crucial service for the first major carrier raid on Tokyo25 February, a raid aimed specifically at aircraft production. During the next two days, Okinawa was attacked from the air by the same striking force.
"New Jersey" was directly engaged in the conquest of Okinawa from 14 March until 16 April. As the carriers prepared for the invasion with strikes there and on
Honshū, "New Jersey" fought off air raids, used her seaplanes to rescue downed pilots, defended the carriers from suicide planes, shooting down at least three and assisting in the destruction of others. On 24 March 1945 she again carried out the role of heavy bombardment, preparing the invasion beaches for the assault a week later.
During the final months of the war, "New Jersey" was overhauled at
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, from which she sailed 4 July for San Pedro, Pearl Harbor, and Eniwetok bound for Guam. Here on 14 August she once again became flagship of the 5th Fleet under Admiral Spruance. Brief stays at Manila and Okinawa preceded her arrival in Tokyo Bay17 September, where she served as flagship for the successive commanders of Naval Forces in Japanese waters until relieved 28 January 1946 by USS|Iowa|BB-61|2 (BB-61). As part of the ongoing Operation Magic Carpet "New Jersey" took aboard nearly a thousand homeward-bound troops with whom she arrived at San Francisco 10 February.
Post World War II (1946–1950)
After west coast operations and a normal overhaul at Puget Sound, "New Jersey"'s keel once more cut the Atlantic as she came home to
Bayonne, New Jersey, for a rousing fourth birthday party 23 May 1947. Present were Governor Alfred E. Driscoll, former Governor Walter E. Edge and other dignitaries.
Between 7 June and 26 August, "New Jersey" formed part of the first training squadron to cruise Northern European waters since the beginning of World War II. Over two thousand
United States Naval Academyand NROTCmidshipmen received sea-going experience under the command of Admiral Richard L. Connoly, Commander Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, who broke his flag in "New Jersey" at Rosyth, Scotland23 June. She was the scene of official receptions at Oslo, where King Haakon VII of Norwayinspected the crew 2 July, and at Portsmouth, England. The training fleet was westward bound 18 July for exercises in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic.
After serving at New York as flagship for Rear Admiral Heber H. McClean, Commander, Battleship Division 1, 12 September–18 October, "New Jersey" was inactivated at the
New York Naval Shipyard. She was decommissioned at Bayonne 30 June 1948 and assigned to the New York Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
The Korean War (1950–1953)
North Koreainvaded South Korea, prompting the United States to intervene in the name of the United Nations. President Harry S. Trumanwas caught off guard when the invasion struck, [American Secretary of State Dean Achesonhad told Congress on 20 June that no war was likely.] but quickly ordered U.S. Forces stationed in Japan into South Korea. Truman also sent U.S. based troops, tanks, fighter and bomber aircraft, and a strong naval force to Korea to support the Republic of Korea. As part of the naval mobilization "New Jersey" was recalled from the mothball fleet to provide seaborne artillery support for U.N. and South Korean troops. "New Jersey" was recommissioned at Bayonne on 21 November 1950, Captain David M. Tyree in command, and proceeded to the Caribbean, where she welded her crew into an efficient body which would meet the demanding requirements of the Korean War. She sailed from Norfolk, Virginia16 April 1951 and arrived from Japan off the east coast of Korea17 May. Vice Admiral Harold M. Martin, commanding the United States Seventh Fleet, placed his flag in "New Jersey" for the next six months.
"New Jersey"'s guns opened the first shore bombardment of her Korean career at
Wonsan20 May. During her two tours of duty in Korean waters, she was again and again to play the part of seaborne mobile artillery. In direct support to United Nations troops; or in preparation for ground actions, in interdicting Communist supply and communication routes, or in destroying supplies and troop positions, "New Jersey" used her 16 in guns to fire far beyond the capacity of land artillery, moved rapidly and free from major attack from one target to another, and at the same time could be immediately available to guard aircraft carriers should they require her protection. It was on this first such mission at Wonsan that she received her only combat casualties of the Korean War. One of her men was killed and two severely wounded when she took a hit from a shore battery on her number one turret and received a near miss aftto port.
Between 23 May and 27 May and again 30 May 1951, "New Jersey" pounded targets near Yangyang and
Kansong, dispersing troop concentrations, dropping a bridge span, and destroying three large ammunition dumps. Air spotters reported Yangyang abandoned at the end of this action, while railroadfacilities and vehicles were smashed at Kansong. On 24 May, she lost one of her helicopters after the crew pushed their chopper to the limit of its fuel searching for a downed aviator. The helicopter crew was able to reach friendly territory and were later returned to their ship.
Arthur W. Radford, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, and Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy, Commander Naval Forces Far East aboard, "New Jersey" bombarded targets at Wonsan 4 June. At Kansong two days later she fired her main battery at an artillery regiment and truck encampment, with 7th Fleet aircraft spotting targets and reporting successes. On 28 July off Wonsan the battleship was again taken under fire by shore batteries. Several near misses splashed to port, but "New Jersey"'s precision fire silenced the enemy and destroyed several gun emplacements.
Between 4 July and 12 July, "New Jersey" supported a United Nations push in the Kansong area, firing at enemy buildup and reorganization positions. As the
Republic of Korea's First Division hurled itself on the enemy, shore fire control observers saw "New Jersey"'s salvos hit directly on enemy mortar emplacements, supply and ammunition dumps, and personnel concentrations. "New Jersey" returned to Wonsan 18 July for an exhibition of perfect firing: five gun emplacements demolished with five direct hits.
