The Jerseyman

Upcoming Events Onboard the Big J

From the office of Jack Willard, Vice President, Marketing and Sales


Garden State Craft Brewers Guild Beer Festival

Saturday June 28, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm


This annual beer fest returns to the Battleship on Saturday, June 28th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Guests can experience a tour of the Battleship, enjoy the music of the Cabin Dogs, take home a souvenir sampling mug, enjoy food concessions and, of course, sample beers from over 20 breweries throughout the Garden State. Beer Festival tickets are $45 per adult.


The VIP Ticket is back! For just $55, a limited number of guests will gain access at 12:00pm - a full hour before the festival public enters, and be given the opportunity to sample special craft beers and chat with the brewers. But hurry, these tickets go fast!!


Tickets can be purchased online at Just click the Beer Festival flier on the website. You can also get tickets by calling (866) 877-6262 ext. 107, or purchasing them at the Battleship Ticket Office every day from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.


Battleship Blast Annual Fundraiser

Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm


Save the Date - Saturday July 5 - The Battleship Blast Fundraiser is back! The night will feature a delicious Surf-n-Turf dinner, open bar and entertainment on the fantail, then the best view of the Independence Week fireworks show over the Delaware River at dusk. Plus, all proceeds go to the ongoing preservation and maintenance of the Battleship, a 501 c non-profit museum and memorial. Tables and partnerships are available, for more information or for tickets, call (866) 877-6262 ext. 144.


You can also visit the ships website at


Hope to see you there!


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I was a Sailor Once...

VADM Harold Koening USN (Ret)


The following prose was authored by VADM Harold Koening USN (Ret). While it speaks directly to those who have gone down to the sea in ships, it will be appreciated by all who have worn a uniform in the service of our nation


I like the Navy. I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with Salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - the ship beneath me feeling like a living Thing as her engines drive her through the sea.

I like the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswains Pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.

I like Navy vessels - nervous darting destroyers, plodding fleet auxiliaries, sleek submarines and steady solid carriers. I like the proud names of Navy ships: Midway, Lexington, Saratoga, Coral Sea - Memorials of great battles won. I like the lean angular names of Navy 'tin-cans': Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy - mementos of heroes who went before us.

I like the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as we pull away from the oiler after refueling at sea. I like liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port. I even like all hands working parties as my ship fills herself with the multitude of supplies both mundane and exotic which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where there is water to float her.

I like sailors, men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England, from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trust and depend on them as they trust and depend on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for courage. In a word, they are "shipmates."

I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed "Now station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for leaving port", and I like the infectious thrill of sighting home Again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pier side.

The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the 'all for one and one for all' philosophy of the sea is Ever present.

I like the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flit across the wave tops and sunset gives way to night.

I like the feel of the Navy in darkness - the masthead lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror of stars overhead. And I like drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that tell me that my ship is alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe.

I like quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee - the lifeblood of the Navy - permeating everywhere. And I like hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed keeps all hands on a razor edge of alertness. I like the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations", followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transforms herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war - ready for anything. And I like the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.

I like the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them. I like the proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones. A sailor can find much in the Navy, comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent can find adulthood.

In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and chief's quarters and mess decks. Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon. Remembering this, they will stand taller and say,

"I was a Sailor once.  I was part of the Navy;  The Navy will always be part of me"

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What I like about being a Volunteer on the Big J

Jacob Smeltzer, Battleship Encampment Program Volunteer


You may recall that we had a story in the last issue of The Jerseyman about Jacob Smeltzer, one of the ships youngest volunteers. In that article I apologized for not having a photo of Jacob to include in that issue but I promised to provide one in our next edition, so here it is.


Bravo Zulu Jacob, keep up the good work!


Photo of Jacob at work in the Overnight Encampment Store.

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Did you ever wonder, how much room the Battleships Engineering Spaces Take Up?

Rich Thrash, Brass Team Volunteer


In the last three or four issues of The Jerseyman I have used this back page to feature silhouettes of battleships that sailed the seas under the flags of Germany, Japan and England during World War II. Beginning with this issue, and lasting for the next few, I will be featuring drawings of various aspects of the Battleship created by Rolland Garber, a long-time volunteer on the ship.


In the drawing below he has plotted out the ships four engine rooms and fire rooms and overlaid them over a regulation NFL football field. It really helps to put the size of those spaces into perspective, pretty impressive!


In future issues I will feature hull cross sections and cut away drawings of the turrets that Rolland has also drawn. 


Layout of the ships four engine rooms and fire rooms, overlaid on a regulation NFL football field.

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Disclaimer: The Jerseyman is an independent ships newsletter, written and produced solely for the enjoyment of the Battleship’s current volunteer crew and staff, former crewmembers, and other readers. The Jerseyman is not sold, subscriptions are not offered, and all credited photos and stories are the sole property of their authors. Wherever possible, The Jerseyman requests permission, properly credits, and identifies the source of photographs, stories, or quotations. If crediting errors or any possible copyright infringements are found, please let us know and corrections will be made. If you need to reach The Jerseyman please use the contact information below.

Rich Thrash, Volunteer Writer/Editor
11859 Coopers Court
Reston, VA 20191

The Jerseyman Logo is courtesy of
Maritime Artist and former USS New
crewmember, James A. Flood

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Line Drawing of Big J

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Last updated on April 03, 2012.