Battleship New Jersey
Northeast of Con Thien
U.S.S. New Jersey - BB 62:
Vietnam, 30 September 1968!

by: Don Poss


The U.S.S. New Jersey did not arrive Vietnam's waters until two years after my tour of duty. No Destroyer or Cruiser could match the fire power of the New Jersey's 16 inch guns. But I remember the first time I heard the Navy clearing its throat near Đà Nẵng. In-country only a short time, I was on patrol around Đà Nẵng Air Base when I heard what sounded like an old-time steam locomotive chugging a long. When I asked, "Where's there a train left around here?" the Sarge chuckled and pointed to the night sky. I looked up and my ears understood the train was in the sky--5 inch shells on their way past Đà Nẵng to who-knows-where. It really did sound exactly like a train!

New Jersey sails into the Vietnam War

The current Iowa Class New Jersey was authorized by Congress in 1938. At 45,000 tons and with 16-inch guns, the ship was shaped with a long, graceful bow, which made her much faster than her predecessors, giving her the classification fast battleship.
She arrived off Vietnam on September 29, 1968, and conducted gunfire support missions in South Vietnam and shelled enemy coastal positions in North Vietnam. The effect on the Communists was tremendous, and she was praised by U.S. troops.
From September 1968 to March 1969, New Jersey fired 3,615 16in shells (the size and weight of a VW car) and nearly 11,000 5in shells, during bombardment missions off North Vietnam. Shells were blasted up to 23 miles inland, and up to 58 miles inland with the new rounds!

After delivering almost 12 million pounds of high explosives onto Communist targets in Vietnam, the battleship New Jersey returned to Long Beach, California, May 5, 1969, and was decommissioned Dec. 17, 1969.

       Captain Peniston, retired her with the words, "Rest well, yet sleep lightly; and hear the call, if again sounded, to provide firepower for freedom."

New Jersey's nine 16-inch guns broadside North Vietnam!


Subject: Battleship New Jersey story
From : Alan Ellison

Hey Don, been a while since I have checked out any Vietnam Vet pages. Just read the USS New Jersey story. Boy, that one brings back some memories. I was there for her entire stay in the Đà Nẵng area before it moved on. The concussion of it's blasts was AWESOME; we discussed the fact that we sure as hell would hate to be on the receiving end of those shells. I wish I could have seen it fire a full broadside. I believe it usually stayed about 5 miles off the coast--far enough where Charlie couldn't reach it. Take care, Don, ... Al
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