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Battleship New Jersey

Updated on April 23, 2013

What is so special about the USS New Jersey?

The Battleship New Jersey is a strong reminder of the sheer power of the naval battleship.

The battleship was surpassed as a power force projector a while back in favor of air superiority and missile power, but there is still a certain level of awe around these powerful ships.

Intro Photo Courtesy of

The Battleship hearkens back to the days of wooden decks and steel men. The time when having the biggest guns on the planet really meant something.

USS New Jersey holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. First and foremost is it is a reminder of the 20 years I spent in the Navy. I never got to sail on a battleship, since the New Jersey and the few other remaining Iowa Class Battleships were decommissioned within my first two years of service. But having seen a battleship underway, it projects a certain awe conventional ships cannot match.

Growing up in New Jersey, it also holds a place in my heart because it represents my state. It is the one ship i really wish I had gotten a chance to serve on. There is just something special about the massive power of the battleship

In this Battle Ship New Jersey lens I have tried to collect a lot of fun Battleship information for you. Some about the New Jersey, some about the other battleships that can now be visited as museums.

I also have tried to put a lot of photos, with links to a ton of further information on the USS New Jersey and other Battleships of World War II (and beyond). Finally there are quite a few links to special battleship memorabilia. I hope you enjoy this Battleship New Jersey lens.

There is just something special about the power and majesty of a battleship. Enjoy!

History of the Battleship New Jersey

And Battleship New Jersey Specifications

Like most Battleships, The New Jersey had a storied career spanning from it's commissioning in World War II to it's final decommissioning in 1991. Along the way it went through numerous decommissioning, but it was always brought back when the country needed it, with a huge refit specifically in 1982, where it has upgraded with a host of modern (at the time) weapons systems.

The New Jersey was the single most decorated battleship in the history of the United States. The ship earned a total of 19 combat stars for action in American Wars and was part of the fighting in quite a few wars. It saw service and combat quite a few of America's wars including, World War II, the Lebanese Civil War, Vietnam conflict, the Korean War and the Gulf war (I).

During World War II, the New Jersey served as the flagship of two of the Navy's greatest admirals. First it was the flagship of Admiral Raymond Spruance and acted as the flagship of the 5th fleet. Next the New Jersey transferred to the command of Admiral Bill Halsey and the 3rd Fleet, where it was also made the flagship.

The New Jersey was Decommissioned after World War II, but it was recommissioned for consecutive service in both Korea and Vietnam, and saw significant action in both wars. During the vietnam conflict the New Jersey, once again decommissioned at the start of the war, was reactivated as the only Battleship in the US fleet, and provided gunfire support in the Vietnam war.

In 1982, Battleships were recommissioned as part of the drive to create a 600 ship fleet. The New Jersey was one of these ships and got a major overhaul in weaponry. Getting a lot of the radar, missile and weapon systems of a modern day cruiser. After this it saw action two more times, in the 1983 Lebanese civil war and the first Gulf War.

In February of 1991, the New Jersey was once again decommissioned. It was, for a time, added to the Navy's "mothball fleet" which is tantamount to a standby status in case a ship need to be recommissioned, as the New Jersey had numerous times before. In 1999 the New Jersey was finally fully retired when it was completely struck from the reserve ship list. With a little work it was moved to Camden, New Jersey and made into a Naval Museum.

USS New Jersey Specifications

Commissioned: 23/5/43

Decommissioned: 8/2/91

Length: 887 feet

Width: 108.2 ft

Displacement: 45,000 tons

Armament from 1943

9-16 inch guns

20- 5 inch guns

80 Ã 40 mm anti-aircraft guns

49 Ã 20 mm anti-aircraft guns

Armament from 1968:

9-16 inch guns

20- 5 inch guns

Armament from 1968:

9-16 inch guns

20- 5 inch guns

32- Cruise Missiles (Tomahawk)

16- Anti-Ship missiles (Harpoon)

4 - 20mm Phalanx Weapons (CIWS)

USS New Jersey Firing Exercise

USS New Jersey Firing Exercise
USS New Jersey Firing Exercise

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

When you think of a battleship, you probably think of two things. Incredible firepower, and amazing armor. These ships were the ultimate pinnacle of sea warfare from an older age.