"New Jersey" sailed to the aid of troops of the Republic of Korea once more 17 August, returning to the Kansong area where for four days she provided harassing fire by night, and broke up counterattacks by day, inflicting a heavy toll on enemy troops. She returned to this general area yet again 29 August, when she fired in an amphibious demonstration staged behind enemy lines to ease pressure on the Republic of Korea's troops. The next day she started a three-day saturation of the
Changjonarea, with one of her own helicopters spotting the results: four buildings; destroyed, road junctions smashed, railroad marshaling yards afire, tracks cut and uprooted, coal stocks scattered, and many buildings and warehouses set blazing.
Aside from a brief break in firing 23 September to take aboard wounded from the Korean frigate "Apnok" (PF-62), damaged by gunfire, "New Jersey" was heavily engaged in bombarding the Kansong area, supporting the movement of the
U.S. X Corps. The pattern again was harassing fire by night, destruction of known targets by day. Enemy movement was restricted by the fire of her big guns. A bridge, a dam, several gun emplacements, mortar positions, pillboxes, bunkers, and two ammunition dumps were demolished.
Between 1 October and 6 October "New Jersey" was in action daily at Kansong,
Hamhung, Hungnam, Tanchon, and Songjin. Enemy bunkers and supply concentrations provided the majority of the targets at Kansong; at the others "New Jersey" fired on railroads, tunnels, bridges, an oil refinery, trains, and shore batteries. She also engaged an enemy gun emplacement with her five-inch (127 mm) gun mounts, which "New Jersey" successfully destroyed. The Kojoarea was her target 16 October as she sailed in company with HMS|Belfast|C35|6, pilots from HMAS|Sydney|1944|6 spotting. The operation was well-planned and coordinated, and excellent results were obtained.
Another highly satisfactory day was 16 October, when the spotter over the Kansong area reported "beautiful shooting every shot on target-most beautiful shooting I have seen in five years." This five hour bombardment leveled ten
artillerypositions, and in smashing trenches and bunkers inflicted some 500 enemy casualties.
"New Jersey" dashed up the North Korean coast raiding transportation facilities from 1 November to 6 November. She struck at bridges, road, and rail installations at Wonsan, Hungnam, Tanchon,
Iowon, Songjin, and Chongjin, leaving four bridges destroyed, others badly damaged, two marshaling yards badly torn up, and many feet of track destroyed. With renewed attacks on Kansong and near the Chang-San-Got Peninsula11 November and 13 November, "New Jersey" completed hew first tour of duty in Korea.
Relieved as flagship by USS|Wisconsin|BB-64|2, "New Jersey" cleared Yokosuka for
Hawaii, Long Beach and the Panama Canal, and returned to Norfolk 20 December for a six-month overhaul. Between 19 July 1952 and 5 September, she sailed as flagship for Rear Admiral H. R. Thurber, who commanded the NROTC midshipman training cruise to Cherbourg, Lisbon, and the Caribbean. Now "New Jersey" prepared and trained for her second Korean tour, for which she sailed from Norfolk 5 March 1953.
Shaping her course via the Panama Canal, Long Beach, and Hawaii, New Jersey reached Yokosuka 5 April, and next day relieved USS|Missouri|BB-63|2 as flagship of Vice Admiral Joseph H. Clark, Commander 7th Fleet. On 12 April "New Jersey" returned to action by shelling Chongjin; in seven minutes she scored seven direct hits, blowing away half the main communications building there. At
Pusantwo days later, "New Jersey" manned her rails to welcome the President of the Republic of Korea and Madame Rhee, and American Ambassador Ellis O. Briggs.
"New Jersey" fired on coastal batteries and buildings at Kojo 16 April; on railway track and tunnels near Hungnam 18 April; and on gun emplacements around
Wonsan Harbor20 April, silencing them in five areas after she had herself take several near misses. Songjin provided targets 23 April. Here "New Jersey" scored six direct 16 inch (406 mm) hits on a railroad tunnel and knocked out two rail bridges.
"New Jersey" provided artillery support for a major air and surface strike on Wonsan 1 May, as 7th Fleet planes both attacked the enemy and spotted for the battleship. She knocked out eleven Communist shore guns that day, and four days later destroyed the key observation post on the island of
Hodo Pando, commanding the harbor. Two days later Kalmagakat Wonsan was her target.
"New Jersey"'s tenth birthday, 23 May 1953, was celebrated at
Inchonwith President and Madame Rhee, Lieutenant General Maxwell D. Taylor, and other dignitaries on board. Two days later "New Jersey" returned to action along the west coast at Chinampoto knock out harbor defense positions.
The battleship was under fire at Wonsan 27 May–29 May, but her five-inch (127 mm) guns silenced the counter-fire, and her 16 inch shells destroyed five gun emplacements and four gun caves. She also hit a target that flamed spectacularly: either a fuel storage area or an
"New Jersey" returned to the key task of direct support to troops at
Kosong7 June. On her first mission, she completely destroyed two gun positions, an observation post, and their supporting trenches, then stood by on call for further aid. She then sailed back to Wonsan for a day-long bombardment 24 June, aimed at guns placed in caves. The results were excellent, with eight direct hits on three caves, one cave demolished, and four others closed. Next day she returned to troop support at Kosong, her assignment until 10 July, aside from necessary withdrawal for replenishment.
At Wonsan 11 July–12 July, "New Jersey" fired one of the most concentrated bombardments of her Korean duty. For nine hours the first day, and for seven the second, her guns opened fire on gun positions and bunkers on Hodo Pando and the mainland with telling effect. At least ten enemy guns were destroyed, many damaged, and a number of caves and tunnels sealed. "New Jersey" smashed radar control positions and bridges at Kojo 13 July, and was once more on the east coast bombline 22 July–24 July to support South Korean troops near Kosong. These days found her gunners at their most accurate: A large cave, housing an important enemy observation post was closed, the end of a month-long United Nations effort, and a great many bunkers, artillery areas, observation posts, trenches, tanks and other weapons were destroyed.
