962.9 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed: 5.8 Knots
Hours From Departure: 166 Hours or 6.9 Days from Blake Island,
Distance To Go This Leg: 219.5 Nautical Miles to Long Beach for
Estimated Time Of Arrival: 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 21
Present Course: 147 Degrees, Southeast by South
Winds: East-Northeast at 5 Knots
Swells: 6 Feet from the Northwest
Barometric Pressure: 1016 Millibars
Air Temperature: 56 Degrees
Visibility: 10 Miles
Sea Floor: USS New Jersey remains within the boundaries of the
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and charts display her presence now in the area of
the Pacific Missile Range. Increasing whale activity has been spotted.
USS New Jersey is now 19 Nautical
Miles West-Southwest of Point Piedras Blancas (White Rocks), and beyond that shore point
is William Randolph Hearst's San Simeon Castle, a few miles away from 3,594-foot Mt. Pine.
At this location, no land is visible.
Long Beach - "Big J's" Pacific Homeport
For more than half of USS New Jersey's commissioned
career of some 21 years, she called the Long Beach Naval Station her homeport.
She first reached her newly assigned southern California
naval station on June 11, 1968, after departing from Philadelphia a month earlier.
By September 3, she was headed west to Vietnam, not to return to Long Beach for eight
months, in May, 1969. Three months later, she was declared inactive by the Secretary
of Defense and taken to Puget Sound..
Then, in August, 1981, she arrived in Long Beach once
more for a modernization upgrade, after which she spent three months on sea trials which
she passed with flying colors. In December, 1982, USS New Jersey was re-commissioned
there by President Reagan.
"The Bamboo Cage Preventer, "BB-62 participated
in operational tests and west coast port visits to San Diego and San Francisco between
January and April, 1983, and in May, became the first surface ship to fire a Tomahawk
cruise missile successfully .
In June and July of 1983, she engaged in a three-month
shakedown cruise in the Western Pacific, until she was called east to Central America,
ordered through the Panama Canal, and directed to make high speed for Lebanon in
From then through April, 1984, she was attached to the
Navy's Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, but after 331 days deployed there with the
Atlantic forces, she returned home to Long Beach to a rousing, heroes' welcome on May 5,
Five months of "Post Shakedown Availability" at
the Long Beach Naval Shipyard followed her homecoming. Her number-two turret's
center gun was replaced, the first such gun change out since her Korean war combat.
In January, 1985, she passed her final contract trials,
and spent the next two years in training exercises, hosting visitations, and even serving
as a Hollywood stage for "War and Remembrance." She opened the New Year of
1988 at Long Beach moored next to her classmate, the USS Missouri.
From 1988 to 1990 New Jersey remained homeported at Long
Beach, while cruising the Pacific and Indian oceans, and passing through the Straits of
Hormuz to enter the Persian Gulf in December, 1989, the first time a battleship had ever
made that transit. The USS Missouri and Wisconsin would follow her precedent during
Desert Storm two years later.
By New Year's Day, 1991, USS New Jersey would be
in the final stages of de-activation. Her exit from active duty came on February 8,
1991 when she was formally decommissioned at Pier Echo, Naval Station Long Beach.
Early this week, she will return again to Long Beach.
This time she'll be a visitor passing through.
Those who see her anchored in Long Beach Harbor, however,
may remember her from years past. Some will have served with her. Those that
didn't may still know, just by the way she carries herself, that her stately presence
there Tuesday carries with it a nation's soul.
Such essentials reside in us all. There, each of us
is her homeport.
Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea