There are several important milestone events in the life of a warship. Of particular importance are those proceedings surrounding the ship's launching and retirement from active service. Such events include the keel laying, launching, commissioning, decommissioning, and final disposition of the ship. On 23 May 2013 one of history's most powerful warships, the battleship USS New Jersey (BB-62), will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of its commissioning.
USS New Jersey is the second of the Iowa-class fast battleships. The four Iowas (Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri and
Tomorrow the floating museum USS Texas will reopen to the public (in part) - with a patch having stopped the influx of water that had otherwise closed the battleship to public viewing two weeks ago. Nevertheless, the venerable battleship (the oldest surviving dreadnought) is not out of the woods; with smaller leaks remaining an ongoing problem.
Hopefully, the support is there for the Texas to soldier on (I have a personal affection for the ship as I visited her at age 10 and of course have loved battleships ever since). One hundred years old last month the Texas served in both world wars
On December 7, 1941 over 350 Japanese aircraft launched from six aircraft carriers hammered US military installations across Oahu, Hawaii. The focal point for their attack was the elements of the US Pacific Fleet then at anchor at the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. This attack killed over 2,400 Americans and sank or damaged eight battleships (with two total losses), three cruisers, three destroyers, some auxiliary ships, and destroyed 183 aircraft. In turn, the Japanese lost 29 aircraft and five midget submarines.
Late last week the USS Iowa (BB-61), the lead ship in the final class of US battleships ever built, began a voyage from Suisun Bay, California that will ultimately end in Los Angeles - where she will serve as a floating museum.
Laid down in June 1940 and commissioned in February 1943 the Iowa weighed in at 45,000 tons, was 887 feet long and included a crew of over 2,750 officers and men. Her potent main armament of nine 16 inch (406mm) guns could rain one ton shells down onto targets over 20 miles away.