The Jerseyman

Annual Pearl Harbor Commemorative Ceremony

Rich Thrash, Brass Team Volunteer

 

On December 6th Congressman Robert Andrews held his annual Pearl Harbor Commemoration Ceremony on the Battleship. Below are several photos from that event.

 

Presentation of the Rev. Peter A. Molnar Veterans Service
Award to Herbert Ruble for his life long service to the
Veteran's Community.
Congressman Andrews and
Peter Molnars' wife are also seen in this photo.

Alex Horanzy, one of two Pearl Harbor Survivors in the
area, addresses those in attendance at the ceremony.

Congressman Robert Andrews and Alex Horanzy preparing
to cast the Memorial Wreath into the Delaware River.

Honor Guard assembled on the fantail for the ceremony.

Patriot Day Army-Navy Tug of War event held on the Battleship Pier

Rich Zimmermann, Overnight Encampment Volunteer

 

A new tradition has developed around the annual Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia. For the past several years, the services have been staging Patriot Day, a series of physical activities featuring underclassmen. Competition has been quite fierce with the Navy holding the edge over the past several years.

 

The last Competition is always held on the pier at the Battleship New Jersey. It all starts with a blast form the Battleship's starboard Saluting Gun. The Army-Navy Tug of War is only a small part of the pageantry.

 

This year the Navy won the sound war with 96 musicians to drown out the Army. But it was all in vain. This year, Army won the Tug of War.

 

You can bet both services will be back in force next year. It is a great show, mark your calendar and come on out.

 

Navy Band getting the crowd fired up for the event.

Teams hanging out on deck before the Tug-of-War.

Victorious Army Team.

Navy Team.

The Navy Team, pulling hard.

Miss Pennsylvania posing with the winning Army Team.

Both Teams together posing under the Big Guns.

A piece of Army equipment on display during the event.

Breakfast with Santa

Rich Zimmermann, Overnight Encampment Volunteer

 

Each December, the Battleship New Jersey plays host to a gentleman in a red suit. Santa comes for our annual Breakfast with Santa. This year, as in other years, we had dozens of tiny children, their brothers, their sisters, parents and grandparents who came aboard and enjoy breakfast in the ships mess, lots and lots of door prizes and a visit with Santa. During the private visit with Santa, the children and families were photographed and their pictures were posted free of charge on the web site, face book and many other sources of social media. The program is very popular with many families coming back year after year.

 

This year the ships Sea Cadets wanted to participate in this event so several of them helped serve breakfast in the mess and two were detailed to be Santa's' official honor guard.

 

Santa onboard with his official Sea Cadet honor guard.

Holliday Party in the Wardroom, a New Approach...

Rich Thrash, Brass Team Volunteer

 

It had been several years since we had a holiday party, and in the past when we did have them they were always held somewhere other than the ship. This year we changed that trend and had a holiday party in the Wardroom and it turned out pretty well. Admittedly we were a little slow on getting the word out about the event, and it was held the Saturday evening before Christmas, which is usually a busy day for many people, but we still had about 100 people show up in festive attire.

 

During the party volunteers were recognized for their continued service onboard and presented Certificates of Appreciation. One of our Security staff, Walter Murphy, also was recognized for his actions while on duty at the ship when he came to the aid of a visitor who had suffered a cardiac event. Walter performed CPR on the visitor until the ambulance arrived to transport him to the hospital, and he was recognized for saving the visitors life. He received a Red Cross Life Saving Award. Walter served previously in the U.S. Marines and his performance in this situation was outstanding, Bravo Zulu!

 

Next on the agenda was a big surprise that Walt Urban and I had been working on for months. It all started a while back when I asked Walt if he knew where we could get the Navy insignia for a bugler. Nan LaCorte, a long-time member of the Brass Team, has been playing her bugle at events on the ship for years and so I wanted to get her the insignia to wear on her uniform. So, Walt did some searching and was unable to find any through normal Navy supply channels. Since the designation of Bugler has been gone from the Navy for a long time there just weren't any to be had. Our next idea was to contact the ships last official bugler, Bertrand Trottier, who served as the ships bugler during her deployment to Vietnam in 1968 - 1969, and currently resides in California. So Walt began corresponding with Bertrand but it turned out he didn't have any of the insignia either. He did tell us that he had some made for himself by a local "stitcher" and he was willing to have that person make some for Nan. Bertrand had several versions of the insignia made for Nan and sent them to us just in time to present them to her at the party. He also wrote some nice remarks about passing the ships bugler torch to Nan which were read during the presentation.

 

The story doesn't end there though, fast forward to this past May 23rd, the ships 71st birthday celebration, and Bertrand came and visited the ship and spoke during the ceremony about his time onboard and about his duties as ships bugler. Following his remarks Bertrand and Nan played echo taps together on the forecastle, a pretty cool moment for both of them. Bertrand also has the honor of being the last official bugler to have served in the Navy. He is "The Last Bugler" and if you have the opportunity I encourage you to check out his website which is http://www.buglerusn.us/nj.htm. There is a ton of information there about his duties on the ship and what it was like being a bugler onboard the Big J.  More about Bertrand later in this issue in the article about the ships birthday party.

 

Then there was one more surprise at the party, one that I was shocked about because it was me that was called to the podium and recognized for my efforts as a volunteer and putting in all those miles back and forth from Virginia. I was given a really nice HNSA watch by Pat Jones, so Nan wasn't the only one surprised at the party. Thanks again for the watch Pat, much appreciated and nice to be recognized.

 

So, that was about it for the official portion of the party, throughout the evening guests enjoyed the hors d'oeuvres, open bar, and hanging out in the Wardroom and talking to fellow volunteers and staff. It was a great party, we'll build on it and next years will be even better. Below are a bunch of photos from the event.

 

Phil Rowan, Executive Director & CEO of the Battleship tells
story of how Walter Murphy saved the life of a visitor to the ship.

Phil presenting the Red Cross Life Saving Award to Walter.

Here, Captain Walter M. Urban, Jr. USNR (Ret.) has taken the
podium and is beginning to spring the surprise of the insignias
on Nan. That's me there too, check out our festive attire.

Here we are checking out the insignias Bertrand provided.

This was my surprise, receiving the HNSA watch. Also in the
photo (left to right) are
Phil Rowan, Executive Director & CEO,
the Honorable Patricia Jones, Trustee, Home Port Alliance,
Captain Walter M. Urban, Jr. USNR (Ret.), Dennis Levitt,
Chairman of the Board, Home Port Alliance and me.

Guests mingling in the Wardroom, that was decorated
with lights, garland, and Christmas ornaments.

Another shot of the festivities.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Line Drawing of Big J

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Last updated on April 03, 2012.