Journal Entry  -  October 9, 1999  -  Day 28

Saturday Morning Position Report
8:00 a.m., Mountain Daylight Time

11 Degrees, 04 Minutes North


90 Degrees, 02 Minutes West

Days Run:

55.3 Nautical Miles


4.61 Knots (Average)  running at reduced speed due to a fixed ETA of October 16 at the Panama Canal

Total Run This Leg:  2,177.7 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.18 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  420.5 Hours, 17.52 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  770.1 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  7:00 a.m., Saturday, October 16, Balboa Sea Buoy, Panama
Present Course:  117 Degrees Southeasterly
Winds:  South-Southeast at 10 Knots
Seas:  1 Foot
Swells:  6 Feet from a Westerly Direction
Barometric Pressure:  1011 Millibars
Air Temperature:  81 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  79 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Mostly Cloudy
Sea Floor:  Ocean depths beneath the USS New Jersey at this point are 1,900 Fathoms or 11,400 Feet

Position:   USS New Jersey is currently due South of Punta Remedios, El Salvador, and 180 Nautical Miles Southwest of the border between El Salvador and Honduras, which extends into the Golfo de Fonseca on its northern shore.  On the expansive Gulf's more Southern shores is the borderline between Honduras and Nicaragua.

Several prominent volcanic peaks rise on both sides of the Gulf entrance and a number of high and conspicuous islands lie within the inner part. "Sailing Directions" cautions seafarers that numerous fishing vessels may be encountered in the approaches to the bay.  (The correct spelling of the island incorporating Haiti and the Dominican Republic is Hispaniola.)

USS New Jersey's "MarDets "

Four days after "The Jersey Bounce" reaches her namesake's state waters and assumes her temporary berthing at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the U.S. Marine Corps will celebrate one more of its anniversaries.

The Corps was formed in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, in 1775, and next month, on November 10, the Marines will celebrate the 224th year of their existence as pivotal landing forces in World War II and other wars, as sharpshooters for naval vessels in early American history, and with the USS New Jersey, as part of the ship's complement, known as "MarDets," or Marine Detachments.

Proudly retired Sergeant Major Roger Lockwood, USMC, was one of those marines attached to the New Jersey, and he has fond memories of her and his Corps experience.  He also plans to be at the Battleship's side when she is formally donated by the U.S. Navy Ship Donation Program to either Bayonne or Camden, after her transit to Philadelphia.

"I have many wonderful memories of the ship and its crew," Lockwood says.  "I loved duty at sea and the grand old ship was my home away from home."

For many Marines, it was probably the same for them.   "I was the 1st Sergeant of the Marine Detachment on the "Jersey Bounce" from 1951-53," Lockwood related.  "We provided security for the ship, and we also were Admiral's orderlies, Captain's orderlies, but mostly our duties provided for security of the ship, and for a small landing force if needed. That's what the Detachments were used for," he said.

"It's a reflection of way back in our early days when they served aboard ship as security, and they also were well up in the yardarms, the mast area, and were shooting down on invaders.  Marines were always a part of the sharpshooters for the old Navy.  They were always in the battle, so to speak, they all had their own battle stations to take care of.  That was one of the prime things the Marines did when they were first formed as security," Lockwood related.

What about relationships between the sailors and marines aboard ship, Lockwood was asked?

"Well, Marines and Navy are always at loggerheads, so to speak.  Marines didn't like the Navy, and the Navy didn't like the Marines, because they thought we were glory hogs, and so forth.  I know they used to call us 'Bell Hops,' and that caused quite a bit of fighting.  But when it came down to everything, and the stuff is on the line, though, they were hand-in-hand as far as brothers in battle," he said.

"But it's always been my opinion that if I had been born in the olden days, I would love to have been a Viking, or one of the gunners who rolled out the guns on the old ships at sea, you know.  And if there was no Marines Corps, I would have been a Navyman," Lockwood said.

Sergeant Major Lockwood isn't planning on any new careers these days. Today, for example, he informed us that he and his wife, residents of Mount Morris, Michigan, were fully involved in the Michigan vs. Michigan State game on television.  He may also be celebrating early the 204th anniversary of the the Marine Corps he served for so long and honorably.

And, by the way, Lockwood celebrated his own anniversary yesterday - his 80th birthday.  By the sound of things, he'll be on hand to christen the USS New Jersey's new memorial donation site, whenever that occurs, and cheer on many more Big Ten champion football teams, too, Viking style.

Happy Birthday, Sergeant Major Lockwood, Semper Fidelis, and thank you, sir.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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