Battleship New Jersey
Battleship New Jersey

Is it a surprise that the country’s most decorated battleship bears the name of the Garden State? Battleship New Jersey is closed due to COVID-19 concerns, but your family can still take a tour—virtually. And on Memorial Day, you and the kids can tune into a Facebook Live ceremony aboard the ship from 10-11 am.

Since the battleship can’t currently welcome visitors to its dock in Camden, you can visit via a virtual tour available on YouTube while the ship is closed. The half-hour tour includes a look at the upper deck (including the ship’s two anchors, which each weigh 30,000 pounds), the second deck (where bunks are located) and more. Plus you’ll get a look at wall murals created by sailors and learn about things like the floor’s tile colors, which signify spaces for those enlisted, officers, work spaces and more. Your kids learn about the radar and missile systems, too.

This Iowa-class battleship, commissioned in 1943, is the longest ship ever built at 887 feet and 7 inches. In addition, the ship has traveled more miles and fired more shells than any other battleship. With 19 battle and campaign stars, the Battleship New Jersey is the most-decorated ship of all 57 US battleships. It sailed during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Cold War and Lebanese Civil War.

If your lil’ sailors are hungry for more, Battleship New Jersey’s YouTube channel includes interviews, historical lessons and answers to questions like: will the battleship ever come back into service?

It currently costs $10,000 per day to keep the ship afloat in the Delaware River. Most of that money comes from tours and other events, which are currently suspended. If you’re able, consider making a donation to the battleship, purchasing battleship license plates, becoming a member or visiting the official store.

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