Norcross Announces Return of Original Gun Barrel to Historic Battleship New Jersey
CAMDEN, NJ – Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) today announced an agreement with the United States Navy to return an original gun barrel to the historic Battleship New Jersey along the Camden, New Jersey waterfront.
In all, three 16-inch gun barrels that were once part of the then-U.S.S. New Jersey are being loaded onto trucks today at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, will be hoisted by crane onto railcars tomorrow, and will begin the journey to permanent homes in New Jersey and Philadelphia, including one designated for the Battleship.
“This is a reunion, years in the making. These gun barrels, which are a critical part of American military history, were headed for the scrap pile. Through the cooperation and assistance of many partners, we’re able to bring this piece of South Jersey history home, where it belongs,” said Congressman Norcross, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Each gun barrel weighs 237,000 pounds (or 120 tons) and measures 68 feet in length.
Photo courtesy: U.S. Navy photo by Terri K. Davis
The Battleship New Jersey was constructed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and was launched December 7, 1942, one year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She would go on to serve nearly 5 decades, playing critical roles in World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm, among other conflicts before being decommissioned in 1991. The Battleship New Jersey is America’s most decorated battleship and surviving warship, and currently serves as a floating museum along the Camden, New Jersey waterfront. Congressman Norcross served a critical role in the application to the Navy to have the Battleship New Jersey returned home in 1999, and was on-board the Battleship for part of its 5,800 mile journey to its retirement along the Delaware River.
The three gun barrels, in storage in Virginia for 60 years, will be sent to the Battleship New Jersey, the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where the Battleship was constructed, and the third will go to the Mahan Collection Foundation in Basking Ridge, NJ.