She was feet long, displaced 58, tons when loaded, and carried 1, men, including officers. She was powered by eight boilers and propelled by General Electric steam turbines. The New Jersey is the most decorated U. Navy battleship in history. The USS New Jersey had a very active deployment history, with service in several wars and combat operations.
These began with her service in World War II during and She served in numerous offensive operations, including the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Marianas Turkey Shoot, helping to deliver devastating losses to the Japanese forces. She also survived, with very little damage, the disastrous Typhoon Cobra that caused other ships to sink and cost nearly lives.
She was recommissioned in to serve in the Korean War. During the war she assisted in attacks and supported South Korean and United Nations troops. The New Jersey took a hit from shore during a Korean deployment, resulting in her only casualty. One man was killed and two were injured.
After the war and a few missions in the Mediterranean, the New Jersey was again decommissioned in The New Jersey then became one of the few battleships to serve in the Vietnam War after being recommissioned, and the only one to fire during that conflict. She was recalled and reactivated for this purpose because the U.
The New Jersey was in the best shape among the decommissioned battleships and was chosen for reactivation. In she was sent to the Middle East to support efforts to bring peace during the Lebanese Civil War. Her final deployment was to the Persian Gulf where she remained through She was officially decommissioned in at Naval Station Long Beach.
Ships built for World War II, and many built later, were constructed with a lot of asbestos to provide fireproofing and insulation. Cheap and easy to stockpile in preparation for war, it was a useful material in ship building.
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Asbestos was used heavily on the New Jersey in the boiler and engine rooms and in the pipes that ran all over the ship. It helped contain heat and protect crew from the spread of fire.
These larger uses were not the only uses of asbestos on the New Jersey. It was also in flooring materials and the walls, in all types of insulation, in ropes and deck matting, in gaskets, seals, and valves, and in fire- and heat-protective equipment, like the gear the gunners wore as protection against the heat of firing weapons. Asbestos was also used in the shipyards where the New Jersey was built and repaired.
Asbestos exposure is harmful because the fibers of the material can come loose and be inhaled or ingested. Those fibers cause damage in the body and cause some people to develop very serious illnesses years later, like mesothelioma. The men who served on the New Jersey were at risk of exposure, especially those who worked most closely with the boilers and turbines and with the asbestos-insulated pipes. Those who wore asbestos protective gear, like gunners and firefighters, were also at elevated risk.
In one example, a veteran who suffered asbestos exposure from serving on the USS New Jersey made a claim with the Veterans Administration for his asbestosis.
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The lung condition, he believed, was brought about by inhaling asbestos fibers while on active duty on the New Jersey. Third, the extensive use of radar, virtually unknown between the wars, completely transformed the surface and aerial fire control problem both in daylight and in darkness. Fourth, the proximity fuze completely revolutionized the effectiveness of anti-aircraft gunnery. The following examples illustrate the performance of typical ships in detail. In each case, the example represents the performance of the median ship in the fleet, so this is average shooting, neither exceptionally good nor bad.
As the original "Sheets 4" describing the exercises are nearly illegible, and extremely complex, the accompanying illustrations have been withdrawn to a common scale and considerably simplified to make the results more meaningful to the reader. The actual target used in the exercise, which was often defined mathematically rather than physically, has been replaced by a scale plan view of a typical enemy battleship, in this case a foot meter vessel traveling in a straight line at 20 knots. Shell splashes are shown as open circles, and probable hits as solid dots.
Three examples shall suffice. Nevada turned in the median performance for battleships during The practice was fired at an average range of 18, yards. Mechanically, the practice was a disaster. The recoil of the first salvo threw open a switch and disabled the training gear of one turret for the rest of the shoot. On the first two salvos the left gun of Turret I misfired due to a fault in the firing circuit. When the primer of one gun was ejected alter salvo 1, it fell into the breech mechanism and jammed the plug.
After the fifth salvo, the elevating mechanism of Turret IV failed. On salvo 6 the left gun of turret III misfired due to a faulty primer. The elevating mechanism of Turret II failed after salvo 7, and one gun was fired with a three-bag load. Despite these problems, Nevada did remarkably well, actually shooting better than Bismarck did seventeen years later in the Denmark Straits under roughly comparable conditions. The plot of the exercise, showing her performance against an foot twenty-knot target instead of a battle raft, shows good clean straddles on salvos 1 through 4, a hit on salvo 5, two hits on salvo 4, and two hits on salvo 5, this within 5 minutes, 15 seconds.
Still, the Navy was far from satisfied. Moon, Nevada's gunnery officer. Since leaving the navy yard checks at sea have repeatedly been made with all turrets within two minutes of each other in elevation. All the evidence points to the erratic performance of the guns themselves in producing large patterns. The causes of the excessive patterns obtained should be thoroughly investigated by the Nevada.
