Welcome to Naval Theater

Naval Theater is dedicated to the ships upon and under the waves, and the people who crewed them. A new piece of maritime history is posted every day at 11:00 AM EST.

USS New Jersey (BB-16)

New Jersey in peacetime colors and her original configuration. The masts were replaced with cage types in 1909. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Laid Down

Laid down on 2 April, 1902, the Virginia-class battleship USS New Jersey (BB-16) commissioned in 1906. That October, she was sent to Havana to guard American citizens during the Cuban Insurrection. On 16 December, 1907, New Jersey left Hampton Roads as part of the Great White Fleet, putting on an American display of power around the globe. Returning 22 February, 1909, New Jersey resumed her normal routine of drilling in the Atlantic and Caribbean, until deployed to Mexico in 1913-14, to safeguard American citizens and interests during the Mexican Revolution. During World War I, New Jersey served as a training ship, and made four trips to return soldiers home after the war. She was decommissioned 6 August, 1920, and expended in 1923 as a target for Army bombers.