USS New Jersey (BB 62)
Battleship of the Iowa class
|Navy||The US Navy|
|Built by||Philadelphia Navy Yard (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.)|
|Ordered||1 Jul 1939|
|Laid down||16 Sep 1940|
|Launched||7 Dec 1942|
|Commissioned||23 May 1943|
|End service||9 Sep 1991|
USS New Jersey aquired the nickname "The Black Dragon" in WWII due to being painted a dark blue which made it very difficult to see in the dark. USS New Jersey participated in nearly all of the Western Pacific campaigns from her arrival in the theater in January 1944 until the end of WW II. Her first combat action came as a unit of the Fifth Fleet in assaults on the Marshall Islands. Next was the invasion of the Marianas where her heavy guns battered Saipan and Tinian. She screened carriers as American and Japanese pilots dueled in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and then contributed to strikes on Guam and the Palaus. In late 1944, she was a unit of fast carrier task forces ranging the waters off the Philippines, Okinawa and Formosa. She shot down planes in the Philippines campaigns and continued to protect the carriers. New Jersey was directly engaged in the conquest of Okinawa in early 1945. She fought off air raids, rescued downed pilots, defended the carriers from suicide planes and shot them down. She provided heavy bombardment, preparing the invasion beaches for the assault. Following flagship assignments in Japanese waters in late 1945, she took aboard nearly a thousand homeward-bound troops for return to the U.S.
In 1946, The "Big J" returned to the Atlantic, making midshipman cruises to Northern European waters and operating in the western Atlantic. She was decommissioned at Bayonne, N. J. on 30 June 1948. With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, she was recommissioned on 21 November 1950. During her two tours of duty in Korean waters, she operated in direct support of United Nations troops, interdicted Communist supply and communication routes, and destroyed supplies and troop positions. During her first shore bombardment mission at Wonsan, she received her only combat casualties of the Korean War. One of her men was killed and two severely wounded by shore battery fire. New Jersey made deployments to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean between 1955 and her decommissioning at Bayonne on 21 August 1957. Her third career began on 6 April 1968 when she was recommissioned in Philadelphia. Operating from her new homeport of Long Beach, California, she arrived off the coast of Vietnam in late 1968. For the next six months she fired against Communist targets, destroying gun positions and supply areas. New Jersey was decommissioned for the third time at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 17 December 1969. New Jersey returned to the active fleet for the final time on 28 December 1982. After mounting a show of strength off troubled El Salvador, she rushed to the Mediterranean in the fall of 1983 to provide fire support for Marines in Beirut, Lebanon. For the next seven years she served in a variety of roles, including regular deployments to the Western Pacific. She was decommissioned for the final time on 9 September 1991.
New Jersey was awarded 16 battle stars for her actions against the enemy in three conflicts, making her the most decorated battleship in the history of the U.S. Navy In 1999, New Jersey was towed from Bremerton to Philadelphia in preparation for final berthing as a museum ship in New Jersey. Finally the "Big J" was moved to Camden, New Jersey, and was opened to the public in October 2001.
Commands listed for USS New Jersey (BB 62)
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|1||Capt. Carl Frederick Holden, USN||23 May 1943||26 Jan 1945|
|2||T/Capt. Edmund Tyler Wooldridge, USN||26 Jan 1945||15 Nov 1945|
|3||T/Capt. Edward Mathew Thompson, USN||15 Nov 1945||5 Aug 1946|
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Notable events involving New Jersey include:
2 Jan 1944
USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. McCrea, USN) departed Hampton Roads, Virginia for the Panama Canal Zone. Iowa is proceed to the Pacific.
Passage was made together with sister ship USS New Jersey (Capt. C.F. Holden, USN). The battleships were escorted by ComDesDiv 38; USS Welles (Cdr. D.M. Coffee, USN), USS Gillespie (Cdr. J.S. Fahy, USN), USS Hobby (Cdr. G.W. Pressy, USN) and USS Kalk (Lt.Cdr. H.D. Fuller, USN).
For the daily positions of USS Iowa during this passage see the map below.
12 Feb 1944
Task Force 58 departed Majuro Atoll for operation HAILSTONE, a raid against the Japanese base at Truk Atoll.
Task Force 58 was made up of the following ships;
Task Group 58.1 Aircraft carriers USS Enterprise (Capt. M.B. Gardner, USN), USS Yorktown (Capt. R.E. Jennings, USN), light carrier USS Belleau Wood (Capt. A.M. Pride, USN), light cruisers Santa Fé (Capt. J. Wright, USN), Mobile (Capt. C.J. Wheeler, USN), Biloxi (Capt. D.M. McGurl, USN), USS Oakland (Capt. W.K. Phillips, USN) and the destroyers USS Clarence K. Bronson (Lt.Cdr. J.C. McGoughran, USN), USS Cotten (Cdr. F.T. Sloat, USN), USS Dortch (Cdr. R.C. Young, USN), USS Gatling (Cdr. A.F. Richardson, USN), USS Healy (Cdr. J.C. Atkeson, USN), USS Cogswell (Cdr. H.T. Deutermann, USN), USS Caperton (Cdr. W.J. Miller, USN), USS Ingersoll (Cdr. A.C. Veasey, USN), USS Knapp (Cdr. F. Virden, USN).
