Battleship USS New Jersey Deployed For First Time In Decades For Repairs

 March 22, 2024

The waters of the Delaware River bore witness to a significant event on Thursday.

The USS New Jersey, with a rich history as a battleship and museum, embarked on a critical maintenance journey to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, AP News reported.

The voyage of this mighty vessel commenced from Camden, New Jersey, marking a pivotal step in preserving its structural integrity and storied past. Its initial course led to the Paulsboro Marine Terminal, a crucial phase for ensuring the ship's equilibrium before the indispensable dry-docking process took place.

This meticulous undertaking, anticipated to span approximately two months, encompasses a series of vital refurbishments, including repainting the hull, overhauling the anti-corrosion system, and inspecting the through-hull openings to guard against the ravages of time and nature.

Decades of Valor

Since 2011, the USS New Jersey has stood as a towering testament to maritime prowess. From its mooring as a floating museum, it offers visitors a tangible connection to the American naval legacy. Constructed in the 1940s at the historic Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, its launch on December 7, 1942, preluded over five decades of valiant service across numerous conflicts, solidifying its status as the Navy's most decorated battleship.

The maintenance operation gathered veterans and enthusiasts, drawn together by a reverence for the ship's indelible mark on history. Among them was Capt. Walter M. Urban Jr.'s tenure on the USS New Jersey left an indelible mark on his heart and mind.

Capt. Urban reflected on the profound connection he felt with the generations of sailors who had previously graced the ship's decks, encapsulating the essence of the battleship's storied past.

You always felt the presence of those who walked the decks before you. She was born in a time of war, was a symbol of our great country at that time .... to be part of that history and see her today about 81 years later is fascinating.

The ship's curator, Ryan Szimanski, stressed the importance of the occasion. He commended the USS New Jersey for its remarkable design and inventive features. Nevertheless, he warned that the ship's age might lead to certain challenges.

Preserving a Legacy amid Challenges

Despite the complexities of relocating and maintaining such a historical artifact, optimism runs high among those tasked with its care. Szimanski's confidence in the smooth execution of the move serves as a beacon of hope for preserving this iconic vessel for future generations.

Moving the ship could be a once-in-a-generation occurrence. There are some concerns about the move, mainly due to the ship's age, but I believe things will go smoothly.

This sentiment resonates deeply with all who understand the importance of safeguarding our heritage. As the USS New Jersey traverses the river toward restoration, it carries the hopes and memories of countless individuals touched by its legacy.

Its role in conflicts from World War II to operations in the Middle East speaks volumes of the bravery and sacrifice inherent to the American spirit. It is a floating chronicle of our nation's martial history, embodying the resilience and fortitude that have long defined our armed forces.

A Tribute to Valor and History

As the USS New Jersey makes its slow but steady journey to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, we are reminded of the unbreakable bond between past and present. Each layer of paint, every repaired plate, and all inspected openings weave into the fabric of our nation's narrative, ensuring that the stories of valor and resolution continue to inspire.

The battleship's journey is more than just a routine maintenance trip; it is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made for freedom. It serves as a bridge connecting generations, a testament to the timeless valor of those who served with honor on its decks.


In conclusion, the USS New Jersey's voyage to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for maintenance marks a crucial chapter in the ongoing effort to preserve an invaluable piece of American naval history. With tasks including balancing at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal and extensive maintenance work aimed at repainting, anti-corrosion measures, and inspections, the journey embodies a deep commitment to heritage preservation.

Built in the 1940s and retired in 1991, this monumental ship participated in numerous conflicts, earning a distinguished place in military history. The dedication of veterans like Capt. Walter M. Urban Jr. and professionals like Ryan Szimanski underscore the reverence felt for this historic battleship. As the USS New Jersey undergoes restoration, it continues to serve as a powerful symbol of resilience, bravery, and the enduring spirit of those who have served on its decks.

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