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August 03, 2023

Battleship New Jersey to be moved on land for maintenance for first time in 32 years

As early as this fall, the historic ship will be towed from its spot in Camden on the Delaware River to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

History Battleship New Jersey
battleship NJ maintenance Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

This fall, Battleship New Jersey will be moved from the Delaware River onto dry land for the first time in three decades to receive necessary maintenance.

Battleship New Jersey, the most decorated battleship in Navy history, will be moved from the Delaware River onto dry land to receive maintenance for the first time in three decades.

The historic ship will be towed from Camden to Philadelphia to a dry dock for 60 to 100 days to receive hull maintenance. The process, expected to begin this fall, is made possible through $5 million in state funds from the New Jersey Historical Commission.

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Under U.S. Navy guidelines, inactive warships are to receive hull maintenance every 20 years. The last time Battleship N.J. was taken out of the water for maintenance was in 1991, when it was still an active warship.

“Safeguarding irreplaceable historic objects and places, like the Battleship New Jersey, ensures they bridge the past with the present, inspiring future generations,” said Sara Cureton, director of the New Jersey Historical Commission. “Dry docking the ship after 32 years honors its legacy, preserving its grandeur for the future.”

The ship will be cleaned, the hull will be repainted and corrosion will be repaired.

Its dry dock site, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard’s Dry Dock Number 3, is significant because it is where the ship was originally built from 1940-1943 for World War II.

Battleship New Jersey, also known as the USS New Jersey, was designed in 1938 and decommissioned for the final time in 1991. It earned distinction in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and conflicts in the Middle East. Battleship N.J. steamed more miles, fought in more battles and fired more shells in combat than any other battleship in U.S. history.

Battleship N.J. is now a museum and memorial site open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for tours. Overnight stays can be scheduled for families, school groups and youth organizations.

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