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Thursday, August 11, 2005Past Issues - S | M | T | W | T | F | S
 
South Jersey

June 26, 1999

Congressmen tell Navy to bring USS New Jersey to Camden

By JETTE ENGLUND SMITH
Gannett State Bureau

TRENTON - The tug-of-war over the battleship USS New Jersey got an extra yank toward South Jersey with 18 congressmen from the Delaware Valley pulling to bring the ship back to the Delaware River, where it was launched 56 years ago.

"As we move further in the decision-making process, it becomes more and more evident that Camden is the only choice to berth the Battleship New Jersey," said New Jersey Rep. Rob Andrews, a Democrat from Haddon Heights, in a joint statement with Republican Jim Saxton from Mount Holly.

Members of Congress from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania endorsed a bipartisan proposal in a letter to Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig on Friday.

Also contending in the battle to get the ship is Bayonne, Hudson County, where the USS Intrepid is anchored and serves as a Navy museum.

"(USS New Jersey) was built here on the banks of the Delaware ... let's bring her home," Saxton said.

But Assemblyman Joseph Azzolina, R-Monmouth, disagrees. Azzolina has led the fight to bring the New Jersey to Bayonne.

"The overwhelming majority of New Jersey residents want the Battleship New Jersey on the Hudson waterfront ... In fact, the New Jersey and the Intrepid complement one another as they did during World War II. These two great warships sharing the Hudson waterfront in New Jersey and New York will help each other draw many more visitors to these irreplaceable tourist attractions. My sentiments now are, may the best waterfront location, where the people want the ship, win."

An application has been filed with the Navy's Donation Office, and Andrews is "confident that based on history, maintenance costs, lack of competition from nearby ship museums, geography and other factors, that no other site has as good an application as Camden."

Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, a Republican from Vineland, also signed the letter.

 



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