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    The Enduring Legacy of Iowa-Class Battleships: A Tribute to America’s Naval History

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    Iowa-Class Battleship, WWII, Launch” by photolibrarian is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The sight was reminiscent of a bygone era—four tugboats, each straining against the storied weight of the USS New Jersey (BB-62), the most decorated battleship in U.S. Navy history, as she left her berth on the Delaware River for the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

    USS NEW JERSEY US Navy Iowa Class Battleship BB-62 Iowa-class were a class of fast battleships Commissioned 1943 16 inch Guns 9 battle stars WWII1” by UpNorth Memories – Don Harrison is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    This spectacle was not just a mere operation but a testament to the enduring legacy of the Iowa-class battleships and their indelible imprint on American naval history.

    Vietnam War 1968 – Aerial View of USS New Jersey” by manhhai is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    The USS New Jersey, second only to her sister the USS Iowa in the Iowa-class fast battleships lineage, has been a formidable presence since World War II.

    Vietnam War 1968 – View of USS New Jersey Firing Guns” by manhhai is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    Serving as the flagship for the renowned Admiral William “Bull” Halsey in the Pacific, she has seen action in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and even during peacekeeping missions off the coast of Lebanon after the tragic 1983 barracks bombing.

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

    The ship’s illustrious service garnered her 19 battle stars, a figure unmatched in the annals of battleship history.

    BL361 USS New Jersey” by listentoreason is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    “The second of the Iowa-class fast battleships, New Jersey served in World War II as the flagship for Adm. William ‘Bull’ Halsey in the Pacific,” echoes the voice of history, for it’s not just the ship’s steely hull that tells a story, but the people and the pivotal moments she represents.

    USS New Jersey” by chrisinphilly5448 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    The battleship’s journey from her pier to the dry dock at Philadelphia Navy Yard is a voyage through time—a physical representation of the changing tides in naval warfare and defense strategy.

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

    With her engines and steering controls inoperative, New Jersey relied entirely on the power and direction of the assisting tugboats.

    USS New Jersey (BB-62): Starboard Side” by Kevin H. is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The Walt Whitman Bridge momentarily ceased traffic as the battleship, now an immobile giant of a bygone age, passed beneath, bound for Dry Dock Number Three—her birthplace in the 1940s. This dry-docking is not merely maintenance; it’s the rejuvenation of an icon.

    Vietnam War 1968 – Servicemen Aboard USS New Jersey” by manhhai is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    During the estimated 60-day maintenance period, the hull will be inspected and repainted, with Philadelphia Ship Repair tasked with bringing a fresh coat to this old warrior’s steel skin.

    USS New Jersey Night” by Sdwelch1031 is licensed under CC BY 3.0

    For those intrigued by naval architecture and history, tours will offer a rare view of the 62,000-ton warship, temporarily liberated from the water’s embrace.

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

    New Jersey’s anticipated return to her permanent berth in Camden in June 2024 is not just the completion of a refurbishment cycle. It’s the resurrection of a legend, ready to continue her second life as a museum ship, where stories of the past shape the dreams of the future.

    2008-03-16 Camden 043 Battleship USS New Jersey” by Allie_Caulfield is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    As New Jersey’s voyage to the dry dock aligns with reflections on the broader Iowa-class battleships, we are reminded of the Iowa-class’ unique juxtaposition of history and modernity.

    Battleship Missouri goes to sea again.” by jai Mansson’s photography. is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    These ships, designed to dominate enemy battleships, found themselves instead providing artillery support and evolving beyond their original purpose.

    Norfolk VA – Battleship Wisconsin” by Sky Noir is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Yet, even as defense procurement evolves and the Iowa-class battleships become museum pieces, their legacy continues to influence strategic thinking and military design.

    Relevant articles:
    The Iowa-Class Battleships are a Nightmare for the U.S. Navy for One Reason, The National Interest
    The Navy’s Iowa-Class Battleships Are a Warship No Navy Can Match, The National Interest
    Those Who Served, Battleship USS Iowa
    Battleship New Jersey Leaves Pier for First Time in More than 20 Years, USNI News

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