At sunrise on 25 July 1953 "New Jersey" was off the key port, rail and communications center of Hungnam, pounding coastal guns, bridges, a factor area, and oil storage tanks. She sailed north that afternoon, firing at rail lines and railroad tunnels as she made for Tanchon, where she launched a
whaleboatin an attempt to spot a train known to run nightly along the coast. Her big guns were trained on two tunnels between which she hoped to catch the train, but in the darkness she could not see the results of her six-gun salvo.
Post Korean War (1953–1967)
"New Jersey's" mission at Wonsan, next day, was her last. Here she destroyed large-caliber guns, bunkers, caves and trenches. Two days later, she learned of the truce. Her crew celebrated during a seven day visit at Hong Kong, where she anchored 20 August. Operations around Japan and off Formosa were carried out for the remainder of her tour, which was highlighted by a visit to Pusan. Here President Rhee came aboard on 16 September to present the Korean Presidential Unit Citation to the 7th Fleet.
Relieved as flagship at Yokosuka by "Wisconsin" 14 October, "New Jersey" was homeward bound the next day, reaching Norfolk on 14 November. During the next two summers she crossed the Atlantic with
midshipmenon board for training, and during the rest of the year sharpened her skills with exercises and training maneuvers along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean.
"New Jersey" stood out of Norfolk 7 September 1955 for her first tour of duty with the
United States Sixth Fleetin the Mediterranean. Her ports of call included Gibraltar, Valencia, Cannes, Istanbul, Souda Bay; and Barcelona. She returned to Norfolk 7 January 1956 for the spring program of training operations. That summer she again carried midshipmen to Northern Europe for training, bringing them home to Annapolis31 July. "New Jersey" sailed for Europe once more 27 August as flagship of Vice Admiral Charles Wellborn, Jr., Commander United States Second Fleet. She called at Lisbon, participated in NATOexercises off Scotland, and paid an official visit to Norwaywhere Crown Prince Olaf was a guest. She returned to Norfolk 15 October, and 14 December arrived at New York Naval Shipyard for inactivation. She was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Bayonne 21 August 1957.
The Vietnam War (1967–1969)
On 31 May 1967 the Secretary of Defense authorized a study aimed at determining what would be required to get "New Jersey" reactivated in her present condition, and when the results of the submitted study proved favorable toward the reactivation the Secretary of Defense took action.cite book |last=Frick |first=Martin P. |editor=Lightbody, Andy & Blaine, Taylor |title=Battleships at War: America's Century Long Romance with the Big Guns of the Fleet |origyear=1991 |accessdate=2008-02-23 |publisher=Challenge Publications, Inc |location=Canoga Park, CA |pages=p64, 65, 86-89 |chapter=The Big Guns: America's Century Long Romance with the Battleship] In August 1967 the Secretary of Defense made the decision to recommission a battleship "for employment in the Pacific Fleet to augment the naval gunfire support force in Southeast Asia".cite web |url=http://www.ussnewjersey.org/1968_narrative.htm |title=Narrative 1968 History of USS New Jersey (BB-62) |accessdate=2005-05-26 |publisher=USS New Jersey Veteran's, INC] "New Jersey" was selected for this task because she was in better material condition than her sisters, having received an extensive overhaul prior to decommissioning. Upon her reactivation she underwent a period of modernization during which the 20 mm and 40 mm anti-aircraft guns on the battleship were removed, and she received improved electronic warfare systems and improvements to her radar. Armed as such "New Jersey" was formally recommissioned 6 April 1968 at the
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Captain J. Edward Snyderin command.
"New Jersey", now the world's only active battleship, departed Philadelphia 16 May, calling at Norfolk and transiting the Panama Canal 4 June before arriving at her new home port of Long Beach, California, 11 June. Further training off Southern California followed. On 24 July "New Jersey" received 16 inch shells and powder tanks from USS|Mount Katmai|AE-16|2 by conventional highline transfer and by helicopter lift, the first time heavy battleship ammunition had been transferred by helicopter at sea.
Departing Long Beach 2 September, "New Jersey" touched at Pearl Harbor and Subic Bay before sailing 25 September for her first tour of gunfire support duty along the Vietnamese coast. Near the 17th parallel on 30 September, the dreadnought fired her first shots in battle in over sixteen years, expending a total of 29 rounds against
Communisttargets in and near the so-called Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone.
"New Jersey" took up station off Tiger Island 1 October and fired at targets north of the DMZ before moving south that afternoon to engage Viet Cong targets. She accounted for six bunkers, a supply truck and an anti-aircraft site that day; additionally, she helped rescue the crew of a Marine spotting plane forced down at sea by anti-aircraft fire. On 3 October "New Jersey" fired on targets south of Tiger Island, and on 4 October the battleship fired on a Communist troop concentration and destroyed several bunkers. On the evening of 7 October "New Jersey" received word that a number of waterborne logistics craft were moving south near the mouth of the Song Giang River. "New Jersey" responded by closing on the formation, and succeeded in sinking eleven of the crafts before they could beach.
On 11 October "New Jersey" engaged a coastal installation with her guns; however, she shifted her fire when a recon plane spotting for the battleship reported an enemy truck concentration north of Nha Ky. "New Jersey" gunners quickly retrained the battleship's big guns and managed to inflict heavy damage on six of the vehicles.
Early on the morning of 12 October "New Jersey" trained her guns in anticipation of shelling the heavily fortified and well protected Vinh caves. For the next three days "New Jersey" pounded the area with her 16 in shells in an effort to eliminate the Viet Cong presence in the region. Aided by spotter aircraft from the aircraft carrier USS|America|CV-66|2|2, "New Jersey" engaged enemy targets, setting several enemy positions on fire and sealing one cave. On 14 October "New Jersey" shifted her gunfire to the coastal artillery sites on Hon Matt Island, destroying one battery on the island.