From back before the days of the Spanish Armada some of the most important facets of naval warfare was how much artillery your could bring upon the enemy and how good your defenses were. In other words, how much punishment you could dish out, and how much punishment you could take.

Battleship are huge and much of the size is due to the huge guns it carries and the amazing amount of armor. This of it this way... although the thickness of the armor varies, most of the ship has nearly 1 foot of armor. That is quite a "thick skin".

Image courtesy of

With 9 -16" guns, 80- 5" guns, a plethora of anti-aircraft and anti-personnel weapons, and ultimately anti-ship and cruise missiles added in the 1980's retrofit, the Iowa Class Battleship is the unquestioned pinnacle of this type of "slug it out" firepower. While air-superiority and missile control may rule the sea on ships today, it is unlikely that there will ever be the raw firepower of these massive ships again.

Battleships have changed greatly keeping up with the rapid changes of technology of the 20th century. The original name of "the Battleship" was taken from the old phrase from the Age of Sail, where the biggest toughest ships were known as "ships of the line of battle".

This term was sometimes used for iron-clad ships in the 1880's-1900's. But in 1906 the HMS dreadnaught was built. This revolutionized battleship design and many ships followed the Dreadnaught's style of superior firepower and thick armaments.

Photo Courtesy of

The sheer firepower and capability too do massive shore bombardment with a Battleship led them to become a potent symbol of a nation's might and ability to project Sea Power from the 1920's to World War II.

Eventually the game changed when it came to projecting sea power. Aircraft, missiles and stealth (submarines) grew in importance while the sheer power of battleship began to wane. Still there is a certain majesty and power that is obvious the moment you gaze on these giant ships. If you really want to bring the biggest gun to a gunfight, you need a battleship. They may be antiquated by modern standards of firepower, but they still are a very impressive collection of ships.

Battleship New Jersey Poll #1

Have you ever visited the USS New Jersey?

See results

USS New Jersey, BB-62 24"x36" Poster

USS New Jersey Ballcap
USS New Jersey Ballcap

This is the type of ballcap worn with all navy uniforms for each and every ship in the US Fleet. The price is just about what you would find at a Navy Exchange. So it is a good deal and a wonderful piece of real memorabilia.

U.S. Navy USS New Jersey BB-62 Pin 1"
U.S. Navy USS New Jersey BB-62 Pin 1"

A small pin of the USS New Jersey that makes a great souvenir

Tamiya Us Navy Battleship New Jersey
Tamiya Us Navy Battleship New Jersey

Anyone who likes models, specifically models of military weapons is sure to love this 1/700th scale model of the New Jersey. With lifelike detail and great work, this is model every enthusiast will love.


Battleship New Jersey Books - Read more about the USS New Jersey

Battleship New Jersey Poll #2

Have you ever served in the US Navy

See results

History of the Battleship

All photo's courtesy of

BB-00 USS Maine

BB-01 USS Indiana

BB-39 USS Arizona

With the orderly numbering system of naval vessels it should be pretty clear that the first "real" battleship was the USS Indiana (BB01). The USS Maine -as in "Remember the Maine!" and the USS Texas are also sometimes considered earlier Battleships (BB00 and BB000, respectively)

Photo Courtesy of

This battleship was launched in 1895 and saw action in the Spanish-American War. While it has a lot less firepower than a modern day Frigate (not even counting missiles), for the time this vessel was really the king of the seas when it came to firepower and set the stage for battleships that continued to get bigger and more powerful.

After this battleship, thee naval engineers continued to improve the naval armament and the thick protection of steel of the Battleships. Newer and tougher designs battleships seemed to roll out every few years with many classes of battleships (ships of the same basic design) rolling out.

The Classes of Battleship:

BB-44 USS California

BB-60 USS Alabama

BB-62 NewJersey

3 photo's courtesy of

Indiana ClassKearsarge classIllinois classMaine classVirginia classConnecticut classMississippi classSouth Carolina classDelaware classFlorida classWyoming classNew York classNevada classPennsylvania classNew Mexico classTennessee classColorado classSouth Dakota classNorth Carolina classIowa class

The Battleship New Jersey was the second ship of the Iowa class. A updated class, the Montana Class, with even stronger armaments, was planned but World War II ended before the first keel was laid, and therefore this line of battleships was canceled.

