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    Historic USS New Jersey Battleship Gets $10M Restoration for Future Generations on March 21

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    The USS New Jersey” by Kevin Burkett is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    The USS New Jersey, one of the most storied warships in American naval history and affectionately known as “Big J,” has embarked on a historic voyage, not across the open seas, but through the waters of restoration and preservation.

    USS New Jersey (BB-62) in Camden, New Jersey
    USS New Jersey (BB-62) in Camden, New Jersey

    On March 21, 2024, the legendary Iowa-class battleship, now serving as a museum ship in Camden, New Jersey, made a journey down the Delaware River to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, marking its first movement in 25 years.

    March 21, 2024 moving of the USS New Jersey 4 (cropped)” by QuincyMorgan is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

    This significant voyage, powered and directed by tugboats due to the warship’s inoperative engines and controls, set the stage for a $10 million refurbishment project.

    USS New Jersey” by PMillera4 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The extensive maintenance is slated for completion in a tight 60-day window, just in time for the Memorial Day commemorations.

    BL364 USS New Jersey” by listentoreason is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    The restoration efforts include repainting the hull and inspecting the anti-corrosion system, addressing the ship’s needs after decades of static display.

    2008-03-16 Camden 047 Battleship USS New Jersey” by Allie_Caulfield is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Marshall Spevak, CEO of the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial, highlighted the profound historical significance of the dry-dock location: “She will be returning to the same dock at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where she was built in the ’40s.”

    USS New Jersey” by PMillera4 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Commissioned during the height of World War II in 1943, the New Jersey boasts an unparalleled combat record, having earned more battle stars than her sister ships in the Iowa-class.

    USS NEW JERSEY” by TimWebb is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Her illustrious service history spans the Pacific Theater in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War, before she was finally decommissioned in 1991.

    USS New Jersey” by PMillera4 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Despite being a long-retired vessel, the New Jersey has remained a vibrant piece of living history, drawing approximately 80,000 visitors annually to her decks. The ongoing maintenance is crucial not only for the ship’s preservation but also as an educational and memorial site for future generations.

    2008-03-16 Camden 063 Battleship USS New Jersey” by Allie_Caulfield is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    “We’re way overdue and are moving forward now because it will be more expensive every year we wait,” Spevak admitted, emphasizing the importance of timely refurbishments according to Navy maintenance guidelines.

    USS New Jersey” by R’lyeh Imaging is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    As the New Jersey undergoes its transformation, the public has been offered a rare opportunity to tour the battleship in its dry-dock habitat. For $225, visitors can experience the grandeur of the 45,000-ton behemoth from a vantage point few ever get to see—beneath its hull. This unique tour has sparked significant interest, with more than 70% of tickets sold shortly after they became available.

    March 21, 2024 moving of the USS New Jersey 17” by QuincyMorgan is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

    The ambitious project will consume around 5,200 gallons of paint to give the New Jersey’s hull a fresh coat of its traditional red color.

    USS New Jersey (BB-62)” by Teemu008 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    These renovations also serve a functional purpose, with the replacement of zinc anodes with aluminum anodes to better suit the ship’s freshwater berth in the Delaware River.

    BL365 USS New Jersey” by listentoreason is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Funding for the repairs comes from a mix of state budgets, grants, bonds, and private fundraisers. This investment underscores the value placed on the USS New Jersey as a national treasure and a testament to America’s naval heritage.

    Battleship New Jersey” by GKarRacer is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    As the New Jersey prepares to return to her home in Camden, she carries with her the legacy of a bygone era of naval warfare, and through this restoration, the promise of continuing to inspire and educate visitors about her remarkable story for years to come.

    Relevant articles:
    Iowa-Class USS New Jersey Battleship Is Undergoing a Massive Update, The National Interest
    U.S. Navy Battleship USS New Jersey Is Getting a ‘Reboot’ and Massive Update, The National Interest
    Decorated Battleship New Jersey Set for $10M Repairs During Dry Docking, The Maritime Executive
    See the stunning tour beneath the Battleship New Jersey fans are paying $225 to experience, NJ.com

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