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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Camden in Camden County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Eyewitness to History

 
 
Eyewitness to History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 17, 2019
1. Eyewitness to History Marker
( photo caption )
Designation:   Mark 7 16”/50 Caliber Gun
Date of Design:   1939
Date Entered Service:   1943
Gun Weight:   120 Tons
Gun Length:   816 inches (68 feet)
Main Types of Projectiles:
High Capacity (HC) 1,900 lbs.
  - Shore Bombardment
Armor Piercing (AP) 2,700 lbs.
  - Enemy Ships
(The black practice shells nearby are 2,700 AP rounds)
Inscription.  
Eyewitness to History
This massive gun barrel sitting before you was once mounted inside Turret 1 of the battleship USS New Jersey. During the epic battles of World War II and the Korean War this gun barrel, along with the other guns and brave crew of New Jersey, helped provide Firepower for Freedom that affected, and still affects, millions of people today. How did this eyewitness to history come to be sitting here before you? The gun barrel's journey here began in 1954.

Many things, including 16-inch gun barrels, wear out and need replacement. After serving in two wars, all nine of New Jersey's 16-inch guns were removed from the ship and replaced with new gun barrels in 1954. The removed barrels were then relined. The lining inside each gun barrel contains rifling that causes fired projectiles to spin, allowing them to hit their targets more accurately. Once relined, the barrels were placed in storage, sitting in a field for more than 60 years at the St. Julien's Creek Annex, Norfolk Naval Base, Virginia. The photo above shows staff of the Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial inspecting the gun barrels in 2015
Mark 7 16”/50 Caliber Gun image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 17, 2019
2. Mark 7 16”/50 Caliber Gun
as they were stored at the Annex.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Battleship's staff, volunteers, contributors, and veterans, the Museum was able to raise the required funds and coordinate the highly complicated logistics to acquire one of the gun barrels and place it here in 2017. The gun barrel before you, Serial Number 292, which was the left gun of Turret 1, is the actual gun in the photo above firing at Kaesong, Korea on January 1, 1953 during the Korean War. In addition to witnessing fierce battles, this gun barrel may have witnessed the only onboard combat fatality suffered by New Jersey during her entire career. Seaman Robert Osterwind was killed by shrapnel from enemy shore bombardment on May 21, 1951. Evidence suggests that Seaman Osterwind was in the portside area of Turret l, where the gun barrel was located, when he was killed. Gun barrels, such as this one, represent so much more than just a weapon. It is a symbol of the resolve of those who built it and those who manned it onboard New Jersey. It is a silent sentinel to all those we have lost defending freedom.
 
Location. 39° 56.364′ N, 75° 7.84′ W. Marker is in Camden, New Jersey, in Camden County. Memorial can be reached from Clinton Street near S. Delaware Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Located at the
The Breech End of the Gun image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 17, 2019
3. The Breech End of the Gun
The Gun was manufactured at the Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, New York
Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Clinton Street, Camden NJ 08103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battleship New Jersey (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile (about 600 feet away); USS New Jersey Aircraft (about 600 feet away); USS New Jersey Marine Detachments (about 700 feet away); Side View Turret #1 (about 800 feet away); M2 Browning (approx. 0.2 miles away); American Merchant Marine Memorial (approx. mile away); The Victor (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Camden.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial. (Submitted on May 5, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. USS New Jersey (BB-62) on Wikipedia. (Submitted on May 5, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Gyn Identification Mark image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 17, 2019
4. Gyn Identification Mark
U.S. Naval Gun Factory W.N.Y.
16in Gun Mark VII Mod.   No. 292
Supt.   G.P.     Inspr. G.P.B.
B. D.I.H.     237005 Lbs.
P. J.D.C.     1942   1969
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on May 5, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 5, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 5, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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