Monday, March 24, 2014

USS New Jersey (BB 16)

Going through my Dad's things, I found lots of pictures that he had made from old negatives. On the back of the photos are just the names of the ships. I have no idea where he obtained them, but I do remember he used a small closet in the pantry as a dark room when my brother and I were small. Dad would give us  negatives to put over photo paper and leave them out in the sun to make pictures.

Just thought you might like to see one. Leave a comment if you want to see the others - I have ten more.


Written on back of photo

Full-screen images are linked from the images in the text below.
Statistics: Displacement: 14,948 tons Length: 441'3" Beam: 76'3" Draft: 23'9" Speed: 19 knots Complement: 812 Armament: Four 12" guns; 
eight 8" guns; twelve 6" guns; four 21" torpedo tubes Class: Virginia
Text from The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships 
published by the Naval Historical Center

The first New Jersey (BB-16) was launched 10 November 1904 by Fore River Shipbuilding Company, Quincy, Mass.;
 sponsoredby Mrs. William B. Kenney, daughter of Governor Franklin B. Murphy of New Jersey;
 and commissioned 12 May 1906, CaptainWilliam W. Kimball in command.

New Jersey's initial training in Atlantic and Caribbean waters was highlighted by her review 
by President Theodore Roosevelt in Oyster Bay during September 1906, and by her presence at Havana, Cuba,
 from 21 September through 13 October to protect American lives and property threatened by the Cuban Insurrection.
 From 15 April to 14 May 1907, she lay in Hampton Roads representing the Navy at the Jamestown Exposition.

In company with fifteen other battleships and six attendant destroyers, New Jersey cleared Hampton Roads 16 December
 1907,  her rails manned and her guns crashing a 21-gun salute to President Roosevelt, who watched from USS Mayflower
  (PY 1)  this beginning of the dramatic cruise of the Great White Fleet. The international situation required a compelling 
exhibition  of the strength of the United States; this round-the-world cruise was to provide one of the most remarkable
 illustrations  of the ability of seapower to keep peace without warlike action. Not only was a threatened conflict with Japan 
averted, but notice was served on the world that the United States had come of age, and was an international power which
 could make its influence felt in any  part of the world.

USS New Jersey (BB-16)

Dressed with flags, during a naval review, circa 1911-13.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Commanded first by Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, and later by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry the fleet laid its course for
 Trinidad and Rio de Janeiro, then rounded Cape Horn. After calling in Punta Arenas, Valparaiso and Callao, the battleships 
 made a triumphant return to the United States at San Francisco. On 7 July 1908 the fleet sailed west, bound for Hawaii, 
 Auckland, and three Australian ports: Sydney, Melbourne, and Albany. Each city seemed to offer a more enthusiastic
 reception  for the American sailors and their powerful ships than had the last, but tension and rumor of possible incident
 made the arrival  in Tokyo Bay 18 October unique among the cruise's calls.

Immediately it was clear that no special precautions had been necessary; nowhere during the cruise did the men 
of New Jersey and her sisters meet with more expression of friendship, both through elaborately planned entertainment and
spontaneous demonstration. The President observed with satisfaction this accomplishment of his greatest hope for the 
cruise: "The most noteworthy incident of the cruise was the reception given to our fleet in Japan."

The Great White Fleet sailed on to Amoy, returned briefly to Yokohama, then held target practice in the Philippines before 
 beginning the long homeward passage 1 December 1908. The battleships passed through the Suez Canal 4 January 1909, 
called at Port Said, Naples andVillefranche, and left Gibraltar astern 6 February. In one of the last ceremonial acts of his
 presidency, Theodore Roosevelt reviewed theGreat White Fleet as it went up to anchor in Hampton Roads 22 February 1909.

Aside from a period out of commission in reserve at Boston from 2 May 1910 until 15 July 1911, New Jersey carried out a 
normal pattern of drills and training in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean, carrying midshipmen of the United States Naval
Academy in the summers of 1912 and 1913. With Mexican political turmoil threatening American interests, New Jersey was
ordered to the Western Caribbean in the fall of 1913 to provide protection. On 21 April 1914, as part of the force 
commanded by Rear Admiral Frank F. Fletcher, following Mexican refusal to apologize for an insult to American naval
 forces at Tampico, sailors and Marines landed at Vera Cruz and took possession of the city and itscustoms house until
 changes in the Mexican government made evacuation possible. New Jersey sailed from Vera Cruz 13 August, observed

and reported on troubled conditions in Santo Domingo and Haiti, and reached Hampton Roads 9 October 1914. Until the 
outbreak of World War I, she returned to her regular operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean.

During World War I, New Jersey made a major contribution to the expansion of the wartime Navy, training gunners and 
seamen recruits inChesapeake Bay. After the Armistice, she began the first of four voyages to France from which she had 
brought home 5,000 members of the AEF by 9 June 1919.

New Jersey was decommissioned at the Boston Naval Shipyard 6 August 1920, and was sunk off Cape Hatteras 5 September
 1923 in Army bomb tests conducted by Brig. Gen. William Mitchell.

See also USS New Jersey (BB 62)
Updated: 29 July 2009


  1. Great post. Of course we want to see all of them.

    1. Okey-dokey - I'll post a new pic every couple of days. Glad you liked it!

  2. Will do, Mamahen - I have a big suitcase filled with interesting stuff! I guess it's time I went through it all.