The Unbelievable History Behind the Battleship USS New Jersey
On May 23rd, 1943, the battleship USS New Jersey was commissioned in Philadelphia. It had been launched the previous December and was what was known as an Iowa-Class battleship.
She became the flag ship for the Fifth Fleet under Admiral Spruance and served throughout World War II, screening carriers in the attack on the Marshall Islands (her first action), and participating in the shelling of Guam and Okinawa as well as the assault on the Marianas (where the Japanese lost some 400 aircraft), according to the history of the ship on its museums website.
She ultimately returned home to Bayonne and was decommissioned in 1948. She was recommissioned in 1950 to serve in the Korean War. She served as mobile artillery and had two tours of Korean waters. After Korea, she served primarily as a training ship in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Mediterranean Sea. She was decommissioned in 1957 and put in reserve in Bayonne. In 1968, she was recommissioned again for service in Vietnam. After her tour, she was decommissioned yet again in 1969, but that was not the end of her service.
After upgrades, including the installation of Tomahawk missiles, she was recommissioned again in 1981, and served in the US intervention in Lebanon in 1983-84, providing the heaviest shore bombardment since the Korean War. She was decommissioned for the final time in 1991, just prior to the Gulf War. She was towed to Philadelphia and refitted for use as a museum. She took up her current spot on the Camden waterfront in 1999, where she remains, as a museum, to this day.