The USS New Jersey was one of the most powerful ships ever built for the US Navy – today it’s a museum and you can spend the night there.
The ASU New Jersey was the second ship of the Iowa class of battleships built for the United States Navy. The Iowas were the most powerful battleships ever built by the Navy. Of the six planned, four were built and served at the end of World War II. All four survived the war and are now museum ships across the country.
Undoubtedly, the battleships preserved in Iowa are among the most impressive US Navy museum ships. New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is another impressive naval museum not to be missed, just up the Jersey Shore.
Iowa-class battleships – the most powerful in the US Navy
The Iowa-class battleships were among the most powerful built of any navie in the world. They were designed to “keep floating and keep fighting”. They were armed with nine powerful 16-inch guns with one of the most advanced targeting systems. They could engage targets nearly 23 miles away.
The six Iowa-class ships:
- USS New Jersey: The “Big J” and a museum ship in the State of New Jersey
- USS Wisconsin: A museum ship in Norfolk, Virginia, and a replacement bow for the incomplete USS Kentucky
- USS Missouri: In Hawaii and was the ship on which the Japanese traveled
- USS Iowa: The lead ship and a museum in Los Angeles
- USS Illinois: Partially built, cancelled, dismantled in 1958
- USS Kentucky: Partially built, scrapped, bow was used to repair USS Wisconsin, broken up in 1959
The history of the USS New Jersey
The ASU New Jersey managed to earn more battle stars for her combat actions than any of the other ships in the Iowa-class battleships. She also became the only American battleship to provide gunnery support during the Vietnam War.
- More: The ASU New Jersey You have more Battlestars than any other Iowa-class battleship
- Wars: She saw action in the Pacific against Japan, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Lebanese Civil War
These battleships were extremely expensive to maintain and operate and World War II developments saw battleships falling into disuse. After the war, she was decommissioned and placed in the reserve fleet (i.e. in a mothball fleet).
- Mothballed: The USS New Jersey spent most of its time mothballed
She was reactivated for a brief bout in the Vietnam War before returning to the mothball fleet. As part of the United States Navy’s 600-ship plan of the 1980s, she was again reactivated and modernized to carry missiles.
- Modernized: She was modernized and reactivated as part of Reagan’s 600 ship plan
His last action was to participate in the Lebanese civil war. Unlike others of her class, she did not participate in the Gulf War and was decommissioned when the Cold War ended in 1991.
She was finally donated and started her new career as a museum ship in 2001.
Overnight stays on the USS New Jersey
Today it is possible to book overnight stays on the mighty battleship. These stays are mainly suitable for scout troops, school groups, youth organizations and families.
- Groups: Overnight stays are for scout troops, school groups, youth organizations and families
The experience is a trip back in time and a chance to see what the military working aboard the battleship was like.
The experience is something everyone will remember. Enjoy dinner and breakfast, take a guided tour of the huge ship, sleep in the berth that sailors once used, and even have the chance to fire the salute rifle.
The good news is that, while “Overnight Camps” had been suspended due to the pandemic, they are to resume from March 2022.
- Location: Camden Waterfront, across from Penn’s Landing Philadelphia
- Guided tours: On these overnight stays there are visits to parts of the ship not accessible on regular tours
Over the course of an overnight stay, the group will first enjoy a chowline dinner and then a tour of the BB-62 spaces. Visitors will tour the ship’s 16-inch gun turrets and be guided to parts of the ship that are not accessible on regular tour routes.
The group will see the captain’s and admiral’s cabins, the wardroom and more while ascending and descending the ship’s original ladders and companionway.
In the morning there is breakfast and other educational programs.
Live like a sailor:
- Store the equipment in a locker: The same lockers that held the sailor’s personal effects at sea
- Sleeping in bunk beds: Just like enlisted sailors
- “Chow down”: In the crew mess
They even organize birthdays. So if it’s a special birthday for someone, they can even add a birthday cake to the party.
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