I'm a volunteer on the Battleship New Jersey. Not to be biased but, it's an amazing piece of history! Everyone should visit at least once to learn about the legacy of this proud ship!! They don't teach this stuff in school anymore, so take the kids and watch their eyes light up. It's very much worth the trip.
I’ve been a volunteer on the Battleship since 2001. My first volunteer day was my birthday, Monday, April 30th, a day when I told the boss I needed a mental health day and off I went to the ship. On my first day I met some really great people like Admiral Thomas Seigenthaler, Bob Walters and Jack Shaw. I spent part of that day chipping water damaged floor tiles off the deck on the mess decks and the other part removing masking paper from passageways that had just been painted. After just one visit I was hooked, and here I am now, 15 years later, with over 500 volunteer days under my belt!
My first few visits to the ship were spent painting, cleaning and helping get areas ready for the public. Then one day I heard about a group of volunteers led by a guy named Bruce Williams who were focusing on restoring the bright work on the ship. Bright work in navy jargon means brass fixtures of all sizes and shapes and when a ship is in commission the crew keeps the bright work shining as a matter of pride in their ship. For most enlisted guys who served on the ship it would have been busy work or perhaps extra duty, but for me and my fellow volunteers it was a chance to carry on the tradition and keep the brass shining for all that visit her to see. When it comes to brass the battleship is a target rich environment, there is brass everywhere, and keeping it shining is a full time job.
Today the majority of my volunteer days are Saturdays where I work with about a dozen or so dedicated fellow members of the ships Brass Team to keep the bright work shining. Like me, most of the gang has been there from the beginning, we have a great group to work with. Over the years I’ve been involved in numerous special projects and through donations I’ve helped: establish the ships memorial kiosk, which lists information about the ships former crew members; procure the token machine and commemorative tokens that are part of our highly successful fund raising Wishing Well onboard; and most recently donating funds and labor to help get the ships whistle to work after being silent since 1990. Check out a video at http://www.courierpostonline.com/videos/news/local/south-jersey/2016/10/18/92390888/. I’m just an old Army guy who has fallen in a big way for an old Navy Battleship, and I’ll continue to make the 320 mile round trip from Virginia on Saturdays to work with my fellow Brass Team members to keep her looking good as long as I am able.
If you live in the area, have some free time on Saturdays, and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, I encourage you to come down and spend a day or two with us, we can use all the help we can get. If you live further away (don’t forget I make the drive from Reston, VA) and can’t join us in person, then please consider joining us in another way. You can become a member at various levels; or you can make a tax deductible cash donation to help us raise money to replace the teak decking on the ship, even buying items from the ships store helps support the ship. Information on how you can help can be found on the Battleships official website. I too have a website that I started in 2001 where I've posted photos of the various restoration projects I’ve been involved with, if you want to take a look go to www.ussnewjersey.com. We are so fortunate to have the Navy’s most decorated battleship open to the public right here in Camden, NJ, thanks in advance for any support you can provide to help us with her ongoing maintenance and restoration efforts.
When asked the question 'What do you do now that you are retired I proudly reply "I am a volunteer and member of the restoration crew aboard the Battleship New Jersey." Their response "Wow, our family toured the Battleship New Jersey and enjoyed every moment of our visit, and learned so much! What a great history! What a great ship." As a volunteer I want to thank all those involved in keeping the legacy of the Battleship New Jersey BB62 alive, and that includes our volunteers, our staff, our contributors, but especially all our veterans and those that served aboard the Battleship New Jersey BB62. "Job WELL DONE USN 1959-63!!!!
I have been a volunteer for 3 years working with the Ham radio club. I've seen many family groups visiting and asking questions and having a super time.
The ship provides a view of how many of our veterans lived and served in the past. There are a number of battleship museum ships, but the amount areas open to the public, and the effort by the Home Port Alliance to make them enjoyable and accessible exceeds them all!
In today's world of technical magic, the Battle Ship New Jersey museum ships gives a view of an older technology and what can be done with skillful engineering - without computers!
RM2 USN 1960-1969
I have been a volunteer aboard the ship for over 10 years. The crew works very hard on restoration, demonstration and customer satisfaction in keeping with the highest Standards of The USN. The ship and exhibits have come a very long way since its opening and the care that is taken of the ship is unmatched. Their Encampment Program is second to none and continues to be a great success. It has been nothing less then a privilege and an honor to serve aboard with these fine people.
Had been a volunteer on the Battleship for over 10 1/2 years & have enjoyed every minute.
I have not been able to participate for awhile due to illness, but miss it & hope to get back.
One of the most rewarding expieriences in my life is the honor of serving as a volunteer on the Battleship New Jersey. Many of the volunteers served in the United States Navy and the extent of their knowledge of the ship's systems and their ability to envision and design simulations of those systems is truly amazing. The staff from the Curator on down is dedicated to making the USS New Jersey a living museum with constant restoration projects underway from restoring the ships horn to reactivating all the status lights on broadway and constantly bringing more compartments on line for viewing by the ship's guests while always maintaining historical accuracy.
Some of the volunteers actually served on the USS New Jersey. The machine and hull tech shops are still in use for ship repair overseen by a Navy Veteran who served in those very compartments. Listening to him recount stories of his years aboard as he machines a necessary part is a step back to a period when the ship was underway in the defense of our country and a truly rewarding expierience.
I encourage everyone I meet to visit the most decorated Battleship in Navy history, I know the will not be disappointed.
The Battleship is amazing. My Great Uncle worked on her when she was built. It is a wonderful piece of American History and I was proud to be able to volunteer and work with such great people.
God bless all of those who servrd the Big J and the USA.
The Battleship New Jersey is the most decorated Battleship in all of US history. It has an outstanding camp program which serves 10,000 a year. Over the years we have restored and reopened large parts of the ship. We mark events with the sound of the Salute Cannon.
More of the New Jersey is open to the public than any other Iowa class battleship.
Over the years, over 300 volunteers have helped to restore the New Jersey.