America’s most decorated Battleship is now the area’s most exciting museum, open for tours, events and overnight encampments. Exploring BB62 is experiencing history in a whole new way. Not only do you see exhibits of artifacts from the ships past, but you are put into the exhibit as you go through the tour route. Sit in the chair from which Admiral Halsey commanded the fleet. Stretch out on the bunks where the sailors slept. Climb into the 16 gun turret and learn how the projectiles were loaded.
From the moment you step across the ships brow you will understand that this is a museum where visitors take an active role. From strolling across forecastle to climbing the original ladders up to the bridge, and beyond, each step in your journey brings you closer to understanding what life was like for a sailor on the Battleship New Jersey.
BB62 was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and launched December 7, 1942- just a year after the Pearl Harbor Attack brought America into WWII.
The USS NEW JERSEY (BB62) was actually the second ship to be called NEW JERSEY, the first being BB16, a turn of the century (19th century) battleship. The first Battleship New Jersey (BB-16) was a Virginia class pre-dreadnought that served from 1906 until she was sunk as a bombing target in 1922. She sailed with the Great White Fleet and served her country in World War I as a training vessel.
NEW JERSEY was decommissioned for the last time on February 8,1991 at Bremerton, Washington where she resided until heading home to New Jersey. She was officially stricken from the Navy list on February 12,1995 but was then ordered reinstated by an order of congress as a mobilization asset under Bill 1024 section 1011. On January 4, 1999 NEW JERSEY was again stricken from the Navy list and IOWA replaced her as a mobilization asset. On September 12, 1999 NEW JERSEY began her Final Voyage home from Bremerton, where she had rested in mothballs for the last 8 years. On November 11th, she arrived at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Since that time, she has been restored, opened and established as an educational museum and a tribute to the brave sailors who served on her during her long and distinguished career. The Battleship New Jersey opened as a Museum and Memorial in October 2001.