Tour a Battleship:Check out some of the converted Battleship Museums

Under Siege - A movie taking place on the USS Missouri

Under Siege is a movie starring Steven Segal and Tommy Lee Jones that takes place onboard the "Might Mo", the USS Missouri Battleship. It is an interesting peek into life on a battleship, and while it is very "Hollywood" it does have some good scenes that were shot aboard the real Missouri.

Under Siege
Under Siege

Under siege has been described as "Die Hard on a Battleship". A description that fits it perfectly. This is probably Steven Segal's best work, and while it is not a drama that is going to touch all your emotions, it is a great action film.

Segal is quite good in this as a Navy Seal who was sent to become a cook, and through a series of circumstances attempts to single-handedly foil a plot to take over the Missouri. If you haven't seen it and you love action films it is definitely worth a look.


Battleship New Jersey Poll #3

What is the "best" battleship museum

See results

Battleship Memorabilia:Take a look at some great Battleship stuff

USS New Jersey Official Ballcap

USS Arizona Ballcap
USS Arizona Ballcap

A great hat to remember those who fell on Dec 7, 1941 in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

Embroidered USS Missouri Battle Ship cap hat, Black
Embroidered USS Missouri Battle Ship cap hat, Black

With the coming "Battleship" movie, everyone is going to want one of these offiical "Mighty Mo" caps

U.S. Navy Veteran Ballcap
U.S. Navy Veteran Ballcap

All veterans should get one of these to show the timely they have proudly served in the Navy, whether it was 2 years, or 30 years.

U.S. Navy Ballcap
U.S. Navy Ballcap

The basic standard navy ballcap. Remember it is not a "hat" it is a "cover"


USS New Jersey Official Embroidered Patch

Battleship Decals - Great Colored car window decals

A great way to show your appreciation for the ships and sailors that have fought for the US is with some of these cool window decals. These decals come in quite a few different hews and for many of the Iowa and South Dakota class ships.

They pretty much come in standard with both Black and white silhouette versions, but you can also find red, blue, purple and green versions of these battleship window decals

USS New Jersey Replica Model

Have you Served on a Battleship?

Are you a Navy Veteran?

Have you visited the USS New Jersey?

Have you Toured any other Battleships?

Do you have an opinion on this lens?

I would like to hear your questions, comments and observations. Please feel free to share whatever thoughts cross your mind. Thanks, in advance, for sharing!

Let me know your thoughts on the USS New Jersey - or any other Battleship

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Massachusettes, Alabama, Wisconsin museums. Just remembered 3 visits to the Arizona Memorial. Blessings from COUNTRYLUTHIER to a fellow navy vet!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens! Yep, visited the New Jersey.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Nicely done. I used to go to Open Day at Portsmouth Dockyards in England in the 70's, but we had already decommissioned our last battleship by then. The only remaining one is HMS Belfast which is moored by Tower Bridge in London. I visited her once, very impressive. The sheer size and fire power makes them amazing to watch in action, sadly now only possible through documentaries.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I served on the New Jersey from 1982-1985 as a 1st class Machinist Mate in # 4 Engine room

    • Bookmama2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome job on this. My husband and son have visited a couple of Battleships - one as part of Boy Scout Troop and one on their own.

      You should be proud of this lens and your own service. I "salute" your effort!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      6 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I have visited the USS NJ and this does a wonderful job of giving the history - excellent lens :>)

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 

      6 years ago

      Really excellent article!

    • Brandi Bush profile image


      6 years ago from Maryland

      Wow! A very excellent lens! Good luck in the Squidcademy Awards! ;)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What an amazing lens! I have learned a lot! thanks!

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 

      6 years ago

      Great lens. I have learned a lot here :)

    • Camden1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I have never toured a battleship, but all the information about the USS New Jersey really makes me want to. Thanks for such an informative article!

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      6 years ago

      I've toured a Canadian destroyer (why does that sound like an oxymoron?) but never a Battleship like USS New Jersey - although, having visited this page, I sure feel like I've toured one now! This is a spectacular effort. Very well done!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image


      6 years ago from New Jersey

      very nice photos!


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