On 16 October "New Jersey" took up station in support of the U.S. 3rd Marine Division. Using both the 16 in and 5 in guns "New Jersey" engaged and destroyed 13 structures and an artillery site, in the process halting an enemy platoon moving through the DMZ. "New Jersey" continued to lend firepower support on the 17th until departing to lend her gunfire to the First Field Force. Foul weather prevented spotter aircraft from flying until 20 October; however, "New Jersey" quickly made up for lost time on the gun line by destroying a Viet Cong command post and nine bunkers in support of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, who were operating about convert|50|mi|km|-1 north of Nha Trang. The next day "New Jersey" maneuvered into the waters of the Baie de Van Fong to fire at Viet Cong command posts, but poor visibility of the target area prevented any damage estimates.
On the night of 23 October "New Jersey" steamed north to rearm before taking up position in support of the 3rd Marine Division 25 October. That day she shelled enemy troops located by a spotter plane. The next day "New Jersey" engaged targets of opportunity, destroying 11 structures, seven bunkers, a concrete observation tower, and an enemy trench line. She also received hostile fire when North Vietnamese gunners attempted to strike at "New Jersey" with artillery positioned near Cap Lay. Some ten to twelve rounds were launched at "New Jersey"; however, the rounds fired landed well short of the battleship. Aerial spotters were called in to look at the suspected gun position; they reported no artillery present but fresh tire tracks leading to a concealed area, suggesting that there had been artillery there earlier. Armed with this information "New Jersey" fired five 16 inch shells at the site, but in the darkness spotters were unable to confirm any hits.
On 28 October "New Jersey" steamed south to engage
Communisttargets. During the shelling aircraft spotting for the battleship reported taking heavy anti-aircraft fire to the extreme north of the target zone; subsequently, "New Jersey" altered her fire to silenced the site with her big guns. The next day "New Jersey" leveled 30 structures, destroyed three underground bunkers, and shelled a Viet Cong trench line. That afternoon an aerial observer located an enemy artillery position on a hilltop southwest of Cap Lay. "New Jersey" responded by firing six 16 inch rounds at the site, destroying it. Follow up assaults on 30 October destroyed a Communist resupply area and an anti-aircraft site.
Upon completion of this mission "New Jersey" steamed south, taking a position off Da Nang and Point DeDe to lend naval gunfire support to the U.S. 1st Marine Division operating in the area. On 2 November "New Jersey" commenced firing operations against nine positions, but the heavy foliage in the area prevented spotters from seeing the results of the shelling.
On 4 November "New Jersey" received orders to reinforce southern II Corps near Phan Thiet; she arrived on station later that night. The next she answered eight call fire support missions from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, in the process destroying eight Viet Cong bunkers and five structures. On 11 November "New Jersey" departed Vietnamese waters to replenishment; she returned to the gunline 23 November and relieved USS|Galveston|CLG-3|2, taking up position in support of the U.S. Army's American Division. That afternoon "New Jersey"'s convert|5|in|mm|0|sing=on guns shelled enemy buildings, destroying 15 structures and inflicted heavy damage on 29 others.
On 25 November "New Jersey" launched the most destructive shore bombardment of her Vietnam tour. For the next two days the battleship concentrated her fire at Viet Cong storage areas near Quang Ngai, destroying 182 structures and 54 bunkers, inflicting heavy damage to 93 structures, and demolishing several tunnel complexes before departing for Point Betsy near Hue 27 November to support the 101st Airborne Division.
Between 2 December and 8 December "New Jersey" returned to aid the 3rd Marine Division, shelling Viet Cong bunker complexes for the Marines operating around the Da Nang area before departing for
Singapore9 December. On 26 December "New Jersey" returned to the gunline, taking up station off Tuy Hoa in support of the Republic of Vietnam's 47th Army Division. For the next three days "New Jersey" fired her guns to support the II Corps, in the process destroying Viet Cong bunkers and supply depots and neutralizing enemy cave posts. "New Jersey" would remain in the waters of the DMZ until after New Years, shelling Communist bunkers for ground troops until leaving to support the 1st Marine Division 3 January.
Throughout January and into February "New Jersey" operated in support of the Marines. On 10 February the battleship left to reinforce the 2nd ROK Marine Brigade operating near Da Nang. The battleship's target was a suspected subterranean staging area for a Viet Cong regiment. "New Jersey"'s big guns went to work on the complex, firing 16 inch shells into tunnels and bunkers to aid the ground troops. On 14 February the battleship steamed south of the DMZ to provide support for the 3rd Marine Division, in the process destroying an anti-aircraft site with her big guns. The next day "New Jersey" fired on an enemy rocket site northest of Con Thien, destroying the facility, then trained her guns on known Communist positions to harass Viet Cong forces. On 22 February "New Jersey" responded to an urgent request for fire support from a besieged outpost near the DMZ. For the next six hours "New Jersey" fired her guns, ultimately repelling the attacking force.cite web |url=http://www.ussnewjersey.org/1969_narrative.htm |title=1969 Narrative History of USS New Jersey (BB-62) |accessdate=2005-05-31 |publisher=USS New Jersey Veteran's, INC]
For the remainder of February and into March "New Jersey" shelled targets along the DMZ. On 13 March the battleship departed the gunline bound for
Subic Bay. She returned to action on 20 March, operating near Cam Ranh Bay in support of the Republic of Korea's Ninth Infantry Division. For the next week "New Jersey" patrolled the waters between Phan Thiet and Tuy Hoa, shelling targets of opportunity along the coast. On 28 March "New Jersey" took up station south of the DMZ to aid the 3rd Marine Division, remaining there until 1 April, whereupon "New Jersey" departed for Japan.