The range finding up to the fifth salvo appears to have been good.
The spotting was exceptionally good. Force Battle Practice a variation of Long Range Battle Practice for the gunnery year was specifically designed to test the battle line in engaging a numerically inferior force at close range, to test the efficiency of dye-loaded projectiles in concentration fire, to study the effect of torpedo fire on an engaged battle line, and to exercise casualty procedures in battle.
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Although this was a short range reduced charge practice for most ships in the fleet, the mean gun range being 12, yards, New York fired full charges at 12, yards, so this was a high-velocity practice for her. The plan was to have the eight ships in the line fire in double concentration on four battle targets during the beginning of the practice, shifting targets part way through the shoot to put two targets in triple concentration, and leaving the other two under fire from single ships.
The changeover did not go well; although New York correctly switched targets at the appropriate time, both California and Idaho bungled the swap, so that instead of ending up firing at her own target, New York found herself sharing a single hapless target with two of her offending sisters in triple concentration. Mechanically, the main battery worked flawlessly, with the gunnery officer noting "All ammunition 70 rounds was expended and there were no casualties except those constructively imposed.
The firing started out poorly, improved during the middle part of the shoot, and deteriorated during salvos six and seven.
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Murphy, the gunnery officer, noted laconically ". The first salvo had an excellent range pattern of yards [and] a good deflection pattern in the neighborhood of yards. Two plane spotters stated that all the shots in this salvo landed so close together that it was difficult to distinguish the individual splashes. Unfortunately, the mean point of impact was 1, yards over. These doubtlessly originated from Turret III, which " The average loading interval was 31 seconds; the director interval 10; the salvo interval, New York's merit for the practice was The best ship, Texas, achieved 0.
As before, the normal battle target has been replaced by the outline of a foot, 20 knot target. The signal to shift targets came at 1 minute 55 seconds into the firing, but fire was not shifted until after the fourth salvo.
Clearly, the change imposed little difficulty, as hits were obtained on the first salvo fired on target number 3. The loss of communications imposed alter salvo five obviously had a much greater effect, opening the pattern significantly, although hits were still obtained. The recovery from the large error associated with salvo 1 is remarkable, and in fact New York would probably have actually hit on salvo 2, fired 1 minute and 50 seconds into the practice. After that, she would have obtained two hits on each of salvos 3, 4, and 5, and one hit on salvo 6, this within 7 minutes and 13 seconds.
Vice Admiral Leigh characterized New York 's performance as ". The imposed casualties were handled correctly and promptly, though difficulty was experienced with voice-tube communication alter the fire control telephone system was placed out of commission. The Long Range Battle Practice for had the usual objectives of training main battery personnel and spotters. To provide maximum training for control parties and spotters, the Director of Fleet Training made partial salvos mandatory, to be fired by forward and alter groups each of which had their own spotting and control parties in succession.
By now, the use of delay coils was standard operating procedure. The weather conditions were, in the words of Commander Battleship Division Two, ". Casualties were few; although Tennessee 's written report listed no material casualties, her Sheet 4 for the practice noted that the left gun of Turret I misfired on both salvo 1 and salvo 2. The target is assumed as a foot ship traveling at 20 knots. Deflection performance was excellent throughout, with all salvos crossing the target.
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Note how neatly her spotters found the range during salvos 1 through 4, and how the plotting team for the alter group was able to keep the salvos "just over" during salvos 9 through In response to a series of "down" spots from salvo 10, plot brought the pattern "down " between salvos 11 and 12 to get a restraddle and ensure that the patterns were not excessively over. The resultant hitting on salvos 13 and 14 was exceptionally good.
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Tennessee 's patterns were extremely tight, especially when compared to those shown in earlier practices; nine gun salvos would have been about 1. Against a real ship target, she would probably have achieved her first hits on salvo four, 3 minutes, 42 seconds into the practice, hitting consistently thereafter and getting sixteen hits in the first fourteen salvos, a very creditable performance. Again, note that this was the average performance for the fleet, and that other ships did considerably better.
The previous examples are typical of individual ships but do not compare relative performances directly. Examination of other Long Range Battle Practices enables us to analyze the differences in performance between nominally identical ships as well. The table below, for example, taken from LRBP for , can be used to compare the relative performance of Colorado , Maryland , and West Virginia , all equipped with eight inch guns in four twin turrets.
Note the large variation in the average error of MPI, a measure of the fire control accuracy. Unfortunately the sample size remains too small to determine whether this is a real variation or merely a statistical artifact.