U.S. Navy Battleships - USS New Jersey (BB 62)
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Displacement: 57,271 tons
Speed: 33 knots
Armament: Nine 16" guns; twenty 5" guns
Text from The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships published by the Naval Historical Center
The second New Jersey (BB-62) was launched 7 December 1942 by
the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard; sponsored by Mrs. Charles
Edison, wife of Governor Edison of New Jersey, former Secretary
of the Navy; and commissioned at Philadelphia 23 May 1943,
Captain Carl F. Holden in command.
New Jersey completed fitting out and trained her initial crew in
the Western Atlantic and Caribbean. On 7 January 1944 she passed
through the Panama Canal war-bound for Funafuti, Ellice Islands.
She reported there 22 January for duty with the Fifth Fleet, and
three days later rendezvoused with Task Group 58.2 for the
assault on the Marshall Islands. New Jersey screened the
carriers from enemy attack as their aircraft flew strikes
against Kwajalein and Eniwetok 29 January - 2 February, softening
up the latter for its invasion and supporting the troops who
landed 31 January.
New Jersey began her distinguished career as a flagship 4
February in Majuro Lagoon when Admiral Raymond A. Spruance,
commanding the Fifth Fleet, broke his flag from her main. Her
first action as a flagship was a bold two-day surface and air
strike by her task force against the supposedly impregnable
Japanese fleet base on Truk in the Carolines. This blow was
coordinated with the assault on Kwajalein, and effectively
interdicted Japanese naval retaliation to the conquest of the
Marshalls. On 17 and 18 February; the task force accounted for
two Japanese light cruisers, four destroyers, three auxiliary
cruisers, two submarine tenders, two submarine chasers, an armed
trawler, a plane ferry, and 23 other auxiliaries, not including
small craft. New Jersey destroyed a trawler and, with other
ships, sank destroyer Maikaze, as well as firing on an enemy
plane which attacked her formation. The task force returned to
the Marshalls 19 February.
Between 17 March and 10 April, New Jersey first sailed with Rear
Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's flagship USS Lexington (CV-16) for an air
and surface bombardment of Mille, then rejoined Task Group 58.2
for a strike against shipping in the Palaus, and bombarded
Woleai. Upon his return to Majuro, Admiral Spruance transferred
his flag to USS Indianapolis (CA-35).
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 Bay and Humboldt,
Bay, New Guinea, 22 April, then bombed shipping and shore
installations at Truk 29-30 April. New Jersey and her formation
splashed two enemy torpedo bombers at Truk. Her sixteen-inch
salvos pounded Ponape 1 May, destroying fuel tanks, badly
damaging the airfield, and demolishing a headquarters building.
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
downed an enemy torpedo bomber, and during the next two days her
heavy guns battered Saipan and Tinian, throwing steel against
the beaches the marines would charge 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 Sea as 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 doom 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 three Japanese carriers by submarines and aircraft,
and the damaging of two carriers and a battleship. The anti-
aircraft fire of New Jersey and the other screening ships proved
virtually impenetrable. Only two American ships were damaged,
and those but slightly. In this overwhelming victory but 17
American planes were lost to combat.
New Jersey's final contribution to the conquest of the Marianas
was in strikes on Guam and the Palaus from which she sailed for
Pearl Harbor, arriving 9 August. Here she broke the flag of
Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., 24 August, becoming flagship of
the Third Fleet. For the eight months after she sailed from
Pearl Harbor 30 August New Jersey was based at Ulithi. In this
climactic span of the Pacific War, fast carrier task forces
ranged the waters off the Philippines, Okinawa, and Formosa,
striking again and again at airfields, shipping, shore bases,
invasion beaches. New Jersey offered the essential protection
required by these forces, always ready to repel enemy air or
In September the targets were in the Visayas and the southern
Philippines, then Manila and 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 20 October 1944.
This invasion brought on the desperate, almost suicidal, last
great sortie of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Its plan for the
Battle for Leyte Gulf included a feint by 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 Bernadino Strait. At the
opening of the battle planes from the carriers guarded by USS 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 speed to meet the newly developed threat of the
Center force. It had been turned back in a stunning defeat when
New Jersey rejoined her fast carriers near San Bernadino 27
October 1944 for strikes on central and southern Luzon. Two days
later, the force was 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 USS Intrepid's (CV-
11) port gun galleries, while machine gun fire from Intrepid
wounded three of New Jersey's men. During a similar action 25
November three Japanese planes were splashed by the combined
fire of the force, part of one flaming onto USS Hancock's (CV-19)
flight deck. Intrepid was again attacked, shot down one would-be
suicide, 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) and hit another which smashed into
Cabot's port bow.