Post Vietnam War (1969–1982)
Her first Vietnam combat tour completed, "New Jersey" departed Subic Bay 3 April 1969 for Japan. She arrived at Yokosuka for a two-day visit, sailing for the United States 9 April. Her homecoming, however, was to be delayed. On the 15th, while "New Jersey" was still at sea, North Korean jet fighters shot down an unarmed
EC-121 Constellationelectronic surveillance plane over the Sea of Japan, killing its entire crew. A carrier task force was formed and sent to the Sea of Japan, while "New Jersey" was ordered to come about and steam toward Japan. On the 22nd she arrived once more at Yokosuka, and immediately put to sea in readiness for what might befall.
As the crisis eased, "New Jersey" was released to continue her interrupted voyage. She anchored at Long Beach 5 May 1969, her first visit to her home port in eight months. Through the summer months, "New Jersey"'s crew toiled to make her ready for another deployment, and deficiencies discovered on the gun line were remedied. According to official reports, though, reasons of economy were to dictate otherwise: on 22 August 1969 the
United States Secretary of Defensereleased a list of names of ships to be inactivated; at the top of the list was "New Jersey". [Persistent rumors have suggested that the real reason that "New Jersey" was decommissioned had to do with the Paris Peace Talks, some source suggest that the Vietnamese would not meet with U.S. representatives unless "New Jersey" was removed from the gunline, other sources suggest that the Vietnamese offered to meet with representatives of the United States if "New Jersey" was returned to the states. No compelling evidence exists to support or refute these claims.] Five days later, Captain Snyder was relieved of command by Captain Robert C. Peniston.
Assuming command of a ship already earmarked for the "
mothball fleet", Captain Peniston and his crew prepared for their task. "New Jersey" got underway on the voyage 6 September, departing Long Beach for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. She arrived on the 8th, and began preinactivation overhaul to ready herself for decommissioning. On 17 December 1969 "New Jersey"'s colors were hauled down and she entered the inactive fleet, still echoing the words of her last commanding officer: "Rest well, yet sleep lightly; and hear the call, if again sounded, to provide fire power for freedom."
As part of President
Ronald Reagan's Navy Secretary John Lehman's effort to create a 600-ship Navy, "New Jersey" was reactivated in 1982 and moved under tow to the Long Beach Naval Shipyardfor modernization. At the time of the reactivation the Navy envisioned using "New Jersey" and her sister ship "Iowa" to meet sustained global requirements and relieve the strain on the Navy created by an increase in U.S. commitments to the Indian Oceanand Caribbean Searegions. During this time the Navy developed several proposals to update their battleships to carry cruise missiles and anti-ship missile, as well as point defense system mounts. Preliminary modernizations schemes included the removal of four of the ten 5 in gun mounts on "New Jersey" to make room for the armored box launchers that would be required to carry and launch the BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles.cite web |url=http://archive.gao.gov/f0102/115403.pdf |format=pdf |title=Update of the Issues Concerning the Proposed Reactivation of the Iowa class battleships and the Aircraft Carrier Oriskany |accessdate=2005-05-25 |publisher=United States General Accounting Office |date= 1981-04-20|pages=pp. 3–18] [At the time "New Jersey" was scheduled to undergo modernization the Tomahawk missile system had not yet been introduced for use in the field; however, the Navy announced plans to include the updates that would be needed for "New Jersey" to use the Tomahawk system while undergoing her modernization. cite web | url =http://archive.gao.gov/f0102/115403.pdf | title = Update of the Issues Concerning the Proposed Reactivation of the Iowa Class Battleships and the Aircraft Carrier Oriskany | format = PDF date |publisher = United States General Accounting Office | 20 April 1981 | accessdate = 2007-06-08] At one point the NATO Sea Sparrowwas to be installed on the reactivated battleships; however, it was determined that the system could not withstand the overpressure effects when firing the main battery. [Statement by Admiral Rowden in the "Department of Defense Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1982".]
"New Jersey"'s modernization was unique in that she was to be the only reactivated "Iowa"-class battleship to lose a gun turret. At the time the Navy made the announcement plans were underway to remove "New Jersey"
's #3 16 in gun turret (located in the aft). In its place the Navy planned to install one of two systems: a vertical launching missile magazine which would have enabled "New Jersey" to carry an additional 48 Tomahawk or Harpoon missiles, or using the space generated by a removed gun turret for aircraft related updates centering on VTOLor V/STOLtype aircraft; however these ideas were ultimately dropped, and "New Jersey" retained her #3 Gun Turret during her 1980s career.
Over the next several months the ship was upgraded with the most advanced weaponry available; among the new weapons systems installed were four MK 141 quad cell launchers for 16 AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, eight Armored Box Launcher (ABL) mounts for 32
BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles, and a quartet of the United States Navy's Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS) gatling guns for defense against enemy anti-ship missiles and enemy aircraft.cite book | last =Johnston, Ian & McAuley, Rob | title =The Battleships | publisher =Channel 4 Books (an imprint of Pan Macmillian, LTD) | year =2002 | location =London | pages =page 183 | url = http://www.panmacmillan.com/ | id =ISBN 0752261886] cite book | last =Holland | first =W. J. | title =The Navy | publisher = Barnes & Noble, Inc., by arrangement with Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc. | year =2004 | location =China | pages =page 184 | id =ISBN 076076218X] "New Jersey" also received eight RQ-2 Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which are remotely controlled drones that replaced the helicopters previously used to spot for her nine 16"/50 Mark 7 guns.cite web |publisher =The Warfighter's Encyclopedia |title= Aircraft: RQ-2 Pioneer|url = https://wrc.navair-rdte.navy.mil/warfighter_enc/aircraft/UAVs/pioneer.htm|accessdate=2007-06-08] Also included in her modernization were upgrades to radarand fire control systems for her guns and missiles, and improved electronic warfarecapabilities.
