Three giant 66-foot long gun barrels that served on the historic battleship during WWII and the Korean War have traveled more than 300 miles to be reunited with the vessel.
The 16-inch/50-caliber Mark 7 guns, each weighing 237,000-pounds, were first installed on the USS New Jersey when she was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in the 1940s. While she used them to good effect in the Pacific and off Korea, the worn barrels were replaced by new tubes, which the battleship still has, and the old wartime vintage barrels placed in storage at Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s St. Juliens Creek Annex for the past 60 years. Now, after a $200,000 fundraiser to move three of the guns from Virginia to Camden, New Jersey, the old battleship has some of her original teeth back.
According to the Battleship New Jersey Museum, all three barrels will be cleaned up and made presentable. One will go across the river to the site of the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where New Jersey was built, while another will remain at the battleship where it will be placed on display. The third barrel will go to the Mahan Collection Foundation in Basking Ridge, which has helped the ship preserve other rare ordnance, such as a working 40mm Bofors mount.