USS New Jersey (BB 62)
USS New Jersey, a 45,000-ton Iowa class battleship, was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania. Commissioned in May 1943, she spent the rest of that year in the western Atlantic and Caribbean area. New Jersey went to the Pacific in early 1944 and conducted her first combat operations in support of the Marshalls invasion. She was Fifth Fleet flagship during the mid-February raid on the Japanese base at Truk, where she used her guns to sink one enemy ship and join in sinking another. Through the rest of 1944, she took part in raids on Japanese-held islands, the Marianas invasion and Battle of Philippine Sea, the Battle of Leyte Gulf and operations against the Philippines. From August 1944, she was flagship of Admiral William F. Halsey's Third Fleet.
New Jersey continued her Pacific combat operations into 1945, supporting the invasions of Iwo Jima and the Ryukyus. Following overhaul, she again became Fifth Fleet flagship during the final days of World War II and remained in the Far East until early 1946. She went to the Atlantic in 1947 and made one midshipmen's training cruise to Europe before decommissioning in June 1948.
The Korean War brought New Jersey back into commission in November 1950. Two Korean combat tours in 1951 and 1953 were punctuated by a European cruise in the Summer of 1952. After returning home from the western Pacific in late 1953, New Jersey operated in the Atlantic. She deployed to Mediterranean and European waters twice in 1955-56 and was placed out of commission in August 1957.
USS New Jersey was the only battleship recalled to duty during the Vietnam War. She recommissioned in April 1968 and arrived off Southeast Asia in September. From then until April 1969, she conducted frequent bombardments along the South Vietnamese coast. While preparing for a second Vietnam tour, she was ordered inactivated and decommissioned in December 1969.
The early 1980s defense buildup produced a fourth active period for New Jersey, beginning with her recommissioning in December 1982. She again fired her big guns in combat during the Lebanon crisis of 1983-84 and deployed to the western Pacific in 1986 and 1989-90, with the latter cruise extending to the Persian Gulf area. Decommissioned again in February 1991, USS New Jersey was towed from the Pacific to the Atlantic in 1999. She is now a museum at Camden, New Jersey.