Because "New Jersey" had been recalled for service in the Vietnam War her modernization differed from her sisters for a number of reasons. When reactivated in 1967 "New Jersey" had her 20 mm Oerlikon and 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns removed, and received improved electronic warfare capabilities. This alteration help speed up the time it took get "New Jersey" recommissioned: since she was not in her World War II format the only major physical alteration to "New Jersey" involved the removal of four of her ten 5 in gun mounts to make room for the Armored Box Launchers.cite web | title = BB-61 IOWA-class (Specifications)|url = http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/bb-61.htm |publisher=
Federation of American Scientists|accessdate=2006-11-26] [By comparison "Iowa", "Missouri", and "Wisconsin" had to be stripped of their 20 mm Oerlikon and 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns, in addition to the removal of four of their ten 5 in guns.] In addition to saving time, this also made "New Jersey" cheaper to reactivate since the cost needed to modernize the battleship only included the addition of missile and gun system mounts, electronic warfare suits, and improved radar and gun spotter technology. [The estimated cost of reactivating "New Jersey" with her gun turrets intact was $326 million, vs the estimated $392 million to reactivate "Iowa". cite web | url = http://archive.gao.gov/f0102/115403.pdf |format = PDF | publisher = United States General Accounting Office | title = Update of the Issues Concerning the Proposed Reactivation of the Iowa Class Battleships and the Aircraft Carrier Oriskany | date = 20 April 1981| accessdate=2007-06-08]
Since the Tomahawk missile system had not yet been adopted for use during "New Jersey"'s original update the Navy announced plans to divert assests from two of their sclass|Spruance|destroyers to install the necessary Tomahawk launchers. Similarly, assets were diverted from two "Farragut"-class
guided missile destroyers to allow for the installation of Harpoon launchers on "New Jersey".
On 28 December 1982 "New Jersey" was formally recommissioned at Long Beach, California, her new homeport. The recommissioning of "New Jersey" marked a return of the world's last battleships after a 13-year absence from the world's oceans. ["New Jersey" decommissioned in 1969, then was the first to be recommissioned under the 600-ship Navy program. cite web |url=http://navysite.de/bb/bb62.htm |title=USS New Jersey (BB 62) |publisher=navysite.de|accessdate=2005-05-27 ]
Lebanese Civil War (1983–1984)
In 1983, a bloody civil war was raging in
Lebanon. In an effort to stop the violence in the region a Multinational Force of peacekeepers comprised largely of U.S. and French armed service members was created and sent to the region to attempt a restoration of order. As part of the multinational force the United States mobilized an expeditionary force composed of members of the United States Marine Corpsand elements of the United States Sixth Fleet which operated out of the Mediterranean Sea.cite web |url=http://historiccamdencounty.com/ccnews17.shtml |title=Launch your own missile from Battleship New Jersey: Warship Museum Prepares New 'Interactive' Combat Control Center
accessdate=2007-05-21 |last=Levins |first=Hoag |publisher=HistoricCamdenCounty.com|date=
On April 18 1983 a van carrying a 2,000 pound load of explosives, slammed into the US embassy in West Beirut, killing 63.
In August 1983,
Israelwithdrew its Defense Forces from the Chouf District(southeast of Beirut), thus removing the buffer between the Druzeand the Christianmilitias and triggering another round of brutal fighting. In August 1983 militiamen began to bombard United States Marines positions near Beirut International Airport with mortar and rocket fire as the Lebanese Army fought Druze and Shia forces in the southern suburbs of Beirut. On August 29, 1983, two Marines were killed and fourteen wounded, and in the ensuing months the Marines came under almost daily attack from artillery, mortar, rocket, and small-arms fire. cite web |url= http://web.archive.org/web/20070523203345/http://www.cedarland.org/war.html |title=The Lebanese War, Lebanese Civil War (subsection:The Israeli Defense Forces Withdrawal and the Mountain War) |accessdate=2007-05-25 |publisher=cederland.org ] After this attact the Marines began returning fire. The Reagan Administration decided to send over the New Jersey, a decision the Marines cheered. [cite news| url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,949807-2,00.html
title=Listening for That Whistle| accessdate=2008-10-09 |author=Roberto Suro; Kenneth W. Banta date=
1983-09-26| publisher=Time Magazine]
On 16 September 1983 Druze forces massed on the threshold of
Suk El Gharb, a village defended by the Lebanese Army. Suk El Gharb was a village with strategic importance: the militias coming up from the south had to traverse Suk El Gharb to get to the Beirut-Aley road. Moreover, Suk El Gharb controlled a ridge that overlooked Baabda, Yarze, which was the location of the Ministry of Defence, and East Beirut. From that ridge, the Militia gunners could shoot directly downhill at those locations with artillery.. United States Navy warships shelled Druze positions and helped the Lebanese Army hold the town of Suk El Gharb until a cease-fire was declared on September 25, on which day the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey arrived on the scene. .
On 28 November — after 23 October,
1983 Beirut barracks bombing— the U.S. government announced that "New Jersey" would be retained off Beirut although her crew would be rotated. On 14 December, "New Jersey" fired 11 projectiles from her 16 inch (406 mm) guns at hostile positions inland of Beirut. These were the first 16 inch (406 mm) shells fired for effect anywhere in the world since "New Jersey" ended her time on the gunline in Vietnam in 1969. cite web |url=http://navysite.de/bb/bb62.htm |title=USS New Jersey (BB 62) |publisher=navysite.de|accessdate=2005-05-27] This shelling was in response to attacks on U.S. reconnaissance planes by Syrian/Druze antiaircraft batteries. [cite news|url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,926419,00.html |title=Familiar Fingerprints| accessdate=2008-10-05 |author=Barry Hillenbrand, William E. Smith and Dean Brelis| publisher=Time Magazine]
On 8 February 1984, "New Jersey" fired almost 300 shells at Druze and Syrian positions in the
Bekaa valleyeast of Beirut. Some 30 of these massive projectiles rained down on a Syrian command post, killing the general commanding Syrian forces in Lebanon and several other senior officers. This was the heaviest shore bombardment since the Korean War.
