NEARBY: Battleship New Jersey Makes First Journey In 20 Years

The battleship is heading back to where it was built.

The battleship moving down the river.
Credit: State of NJ

The USS New Jersey embarked on a short but momentous journey Thursday as it left its longtime berth along the Delaware River for the first time in years.

Since its retirement in February 1991, the Iowa-class battleship has resided as a museum ship at a prominent pier on the Camden waterfront in New Jersey.

A departure ceremony was held for the historic vessel late Thursday morning, drawing spectators to see the piece of naval history move for the first time in decades.

The ceremony for the ship before it departed.
Credit: State of NJ

Guided by tugboats, the USS New Jersey made its way south under the Walt Whitman Bridge, with the Philadelphia and Camden skylines serving as backdrops to its journey.

In the afternoon, the battleship, hailed as the most decorated in U.S. naval history, arrived at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal in New Jersey.

From there, it is slated to be towed the short distance to the Navy Yard for essential maintenance work next week.

Officials estimate that the maintenance work will last about two months.

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The planned work will include repainting the ship’s hull, addressing the anti-corrosion system underneath the vessel, and conducting inspections on through-hull openings.

The dry dock where maintenance will occur holds a special place in the ship’s history. It was at this very location in Philadelphia where the USS New Jersey was constructed during the late 1930s to early 1940s, with its launch on December 7, 1942, which was the first anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.

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