Task Group 58.2 Aircraft carriers USS Essex (Capt. R.A. Ofstie, USN), USS Intrepid (Capt. T.L. Sprague, USN), light carrier USS Cabot (Capt. M.F. Schoeffel, USN), heavy cruisers USS Wichita (Capt J.J. Mahoney, USN), USS Baltimore (Capt. W.C. Calhoun, USN), light cruisers USS San Francisco (Capt. H.E. Overesch, USN), USS San Diego (Capt. L.J. Hudson, USN), destroyers USS Owen (Cdr. R.W. Wood, USN), USS Miller (Cdr. T.H. Kobey, USN), USS The Sullivans (Cdr. K.M. Gentry, USN), USS Stephen Potter (Cdr. C.H. Crichton, USN), USS Hickox (Cdr. W.M. Sweetser, USN), USS Hunt (Cdr. H.A. Knoertzer, USN), USS Lewis Hancock (Cdr. C.H. Lyman, 3rd, USN), USS Stembel (Cdr. W.L. Tagg, USN) and USS Stack (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Wheeler, USN).
Task Group 58.3 Aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill (Capt. T.P. Jeter, USN), light carriers USS Monterey (Capt. L.T. Hundt, USN), USS Cowpens (Capt. R.P. McConnell, USN), battleships USS North Carolina (Capt. F.P. Thomas, USN), USS Massachusetts (Capt. T.D. Ruddock, Jr., USN), USS South Dakota (Capt. A.E. Smith, USN), USS Alabama (Capt. F.D. Kirtland, USN), USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. McCrea, USN), USS New Jersey (Capt. C.F. Holden, USN), heavy cruisers USS Minneapolis (Capt. R.W. Bates, USN), USS New Orleans (Capt. S.R. Shumaker, USN), destroyers USS Izard (Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN), USS Charrette (Cdr. E.S. Karpe, USN), USS Conner (Cdr. W.E. Kaitner, USN), USS Bell (Cdr. L.C. Petross, USN), USS Burns (Cdr. D.T. Eller, USN), USS Bradford (Cdr. R.L. Morris, USN), USS Brown (Cdr. T.H. Copeman, USN), USS Cowell (Cdr. C.W. Parker, USN), USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. C.K. Duncan, USN), USS Sterett (Lt.Cdr. F.J.L. Blouin, USN) and USS Lang (Cdr. H. Payson, Jr., USN).
17 Mar 1944
USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. McCrea, USN) departed Majoro Atoll as part of Task Group 50.10 which was to bombard Milli Island. The other ships of the task force were battleship USS New Jersey (Capt. C.F. Holden, USN) and destroyers USS Dewey (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Copeland, USN), USS Hull (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Consolvo, USN), USS MacDonough (Cdr. J.W. Ramey, USN) and USS Phelps (Lt.Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN). Air cover was provided by fleet carrier USS Lexington (Capt. F.B. Stump, USN) escorted by destroyers USS Bancoft (Cdr. R.M. Pitts, USN), USS Meade (Cdr. J. Munholland, USN) and USS Edwards (Cdr. P.G. Osler, USN).
For the daily positions of USS Iowa during this operation see the map below.
19 May 1944
USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. McCrea, USN) departed Majoro Atoll for a two day exercise together with her sister ship USS New Jersey (Capt. C.F. Holden, USN), light carrier USS Belleau Wood (Capt. J. Perry, USN) and destroyers USS Izard (Cdr. M.T. Dayton, USN), USS Charrette (Cdr. E.S. Karpe, USN), USS Bell (Lt.Cdr. J.S.C. Gabbert, USN), USS Burns (Cdr. D.T. Eller, USN), USS Conner (Cdr. W.E. Kaitner, USN), USS Patterson (Lt.Cdr. A.F. White, USN) and USS Dorsey (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Teall, USN).
25 Oct 1944
USS Iowa (Capt. A.R. McCann, USN) fuelled the destroyers, USS Colahan (Cdr. D.T. Wilber, USN) and USS Tingey (Cdr. J.O. Miner, USN). Upon completion of the fuelling Iowa and other units of the Task Group formed Task Unit 34.5 and proceeded south at high speed (28 knots) towards San Bernardino Strait in the hope of intercepting the enemy force approaching that strait from the southward.
Task Unit 34.5 was made up of battleships USS Iowa (Capt. A.R. McCann, USN), USS New Jersey (Capt. C.F. Holden, USN), light cruisers USS Vincennes (Capt. A.D. Brown, USN), USS Biloxi (Capt. D.M. McGurl, USN), USS Miami (Capt. J.G. Crawford, USN), destroyers USS Miller (Lt.Cdr. D.L. Johnson, USN), USS Owen (Cdr. C.B.Jones, USN), USS Tingey (Cdr. J.O. Miner, USN), USS The Sullivans (Cdr. R.J. Baum, USN) and USS Lewis Hancock (Cdr. W.M. Searles, USN).