The USS New Jersey is one of the four battleships in the Iowa class; the largest, fastest, and the heaviest armored with the most firepower of any other battleship the United States Navy every produced.
Named in honor of the U.S. State of New Jersey, the battleship (BB-62) served in every major U.S. war of the latter half of the 20th century.
With a displacement of 45,000 tons, length of 887 feet, and width of 108 feet,
New Jersey’s main battery consisted of nine 16″/50 caliber Mark 7 guns, which could hurl 2,700 lb armor piercing shells 24 miles. Her secondary battery consisted of ten 5″/38 caliber guns, which could fire at targets up to 9 miles (14 km) away. She was also fitted with an array of Oerlikon 20 mm and Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns to defend allied carriers from enemy airstrikes.
Beyond her imposing size and firepower, the “Big J” has an unmatched record of service to her country. In World War II, she defended aircraft carriers and shelled Japanese positions. During the Korean War, the battleship provided artillery support for UN forces fighting against North Korea. In 1968, the battleship saw action in the Vietnam War and shelled Communist targets for U.S. forces near the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone.
She has received nine battle stars for World War II; four for the Korean conflict; and two for Vietnam, and three Campaign Stars for service off Beirut, Lebanon and service in the Persian Gulf, prior to Operation Desert Storm. With a total of Nineteen Battle and Campaign Stars, New Jersey is America’s most decorated battleship and surviving warship.
In January 2000, Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig announced that the battleship would be donated to Home Port Alliance of Camden, New Jersey, for use as a museum and open for tours, events and overnight encampments.
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For more information visit The Battleship New Jersey Website