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Page 8 text:
In the 1980s, the experts were proved
wrong. The high speed and fire that
served New Jersey well in World War II
was needed again. Development of the
cruise missile and the Navy's requirement
to get them to sea meant a new role had
developed for the battleship. As a missile
carrier she would have a strike weapon
with a long lethal reach and still be a
capable heavily armored artillery
New Jersey s modernization began at
the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in
August 1981 The battleship was
outfitted with Tomahawk and Harpoon
cruise missiles the close in weapons
system ffor short range anti air defensel
modern electronic warfare gear radars
boilers were converted to burn Navy
For the first time in almost forty years
the President commissioned a Naval ship
The most decorated ship in the Navy
New Jersey was commissioned for the
fourth time by President Reagan on
December 28 1982 The President said
that being aboard the battleship reminded
him of being on the set of Operation
Hellcat then echoed the
decommissioning words of New Jersey's
last commanding officer before placing her
in commission for the fourth time.
Her shakedown cruise began in June,
1983. International tensions dictated that
it would be much more than a trial run.
I-Ier deployment- was diverted from the
Western Pacific to Central America and
then the Mediterranean to provide a
presence there She remained on station
off the coast of Beirut for the next six
months supporting Marines serving as a
contingent of the multi national peace
keeping force On three occasions New
Jersey fired her 16 inch guns in their
defense On February 8th 1984 she fired
288 rounds into the surrounding hills
Her presence in tandem with aircraft
couldnt be countered Conventional
measures against the ship would meet
with extremely heavy armor plating and
as it is generally thought merely bounce
off or cause superficial damage Her
rounds were not flown in by vulnerable
pilots in expensive Jets and a one ton
bullet could hardly be deterred from its
New Jersey finally came home to Long
Beach in May 1984 eleven months after
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and communication equipment, and the carrier groups was significant in that it
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departing on what was to be a three
New Jersey's next deployment was to
be significant for another reason. lt would
be the first deployment of a battleship
battle group since the Korean War. As
centerpiece of the battle group, New
Jersey and her escorts operated from
Hawaii to Thailand as the only United
States Naval presence in that area from
May to October, 1986.
The battleship battle group included
anti-air and anti-submarine warfare capable
cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and support
ships. It is not intended to replace an
aircraft carrier battle group, however in
areas of lesser enemy air and submarine
threat it complements the carriers with
the great and unique, fire power of her
missiles and 16-inch guns. As a result of
New Jerseyfs deployment, the battleship
battle group concept and the battleship
modernization program was validated and
is alive and well in today's Navy -
evidenced by the active presence of her
New Jersey's three sisters.
Cn July 9th, 1988, New Jersey
practiced a new concept, that of the
Surface Action Group. And so it
begins . . ,
Page 7 text:
Beginnings of the aft 16-inch gun turret, October, 1941. New
jersey fires her 16-inch guns during the bombardment of Tinian
Island, Marianas, june 1944. New jersey, second from bottom,
steams with the other lowas during the Korean War. New jersey
is towed to Long Beach, Ca. for refitting and reactivation, july,
found her in Guam. She steamed to
Japan for a look around and the
battle cry was HI-Iome James, don't
spare the boilers!" - a sentiment to
be felt more times than anyone might
have suspected in September, 1945.
The battleship settled into a routine
of midshipman training until she was
decommissioned in 1948.
Her high speed and fire power
were needed again in 1950 when war
broke out in Korea. The battleship
was recommissioned and on the firing
line at Wonsan by May 20th, 1951.
The next day, the battleship's uncanny
lucky streak was broken with her only
combat loss and unfriendly large
calibre hit when a five-inch shore
battery scored one near the aft 16-
inch gun turret and one man was
She served two tours of duty in
Korean waters providing heavy mobile
artillery in support of American and
United Nations forces. New Jersey
added four more battle stars.
D Following the 1953 armistice, the
battleship returned to the Atlantic
Fleet, via another tight squeeze
through the Panama Canal iwith about
two feet to sparelj. She operated
there until decommissioning in 1957.
The decade that followed was a
dark one for the gunned behemoths.
While they were in mothballs, the
Navy was making nuclear vessels and
bigger aircraft carriers to handle long-
range jets. Surface combatants traded
armor for agility. Missiles gradually
replaced guns. Aircraft carriers
became the Navy's stead and lead the
battle groups. The ship-to-ship, gun-to-
gun, close-range Hshowdowni' concept
became outdated, and so, it seemed,
did the battleships designed for it.
But there was still one mission that
a battleship could accomplish more
efficiently that any other craft: shore
bombardment. The battleship left her
three sisters and was recommissioned
to fill that role off the coast of
Vietnam on April 6th, 1968. She was
outfitted with improved electronics
gear and her light antiaircraft guns
were removed. Although parts of her
were still in mothballs, she was back
in her environment . During her one-
year tour as the world's last active
battleship, she obliterated VietCong
targets with over 10,000 rounds,
including 3,000 16-inch bullets. When
she left, she had another two battle
stars and a Navy Commendation
Medal to her credit.
Despite objections from some Army
and Marine Vietnam veterans, political
and budgetary reasons determined
that the New Jersey would be
decommissioned December 17th,
1969. Her commanding officer
regretfully retired her with the words,
"Rest well, yet sleep lightly, and hear
the call, if again sounded, to provide
fire power for freedom."
They were hopeful words, but most
experts would agree that the
battleship age was over.
Page 9 text:
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New Jersey lights the night during WestPac '86.
The battleship underwent a seven month drydock
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