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Battleship New Jersey

Posted on Thursday, March 7, 2019

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One of the nation’s most decorated battleships! Welcome Aboard!

The History

The USS New Jersey is an “Iowa-class” battleship that was built during World War II.  Officially completed and commissioned on May 23, 1943, the Battleship New Jersey then sailed across the world and into the Pacific Theater of World War II, entering the active war zone on January 7, 1944 under the command of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance.

The Battleship New Jersey played numerous crucial roles in the Pacific Ocean during World War II, protecting air craft carriers and providing support for soldiers on the ground.  But perhaps the most impressive part of the Battleship New Jersey’s resume has been its longevity.  Following World War II, the Battleship New Jersey was repeatedly called back into service. The ship was used during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Lebanese Civil War and the Persian Gulf War.  Numerous times the Battleship New Jersey looked to be headed toward retirement before being recommissioned and sent into another conflict.

Finally, in 1991, the Battleship New Jersey was decommissioned for good, 48 years after it was first used by the United States Navy. During that time, the Battleship New Jersey was in the active fleet for 21 years and had received a Navy Unit Commendation.  After finally being retired, the Battleship New Jersey was donated to the state (New Jersey) for which it is named.  The Battleship's final home is on the Delaware River, and it is not far from where it was originally built in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, just a few miles down the Delaware River. 

The Battleship New Jersey

What to See

The Battleship New Jersey is currently a museum ship, and it is open to the public for tours and other events. On a standard tour of the Battleship New Jersey, you’ll get to explore the ship, learn about its history, and learn a little about what it was like to serve on the vessel.

The standard tour is a self-guided tour, though you can purchase an audio guide which includes narration and accounts from former crew members. On the tour you’ll explore seven levels of the enormous ship, as the vast majority of the ship is open for tours.When you reach the Captain’s Quarters there is also a guide on hand to answer any questions you may have. There is also plenty of written information throughout the ship for those who choose not to purchase the audio tour. 

You can also take a Turret II Tour, which is a guided tour that embarks primarily on the weekends for 90 minutes. There is also a gift shop and a concession stand called the “Chow Line” on board the ship.

Insider Info

For a truly unique experience, you can arrange an overnight event at the Battleship New Jersey. Perfect for students, scouts, summer camps or even birthday parties, this educational overnight stay is an incredible way to explore history. Guests will “live like a sailor” stowing their gear in original lockers and sleep in bunks just like enlisted sailors. In the morning, you’ll head to the Crew’s Mess to eat breakfast and then be able to tour the ship, with special access to locations not available to see on a standard tour!

The Battleship New Jersey is located right next to the Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront, which is another amazing family adventure.

How to Get There

Even though the Battleship New Jersey is located in New Jersey, it is actually very easily accessed by guests of The Constitutional Walking Tour in Philadelphia.  The drive is less than 15 minutes (in traffic), and there is secure parking on an on-site lot. If you are leaving from the National Constitution Center, where all of our tours begin and end, you can even walk or take public transit.  The walk would be roughly 30 minutes, and you can check out an amazing view by walking over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The easiest way to take public transit is to walk to the nearby PATCO station at 8th & Market Streets and take the subway two stops heading East to the Broadway Station, which brings you within a short walk to the Battleship New Jersey.

Between May and October, you can also take the RiverLink Ferry which takes you from Old City Philadelphia, across the Delaware River, to Camden, New Jersey. The Battleship New Jersey is a very short walk from where the Ferry drops off passengers in New Jersey.

Hours of Operation

The hours of operation vary depending on the time of the year, however between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Battleship New Jersey is generally open every day between 9:30AM and 5PM.  For current hours, please click here.

Additional Information

Battleship New Jersey
62 Battleship Place,
Camden, NJ 08103

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