Although "New Jersey" performed her job expertly during the intervention in Lebanon some have criticized the decision to have "New Jersey" shell Druze and Syrian forces. Members of this camp allege that this action forced a shift in the previously neutral U.S. forces by convincing local Lebanese Muslims that the United States had taken the Christian side; [cite web |url=http://countrystudies.us/lebanon/104.htm |title=Lebanon - United States |accessdate=2007-05-25 |author=U.S. Library of Congress] "New Jersey"'s shells had killed hundreds of people, mostly Shiites and Druze. [cite web |url=http://www.debianhelp.org/node/1183 |title=Do it now. For Israel |accessdate=2005-05-25 |last=Glass |first=Charles |year=2006 |month=July |authorlink=Charles Glass|publisher=debianhelp.org] In his memoir, General
Colin Powell(at the time an assistant to Caspar Weinberger) noted that "When the shells started falling on the Shiites, they assumed the American ‘referee’ had taken sides." [cite web |url=http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/032507.html |title=Fatal Flaws of Bush's 'Tough-Guy-ism' |accessdate=2005-05-25 |last=Parry |first=Robert |year=2007 |month=March |publisher=Consortiumnews.com] [Powell, Colin A. and Joseph Persico, "My American Journey", Ballantine, ISBN 0-345-40728-8]
The accuracy of "New Jersey's" guns was also called into question. An investigation into "New Jersey's" gunfire effectiveness in Lebanon, led by Marine Colonel Don Price, found that many of the ship's shells had missed their targets by as much as convert|10000|yd|m|-1. Tim McNulty, a correspondent for the "
Chicago Tribune" based in Lebanon said, "Everybody loved the "New Jersey" until she fired her guns. Once she fired, it was obvious she couldn't hit anything." [cite book | last = Thompson II | first = Charles C. | coauthors = | year = 1999 | title = A Glimpse of Hell: The Explosion on the USS Iowa and Its Cover-Up | publisher = W. W. Norton | location = | id = ISBN 0393047148, p. 140. The accuracy problem was apparently because the old powder had been remixed in a giant vat and then rebagged. Powder lots burn at a different rate, so remixing and rebagging different powder lots could make large artillery accuracy extremely inconsistent (Thompson, p. 140).]
Post-Lebanese deployment (1984–1990)
In 1986 "New Jersey" began her next deployment, this time operating as part of the Pacific Fleet and as the centerpiece of her own
battleship battle group(BBBG). This was first time that "New Jersey" had operational control of her own battleship battle group since the Korean War, and she cruised with her escorts from Hawaii to Thailandin 1986, freeing up U.S. aircraft carriers for other missions and in the process becoming the only major U.S. naval presence in the region from May to October.cite web |url=http://www.ussnewjersey.org/general/ship_move1.htm |title=History of the USS New Jersey, BB-62 |accessdate=2007-06-01 |last=Mooney |first=James L. |work=Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. V |publisher=United States Navy |pages=pp. 60–63]
Following an overhaul at Long Beach which lasted in to 1988 "New Jersey" returned to the Pacific Ocean, this time operating as part of a surface action group. The battleship operated near the coast of Korea prior to the opening of the
1988 Summer Olympicsin Seoul, South Korea, then departed for Australia to participate in the Australian bicentennial celebrations.
In April 1989, as "New Jersey" was preparing for her last operational cruise, sister ship USS|Iowa|BB-61|2 suffered a catastrophic explosion in her #2 gun turret; fallout from the incident led U.S. Naval officials to freeze
live fire exercises with the guns until the investigation in to the explosion was concluded. Eventually, the ban was lifted and "New Jersey" was allowed to use her big guns again.
The last cruise of the battleship "New Jersey" began in 1989 as part of Pacific Exercise '89. Upon completion of the exercise "New Jersey" sailed through the Indian Ocean and into the Persian Gulf, in the process becoming the centerpiece for various battle groups and surface action groups. "New Jersey" remained in the Persian Gulf for the rest of the year, returning to the United States in February 1990.
Reserve Fleet & Museum Ship (1991–present)
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and the lack of a perceived threat against the United States came drastic cuts to the defense budget, and the high cost of maintaining battleships as part of the active fleet became uneconomical; as a result, "New Jersey" was decommissioned for the final time at
Naval Station Long Beach, California, on 8 February 1991. The decision to decommission "New Jersey" robbed the battleship of the chance to participate in the 1991 Gulf War; the air and land war (codenamed Operation Desert Storm) had already begun and sister ships USS|Missouri|BB-63|2 and USS|Wisconsin|BB-64|2 were engaging Iraqi targets with Tomahawk missiles at the time of "New Jersey"'s decommissioning. Following her decommissioning "New Jersey" was towed to Bremerton, Washington, where she remained in reserve until struck from the Naval Vessel Registerin January 1995.
