The USS New Jersey is a battle ship was launched from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Navy Yard in December 1942 and she was commissioned in May of 1943. The USS New Jersey is an Iowa class battleship weighing 45,000 tons.
Action in World War II
The USS New Jersey stayed the remainder of 1943 in the West Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean for training and fitting out, but early in 1944 she sailed into the Pacific Ocean providing support in the Marshalls invasion as her first combat operation. She was the flagship of the Fifth Fleet for the raid on the Japanese base at Truk. In February of 1944 she single handedly sank one enemy ship and sank a second with another ship. The rest of 1944 was busy for the USS New Jersey; she participated in raids on Japanese-held islands, the Marinas invasion as well as the Battles of Philippine Sea, Leyte Gulf and actions against the Philippines. Beginning in August of 1944 Admiral William F. Halsey commanded her as his flagship in the Third Fleet.
The USS New Jersey remained in the Pacific during 1945 for invasions of Iwo Jima and Ryukyus. She once again became the Fifth Fleet flagship during the last days of World War II. Early in 1946 she departed the Far East and sailed back to the Atlantic Ocean in 1947. After a training mission to Europe she was decommissioned in June 1948.
Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East
In November of 1950, the USS New Jersey was recommissioned during the Korean War. She saw two combat tours in 1951 and 1953 along with a cruise to Europe in the summer of 1952. She returned home to the Atlantic again late in 1953. She did two cruises to the Mediterranean and waters around Europe in 1955-56 and was decommissioned in August of 1957.
USS New Jersey was once again called into service for the Vietnam War in April 1968 when she sailed for Southeast Asia. She participated in many bombing campaigns off the South Vietnamese coast. She was decommissioned in December 1969 for the third time. The USS New Jersey was recommissioned a fourth time in 1982 and she took part in the Lebanon crises of 1983-84 and sailed to the Pacific Ocean in 1986 and 1989-90 with a cruise that took her to the Persian Gulf. She was decommissioned in early 1991 and towed from the Atlantic in 1999.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet throughout conflicts during the last century, battleships also posed a lasting health risk to soldiers who served on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common on these ships because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.