In December, New Jersey sailed with the USS Lexington (CV 16) task group for
air attacks on Luzon 14-16 December; then found herself in the
furious typhoon which sank three destroyers. Skillful seamanship
brought her through undamaged. She returned to Ulithi on
Christmas Eve to be met by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
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 Badger commanding
Battleship Division Seven.
In support of the assault on Iwo Jima, New Jersey screened the
USS Essex (CV-9) group in air attacks on the island 19-21 February,
and gave the same crucial service for the first major carrier
raid on Tokyo 25 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 Honshu, 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 vital battleship role of heavy
bombardment, preparing the invasion beaches for the assault a
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 Fifth Fleet under
Admiral Spruance. Brief stays at Manila and Okinawa preceded her
arrival in Tokyo Bay 17 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). New Jersey took
aboard nearly a thousand homeward-bound troops with whom she
arrived at San Francisco 10 February.
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 part
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 Naval Academy
and NROTC midshipmen 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, Scotland 23 June. She was the scene of
official receptions at Oslo, where King Haakon VII of Norway
inspected 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 One, 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.
New Jersey was recommissioned at Bayonne 21 November 1950,
Captain David M. Tyree in command. In the Caribbean she welded
her crew into an efficient body which would meet with
distinction the demanding requirements of the Korean War. She
sailed from Norfolk 16 April 1951 and arrived from Japan off the
east coast of Korea 17 May. Vice Admiral Harold M. Martin,
commanding the 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 carrier at Wonsan 20 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 hurled a weight of
steel, 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 aft to
Between 23 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 railroad facilities and
vehicles were smashed at Kansong. On 24 May, she lost one of her
helicopters when its crew pushed to the limit of their fuel
searching for a downed aviator. They themselves were able to
reach friendly territory and were later returned to their ship.
With Admiral 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 Seventh 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 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 an a three-day saturation of the Changjon area, 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, 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. Tenth 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, an two ammunition dumps
On 1 October 1951, General Omar Bradley, Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs; of Staff, and General Matthew B. Ridgeway, Commander in
Chief Far East, came on board to confer with Admiral Martin.
Between 1 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
destroying with five-inch fire a gun that straddled her. The
Kojo area was her target 16 October as she sailed in company
with HMS Belfast, pilots from HMAS Sydney spotting. The
operation was well-planned and coordinated ad excellent results
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 artillery positions, and in
smashing trenches and bunkers inflicted some 500 casualties.
New Jersey dashed up the North Korean coast raiding
transportation facilities from 1 to 6 November. She struck at
bridges, road and rail installations at Wonsan, Hungnam,
Tanchon, Iowon, Songjin, and Chongjin, and left smoking behind
her 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 Peninsula
11 and 13 November, New Jersey completed this tour of duty.
Relieved as flagship by USS Wisconsin (BB-64), 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 relived
USS Missouri (BB-63) as flagship of Vice Admiral Joseph H. Clark,
Commander Seventh Fleet. Chongjin felt the weight of her shells
12 April, as New Jersey returned to action; in seven minutes she
scored seven direct hits, blowing away half the main
communications building there. At Pusan two days later, New Jersey manned her rails to welcome the President of the Republic
of Korea and Madame Rhee, and American Ambassador Ellis O.
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 Harbor 20 April, silencing
them in five areas after she had herself taken several near
misses. Songjin provided targets 23 April. Her New Jersey scored
six direct 16-inch hits on a railroad tunnel and knocked out two
New Jersey added her muscle to a major air and surface strike on
Wonsan 1 May, as Seventh 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 Kalmagak at Wonsan was her target.
Her tenth birthday, 23 May 1953, was celebrated at Inchon with
President and Madame Rhee, Lieutenant General Maxwell D. Taylor,
and other dignitaries on board. Two days later New Jersey was
all war once more, returning to the west coast at Chinampo to
knock out harbor defense positions.
The battleship was under fire at Wonsan 27-29 May, but her five-
inch 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 ammunition dump.
New Jersey returned to the key task of direct support to troops
at Kosong 7 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. Then it was
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
At Wonsan 11-12 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 slammed away 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 22-24 July to support
South Korean troops near Kosong. These days found her gunners at
their most accurate and the devastation wrought was impressive.