Section 1011 of the
National Defense Authorization Actof 1996 required the United States Navy to reinstate to the Naval Vessel Register two of the "Iowa"-class battleships that had been struck by the Navy in 1995; these ships were to be maintained in the United States Navy reserve fleets (or "mothball fleet"). The Navy was to ensure that both of the reinstated battleships were in good condition and could be reactivated for use in the Marine Corps' amphibious operations.cite web |url=http://www.nist.gov/director/ocla/Public_Laws/PL104-106.pdf |format=pdf |title=National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 1996(Subtitle B-Naval Vessels and Shipyards |publisher=National Institute of Standards and Technology|accessdate=2005-05-26 |date= 1996-02-10|page=422] Due to USS|Iowa|BB-61|2's damaged Turret 2 the Navy selected "New Jersey" for placement into the mothball fleet, even though the training mechanisms on "New Jersey"'s 16 in guns had been welded down. The cost to fix "New Jersey" was considered less than the cost to fix "Iowa"; as a result, "New Jersey" and "Wisconsin" were reinstated to the Naval Vessel Register and placed back in the reserve fleet."New Jersey" remained in mothball fleet until the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act of 1999 passed through the United States Congress18 October 1998. Section 1011 required the United States Secretary of the Navyto list and maintain "Iowa" and "Wisconsin" on the Naval Vessel Register, while Section 1012 required the Secretary of the Navy to strike "New Jersey" from the Naval Vessel Register and transfer the battleship to a not-for-profit entity in accordance with section 7306 of Title 10, United States Code. Section 1012 also required the transferee to locate the battleship in the State of New Jersey. [cite web |url=http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/olc/docs/1999NDAA.pdf |format=pdf |title=Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act of 1999 (Subtitle B-Naval Vessels and Shipyards) |accessdate=2007-03-12 |publisher=105th Congress, United States Senate and House of Representatives |pages=pp. 200–201] The Navy made the switch in January 1999, and on 12 September, "New Jersey" was towed by the tug "Sea Victory" from Bremerton, Washington to Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniafor restoration work in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in advance of her planned donation for use as a museum.cite web |url=http://www.battleshipnewjersey.org/history/milestone_dates.php |title=Battleship New Jersey |publisher=Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial|accessdate=2005-05-26]
Two competing requests for the battleships were filed, one by the USS New Jersey Battleship Commission of Bayonne, New Jersey, and one by the Home Port Alliance of Camden, New Jersey. Both teams worked hard to develop a comprehensive plan to operate and maintain the battleship as a museum. After a review of both of the submitted plans, the Navy selected the Home Port Alliance of Camden, New Jersey, as the battleship's final resting place. Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig made the announcement on 20 January 2000, [cite press release|url=http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/docs/b01202000_bt027-00.htm |title=SECNAV announces the Battleship New Jersey donation |publisher=Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)|accessdate=2005-05-26 |date=
2000-01-20|publisher=United States Navy] and on 15 October of that year "New Jersey" arrived at her final resting place on the Camden Waterfront.cite web |url=http://www.ussnewjersey.org/ |title=OFFICIAL Home of the world's most DECORATED BATTLESHIP |accessdate=2005-05-26 |publisher=USS New Jersey Veteran's, Inc] Shortly after her arrival "New Jersey" was opened to the public, officially beginning her new career as a museum ship with the name Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial. Self-guided, tour-guided and overnight encampments are offered on the floating museum. Overnight encampments, typically for the benefit of scouting organizations, offer the opportunity to sleep and eat in the original berths and mess decks.
In 1996 an attempt was made to add "New Jersey" to the New Jersey State Register of Historic Places; however the battleship was still owned by the Navy and was not in the State of New Jersey, and as a result the attempt failed. In 2004, a second attempt succeeded, and the State of New Jersey officially designated the battleship USS "New Jersey" a historical place.cite web |url=http://www.southjerseynews.com/battleship/m011104j.htm |title=Big J listed as historic place |accessdate=2005-05-26 |last=Comegno |first=Carol |date=
2004-01-11|publisher=Courier-Post] [cite web |url=http://www.state.nj.us/dep/hpo/hpb_summer2004.pdf |format=pdf |title=Historic Preservation Bulletin |accessdate=2005-05-26 |publisher=The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection: Historic Preservation Office |year=2004|page=p. 3] This cleared "New Jersey" for placement on the National Register of Historic Places, a list to which "New Jersey" was officially added 17 September 2004. [cite web |url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/iwisapi/explorer.dll?IWS_SCHEMA=NRIS1&IWS_LOGIN=1&IWS_REPORT=100000066 |title=National Register of Historic Places |accessdate=2005-05-26 |publisher=National Parks Service |authorlink=United States National Park Service ]
Among other awards, "New Jersey" earned the
Navy Unit Commendationfor Vietnam service and Presidential Unit Citations from the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea. She received nine battle stars for her World War II service, four for her service in the Korean conflict, two for her service in the Vietnam War, and four for service in Lebanon and the Persian Gulf region. Due to her outstanding service record "New Jersey" holds the unique distinction of being the most decorated battleship in naval history.
The world wonders
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*Adamson, Hans Christian, and George Francis Kosco. "Halsey's Typhoons: A Firsthand Account of How Two Typhoons, More Powerful than the Japanese, Dealt Death and Destruction to Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet." New York: Crown Publishers, 1967.
*Calhoun, C. Raymond. "Typhoon, The Other Enemy: The Third Fleet and the Pacific Storm of December, 1944". ©1981.
*Comegno, Carol. "The Battleship USS New Jersey: From Birth to Berth". Pediment Pub, 2001. ISBN 1-891395-76-9
*Hoyt, Edwin Palmer. "The Typhoon that Stopped a War." New York: D. McKay Co., 1968.
*Naval Historical Foundation. "The Navy". Hugh Lauter Levin Associates. ISBN 0-88363-100-8
*Paul Chan, Ian and McAuley, Rob. "The Battleships". Channel 4 Books, London ISBN 0-7522-6188-6
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/62d.htm NAVSOURCE Photo Gallery: Numerous photographs of USS "New Jersey"]
* [http://www.battleshipnewjersey.org/ Battleship New Jersey museum]
* [http://www.nj2bb.org/ Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station]
* [http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/us_navy_pages/uss_new_jersey_bb62.htm Maritimequest USS New Jersey BB-62 Photo Gallery]
* [http://battleships.freewebsitehosting.com/NJersey.html World War II Battleship Site Entry for USS "New Jersey"]
* [http://www.williammaloney.com/Aviation/BattleshipUSSNewJersey/index.html USS New Jersey] Photos on board the Battleship USS New Jersey
* [http://www.hnsa.org/ships/bbnj.htm HNSA Ship Page: USS New Jersey]
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