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    USS New Jersey: Icon of Naval Power from WWII

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    When the USS New Jersey was commissioned on May 23, 1943, it marked the beginning of a storied career for one of the most decorated battleships in US Navy history.

    Through the tumult of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and beyond, the “Big J” stood as a testament to American naval might and innovation.

    During World War II, the USS New Jersey came into her own as a key asset in the Pacific Theater.

    The New Jersey continued her service as a flagship for both Admirals Raymond Spruance and William F. “Bull” Halsey, Jr.

    She participated in every major amphibious invasion post-1943, from the Marshall Islands to Okinawa.

    With her 16-inch guns and formidable AA defenses, the New Jersey offered both offensive power and protection against Japanese air attacks.

    The New Jersey was initially designed to accommodate a crew of 117 officers and 1,804 crew members.

    However, during World War II, her anti-aircraft armament was augmented, leading to a peak complement of over 2,700 personnel.

    By the 1980s, advancements in technology allowed for the operation of the ship with as few as 1,600 crew members.

    On June 30, 1948, the USS New Jersey was retired at Bayonne in a ceremony overseen by four-star Admirals H. Kent Hewitt and Thomas Kinkaid, who had commanded amphibious assaults in the European and Pacific Theaters.

    During the decommissioning, the captain of the New Jersey remarked, “She has no adversary deserving of her might.”

    However, the outbreak of the War saw the New Jersey recommissioned and once again thrust into the fray. Reactivated for combat during the Korean War and later during the Vietnam War, the USS New Jersey stood as the sole operational battleship worldwide.

    In a third reactivation during the Cold War, she played a crucial role in curbing Soviet expansionism and addressing conflicts in the Middle East.

    Having confronted fascism and terrorism throughout her service, the battleship was decommissioned for the last time in February 1991.

    Presently, the New Jersey serves as a living museum and memorial in Camden, New Jersey, situated across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, where she was originally constructed.

    Relevant articles:
    History Knows the Exact Day U.S. Navy Battleships Became Obsolete, The National Interest
    1 Navy World War I Contribution, United States Navy (.mil)
    Full History – Battleship New Jersey, Battleship New Jersey

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