A large cave, housing an important enemy observation post was
closed, the end of a month-long United Nations effort. A great
many bunkers, artillery areas, observation posts, trenches,
tanks and other weapons were destroyed.
At sunrise 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 whaleboat in 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.
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 16 September to
present the Korean Presidential Unit Citation to the Seventh
Relieved as flagship at Yokosuka by USS Wisconsin 14 October, New Jersey was homeward bound the next day, reaching Norfolk 14
November. During, the next two summers she crossed the Atlantic
with midshipmen on 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 Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her
ports of call included Gibraltar, Valencia, Cannes, Istanbul,
Suda 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 Annapolis 31 July. New Jersey sailed for
Europe once more 27 August as flagship of Vice Admiral Charles
Wellborn, Jr., Commander Second Fleet. She called at Lisbon,
participated in NATO exercises off Scotland, and paid an
official visit to Norway where 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.
New Jersey's third career began 6 April 1968 when she
recommissioned at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Captain J. Edward
Snyder in command. Fitted with improved electronics and a
helicopter landing pad and with her 40-millimeter battery
removed, she was tailored for use as a heavy bombardment ship.
Her 16-inch guns, it was expected, would reach targets in
Vietnam inaccessible to smaller naval guns and, in foul weather,
safe from aerial attack.
New Jersey, now the world's only active battleship, departed
Philadelphia 16 May, calling at Norfolk and transiting the
Panama Canal before arriving at her new home port of Long Beach,
Calif., 11 June. Further training off southern California
followed. On 24 July New Jersey received 16-inch shells and
powder tanks from Mount Katmai (AE-16) by conventional highline
transfer and by helicopter lift, the first time heavy battleship
ammunition had been transferred by helicopter at sea.
Departing Long Beach 3 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. Firing against
Communist targets in and near the so-called Demilitarized Zone
(DMZ), her big guns destroyed two gun positions and two supply
areas. She fired against targets north of the DMZ the following
day, rescuing the crew of a spotting plane forced down at sea by
The next six months self into a steady pace of bombardment and
fire support missions along the Vietnamese coast, broken only by
brief visits to Subic Bay and replenishment operations at sea.
In her first two months on the gun line, New Jersey directed
nearly ten thousand rounds of ammunition at Communist targets;
over: 3,000 of these shells were 16-inch projectiles.
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 Constellation electronic 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 lessened, 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.
Deficiencies discovered on the gun line were remedied, as all
hands looked forward to another opportunity to prove the mighty
warship's worth in combat. Reasons of economy were to dictate
otherwise. On 22 August 1969 the Secretary of Defense released a
list of names of ships to be inactivated; at the top of the list
was New Jersey. 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
melancholy task. New Jersey got underway on her last 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."
New Jersey was recommissioned at Long Beach, Calif., on 28 December 1982. She was modernized, receiving an installation of 16 Harpoon missiles, with a range of about 60 miles, and 32 Tomahawk missiles, with a range of about 500 miles.
In 1983, a bloody civil war was raging in Lebanon, and U.S. naval forces were offshore to protect U.S. interests and U.S. Marines who had landed in the war-torn country. On September 19, after a period in which U.S. ships fired when U.S. position were attacked, USS Virginia (CGN 38) and USS John Rogers (DD 983) fired 338 rounds from their 5-inch guns in support of Lebanese Army forces defending the strategically important village of Sug el Gharb in the Shouf Mountains east of Beirut. This signaled a shift in U.S. policy, and on 25 September, New Jersey took up station off Beirut.
On 28 November, 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 guns at hostile positions inland of Beirut. This is the first 16-inch shells fired for effect anywhere in the world since New Jersey ended her time on the gunline in Vietnam in 1969.
On 8 February 1984, New Jersey fired almost 300 shells at Druze and Syrian positions in the Bekka Valley east 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.
Reductions in budgets and the high-manning requirements of the battleship saw New Jersey decommissioned for the final time at the Naval Station Long Beach, Calif., on 8 February 1991 and then towed to Bremerton, Wash. On Sept. 12, 1999, the ship was towed by the tug Sea Victory from Bremerton to Philadelphia where it arrived on Nov. 11.
On 20 January 2000, Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig announced that the battleship would be donated to Home Port Alliance of Camden, N.J., for use as a museum.
New Jersey earned the Navy Unit Commendation for Vietnam service. She has received nine battle stars for World War II; four for the Korean conflict; and two for Vietnam.
Also see USS New Jersey (BB 16)
Updated: 29 July 2009