A trip to visit the USS New Jersey

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The Ocean – Monmouth Amateur Radio club (OMARC) N2MO had the honor and privilege of touring the Battleship New Jersey, BB-62 on Saturday.

Our guide was Dave WA2TVS of the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Club, NJ2BB. Nine OMARC members met at our club facility at 0800 and then car pooled to the battleship. Arriving around 0930 we were met dock side by Dave. The tour started with us going aboard and making our way forward. Standing in front of Turret One, with those three huge 16” navel rifles over head made it was quite an experience.

After getting a brief history of the ship we made our way to the communications center. The NJBARC has there Amateur Radio club Station in a small compartment just off the communications center. With four operating positions, it’s cramped. Our group split into to two groups. The smaller group stayed to operate and the larger group started out on the tour. Now having been on large naval ships before I was somewhat used to climbing steep ladders. But some of the group had to be watched on them. One has to remember that this ship was originally manned by very young men. So old men like me do have a hard time with the ladders. But the hardship of climbing up and down them was worth it. Dave give us the grand tour, which included areas not covered by the standard tour. We went up and down the ladders, and made our way aft, stopping at all the museum spaces that have been sit up throughout the ship.

After about three hours, we arrived back at the communications center. The smaller group had already eaten lunch in the galley. So we left them to operate and made our way to the galley for lunch: pulled pork, hot dogs and chili. After which we went back to trade places with the small group. I chose to be at the twenty meter station. Although the bands were not in the greatest shape, I started calling CQ. After a few calls, I started making contacts. The others in my group were on fifteen and forty meters. The massive antenna systems aboard the ship work great. Soon we were adding contacts to the logging program database.

Our time on board was short and we soon had to go QRT, but our time aboard will not be forgotten. I would like to thank the Members of the New Jersey Amateur Radio Club for being our hosts and allowing us to operate from this very special venue.

Our thanks also go to the Battleship New Jersey museum for all the hard work it has done and all the hard work it takes to maintain the ship as a museum. But most importantly: Thank You To All Those Men who took this grand Old lady into Harm’s Way in defense of our Country. THANK YOU, JOB WELL DONE!

Jeff Harshman, N2LXM, is a special contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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