Journal Entry  -  October 9, 1999  -  Day 28

Saturday Evening Position Report
8:00 p.m., Mountain Daylight Time

10 Degrees, 37 Minutes North


89 Degrees, 08 Minutes West

Days Run:

60.4 Nautical Miles


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

Total Run This Leg:  2,238.1 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.17 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  432.5 Hours, 18.02 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  709 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  7:00 a.m., Saturday, October 16, Balboa Sea Buoy, Panama
Present Course:  117 Degrees Southeasterly
Winds:  Southwest at 10 Knots
Seas:  1 Foot
Swells:  6 Feet from the West-Southwest
Barometric Pressure: 1012 Millibars
Air Temperature:  77 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  79 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Scattered Clouds
Sea Floor:  Ocean depths beneath the USS New Jersey at this point are 2,215 Fathoms or 13,290 Feet

Position:  USS New Jersey is now 160 Nautical Miles Southwest of Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua, the principal port of entry on the Pacific coast for this Central American nation.  The land in this vicinity is low with few distinguishing features.  However, numerous high volcanic peaks are visible for a considerable distance seaward, and are excellent landmarks when not obscured by cloud cover.

Volcan Viejo, the highest peak in Nicaragua, rises to a height of 5,668 Feet, about 18 miles Northeast of Puerto Corinto.

Time:  Captain Ogaard has directed that Sea Victory's clocks be advanced one hour at 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning to conform to the eastward advancement of the USS New Jersey's Southeasterly track to Panama. We will have exited the equivalent of the U.S. Mountain Daylight Time zone, and entered the Central Daylight Time zone.

New Jersey's Expert Shots

The U.S. Marines aboard the USS New Jersey, part of the traditional Marine Detachments, served the Admirals and Captains as orderlies, and provided ship security, but they also assumed battle stations when the time came.

Master Sergeant Roger Lockwood was on the New Jersey in Korea between 1951 and 1953.  He knew first hand what the Marines did then, but has also read much about his predecessors.

"All I know is what I've read," he said in an interview from his Michigan home.  "In old history, the Marine officers had the little braid on top of their hat so they wouldn't be shot by the enlisted personnel.   They were the sharpshooters who were up in the mastheads, and shooting down on enemies," he recalled.  "Those were the old days."

In Korea, he said, "On our ship, the New Jersey, the Marines served as gunners in the anti-aircraft batteries.  My own job was as a director- pointer, or sector-pointer for anti-aircraft guns, and my station was way up on the 011 level which is 11 levels above the main deck.

"I was way up there, and it was one of the most dangerous places because usually if you were in combat, the enemy ships would try to blast the bridge where the Captain and the direction of the ship was operated from," he noted.

Lockwood explained how the Battleship would operate when making strikes against Korean gun emplacements on shore.

"When we were in Korea, our first gun strike with the 16-inch guns, and the 5-inch guns, was just off the Manchurian border.  We were firing at targets of opportunity like trains coming down the coast," he said.

"When we were circling around Yodo Island in North Korea, we were firing at caves which were manned by shore guns, which moved back into the mountain after they were fired.  We took some shrapnel there, but as soon as the fire started from the shore, the ship would move out to sea."  That's what made New Jersey so protected all those months and years.  "Those 16-inch guns," Lockwood said, "could blast something 20-25 miles away."

"A 16-inch gun can do an awful lot of doggone damage," the crusty but gentle Marine observed.  "I know one instance when we were laying off the shore of North Korea, by maybe 15 or 16 miles.  We had a spotter plane, and the 16-inch guns fired over the top of a mountain range, on a target given by the spotter plane, and they hit bridges that were out of sight of the Battleship, on the other side of the mountain.

"It's an amazing thing.  That ship is an amazing piece of equipment, and in battle, it's just like an arsenal all by itself.

He said the Marines had their assignments.   "All of them had their own battle stations, whether it be on the anti-aircraft guns, or machine guns, 50 calibers, or up as spotters, or as being a messenger for the admiral of the Seventh Fleet who was aboard at that time, or the Captain's orderly. And we always kept in contact with everybody else," Lockwood said.

They all worked as a team, hand-in-hand, as he said earlier, despite the intramural rivalries between sailors and marines when the guns fell silent.  That was all part of it.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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