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david leigh-smith
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On This Day…March 25th.

March 25, 2019 · in Photo Collections · · 7 · 1.7K

Dramatic photo of the USS New Jersey (BB-62) bombarding enemy positions near Tuyho, off South Vietnam, March 25th, 1969.

Officially decommissioned on 21st August, 1957, ten years later, the Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara green lighted a study determining what would be required to get New Jersey reactivated. With the results of the study positive, the decision was made to recommission her "for employment in the Pacific Fleet to augment the naval gunfire support force in Southeast Asia".

After receiving an extensive modernisation (20 mm and 40 mm anti-aircraft guns on the battleship removed, improved electronic warfare systems installed, and improvements made to her radar) New Jersey was formally recommissioned 6 April 1968 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard with Captain J. Edward Snyder in command. Amazingly for such an old girl, during her post refit shakedown, New Jersey set the battleship world speed record by achieving a speed of 35.2 knots (62.5 kph/40.5 mph), maintaining this speed for six hours.

Interesting photo of a Beaufort wreck of the RAAFI think it’s in the process of being salvaged but even after a search, there’s little data on this other than the date of March 25th, 1944. Any other information gratefully received.

AEC Mk II armored car, Lulworth Army Training facilities, England, 25 Mar 1943.

Very early photo of the USS Lexington (CV-2) on her shakedown cruise off panama on March 25th, 1928. Her sister ship, the Saratoga (CV-3], was commissioned just a month before - CV-1 being the Langley.

Mk I Churchill tank with 3 inch gun

M46 medium tank of the US 1st marine Tank Battalion in Korea, 25th March 1953. The wire acted as a rudimentary anti-rocket screen.

F6F-3 Hellcat #13 of VF-9 engages the barricade on board the carrier USS Essex (CV-9) on March 25th, 1943.

‘Crusader III tank’ with Bofors 40 mm Anti Aircraft cannon, which seems a bit of a ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ - again, at Lulworth, England, March 25th, 1943.

The mopping up at Pompeii airfield continues. In this shot you can see just how much ash fell in the area, with all 80 aircraft essentially useless. March 25th, 1944.

Gorgeous photo of P51 Mustangs lined up on Iwo Jima - end of March, 1945.

Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

7 responses

  1. Love the bail out instructions.

  2. ‘Piggyback’, huh?

  3. Hey David. I'm hoping to visit the Big "J" for the second time in May. Unfortunately I won't get to see the big guns fire. Great shots, once again.

  4. The Beaufort A9-542 crashed at Lake Victoria, near Storm Point Victoria on 18/03/1944, it was delivered 12/1943, served with 1 OTU RAAF, the crew survived and the aircraft was converted to components the following month. -------- this from ADF serials website.

  5. Thanks, Allan. I love tying up loose ends and I suppose if I were to put money on anyone finding this bird, it’d be you.

    Thanks. Appreciated.

  6. Hello David, @dirtylittlefokker

    I'll take a Judas Goat Pershing with a side of Mustangs from Iwo...

    no, make that two..., and toss in a Hellcat, with a B-25 for desert 🙂

    That was some crazy stuff with the piggy back Lightning article... I visited the USS Alabama which is now a floating museum in Mobile, Alabama many years ago. It's no where as big as the Iowa class ships like the New Jersey. Even still it was very impressive to see !

    Thanks David.


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