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    HomeNewsHistoric USS New Jersey Battleship Undergoes Vital Dry Dock Maintenance

    Historic USS New Jersey Battleship Undergoes Vital Dry Dock Maintenance

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

    The USS New Jersey, an iconic and revered battleship with a storied past in the U.S. Navy, has embarked on a critical maintenance mission at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. For the first time in 32 years, the battleship, fondly referred to as “Big J,” has been dry docked in Dock #3, the very cradle of its birth where it was initially launched on December 7, 1942.

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

    This essential preservation venture has galvanized military history aficionados and veterans, stirring a profound sense of nostalgia and pride.

    USS New Jersey (BB-62) (Iowa-Class Battleship, Commissioned in 1943)” by Jim, the Photographer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The vessel’s transition from its station at the Camden Waterfront to the Philadelphia Navy Yard was conducted with precise coordination, involving the aid of four tugboats from McAllister Towing over the Delaware River.

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

    It’s a fitting journey back to the yard where it was originally built and launched, an emotional homecoming that also coincides with the homecoming of the vessel’s historic flag via an eBay auction.

    USS New Jersey (BB-62): Gun Mount & Helo” by Kevin H. is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The dry dock assignment is not merely an engineering feat but a race against time, slated for completion within a 60-day time frame.

    USS New Jersey by John Charles Roach; 1969” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    The Battleship New Jersey’s current tenure in dry dock revolves around extensive preventive maintenance, including the removal of marine growth from the hull, a full repaint, inspection of through-hull openings, and the replacement of aluminum anodes critical for corrosion protection.

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

    The preservation of this legendary ship, which last underwent such maintenance in the late 1990s, is imperative to uphold its structural integrity and continue its mission as a living museum and memorial.

    USS New Jersey” by rwillia532 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    In a vibrant demonstration of public engagement, visitors have the unique opportunity to participate in dry dock tours on weekends, with each guest receiving a collectable hard hat as a keepsake.

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

    The tours offer an intimate perspective of the ship’s massive Iowa-class battleship propellers and the underbelly that’s typically hidden below the waterline. These tours, led by none other than Battleship Curator Ryan Szimanski, contribute significantly to the funding of the dry dock project.

    Vietnam War 1968 – Battleship USS New Jersey firing” by manhhai is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    In the words of a visitor, David from Little Rock, “Dry dock tour was great. Once in a life-time experience to crawl underneath a battleship.” The sentiment is echoed by Trent from Chicago who was awestruck by the scale and the opportunity to be invited “underneath by the keel-blocks” by Curator Szimanski.

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

    The dry dock project is no small venture, with estimates placing the cost around $10 million. According to CEO Marshall Spevak, the maintenance work is crucial, focusing on “critical hull maintenance work” and the cathodic protection system, all occurring under the waterline. Spevak emphasizes the significance of this undertaking, stating, “Not all ships get saved, so it’s extremely special the Battleship New Jersey was chosen.”

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

    As the Big J sits supported on more than 300 blocks, her four 18-foot, 20-ton propellers are a sight to behold. The painting process, applied in three different colored coats for visibility and future maintenance planning, has already commenced, marking the progress towards the battleship’s rejuvenation.

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

    The engagement with history and technology extends beyond the dry dock’s confines, with a range of exclusive merchandise available for enthusiasts to support the project, including Dry Dock t-shirts, caps, and even a commemorative Yeti Tumbler.

    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

    The funds raised from these initiatives are crucial in offsetting the revenue loss during the period when the vessel cannot conduct tours or host events—activities that typically generate significant support for the non-profit museum and memorial.

    As the restoration project advances, the anticipation builds for the Battleship New Jersey’s return to the Camden Waterfront, expected in mid-June. Once again, it will serve as a beacon of American naval heritage and an educational platform, preserving the past while inspiring future generations.

    Relevant articles:
    Dry Dock Details & Tickets – Battleship New Jersey, Battleship New Jersey
    ‘Big J’ arrives in Philly: Battleship New Jersey pulls into port after 2nd leg of historic trip, NJ.com
    Inside the Battleship New Jersey’s “historic homecoming” to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, CBS News

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