Battleship New Jersey arrives at Paulsboro Marine Terminal; will head next to Philadelphia Navy Yard

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Friday, March 22, 2024
Battleship New Jersey arrives at Paulsboro Marine Terminal; will head next to Philadelphia Navy Yard
Battleship New Jersey arrives at Paulsboro Marine Terminal; will head next to Philadelphia Navy Yard

NEW JERSEY -- A famed battleship floated down the Delaware River on Thursday as the USS New Jersey left its dock in Camden, New Jersey, on its way to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for extensive maintenance work.

The vessel, guided by tugboats, docked at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal on Thursday afternoon, where it will be balanced to prepare for dry docking and will then go to the Navy Yard in six days.

The maintenance work is expected to take about two months to complete, officials said. Three major repair projects are planned, including repainting the ship's hull, fixing the anti-corrosion system underneath the ship and inspecting through-hull openings.

The battleship, which was built in the 1940s in Philadelphia, served for about 50 years before its retirement in February 1991. It has been a floating museum since 2001.

"The battleship still commands tremendous pride," Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen said.

The ship was built at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and was launched from there on Dec. 7, 1942, the first anniversary of the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor.

This is the first time the ship has moved since 1999. Eyewitness News' sister station Action News was there to cover that event nearly 25 years ago.

Action News archive video from 1999 shows the last time the Battleship New Jersey was moved.

The ship is the most decorated battleship in Navy history, earning distinction in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and conflicts in the Middle East, according to its website. The ship steamed more miles, fought in more battles and fired more shells in combat than any other battleship.

"There's no battleship in our history that comes close to the legacy," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.

"This ship is historically significant because of the patriots that served aboard her," Rear Admiral Thomas J. Anderson said.

Patriots like Anthony Mangone of Washington Twp., who served on the ship in the 1980s.

"I am the youngest guy from the last commissioning crew," he said.

The Battleship New Jersey means so much to him, that he got married on it!

It also means a lot to Norman Bloomfield. The 90-year-old veteran worked on the deck of the ship in 2001.

"My job was to take out the wooden plugs that were rotten and replace it with these plugs here," he said.

The ship will be back in Camden sometime in June. In the meantime, there will be dry dock tours on the weekends in the Navy Yard.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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