October 15th — when the USS New Jersey became a museum
On October 15th, 2001, the battleship USS New Jersey became a museum shipped docked on the riverfront in Camden. According to the book, “This Day In New Jersey History”, the ship was lunched in December of 1942 and, after being decommissioned and then recommissioned several times, served a total 21 years as an active member of the fleet before being retired in 1991. The ship, also known as “Big J” or “The Black Dragon” was an Iowa-class warship and was built across the river in Philadelphia.
The ship earned a Navy Unit Commendation for service in the Vietnam war and 19 battle and combat stars for operations in World War II, the Korean War, the Lebanese Civil War, and for service in the Persian Gulf. According to the museum’s website, it is the most decorated battleship in history and was the ship from which Admiral Halsey commanded the fleet. There are self guided tours available weekdays with a limited number of guided tours on the weekends and holidays.
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