Journal Entry  -  October 26, 1999  -  Day 45

Tuesday Evening Position Report
8:00 p.m., Central Daylight Time

18 Degrees, 00 Minutes North


81 Degrees, 58 Minutes West

Days Run:

55.9 Nautical Miles


4.66 Knots (Average)  running to meet a fixed ETA.

Total Run This Leg:  543 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  4.23 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  128.3 Hours / 5.34 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  1,553.5 nautical miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  3:00 p.m., Saturday, November 6, Cape Henlopen Sea Buoy, at the mouth of the Delaware River.
Present Course:  335 Degrees North-northwesterly
Winds:  Northwesterly at 20 Knots
Seas & Swells:  Combined at 10 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1013 Millibars
Air Temperature:  80 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  82 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Cloudy
Sea Floor:  The Caribbean Sea's depth along USS New Jersey's current trackline in this area ranges from 1,682 to 4,222 Meters, or 5,518 to 15,471 Feet.

Panama Canal Transit:  October 16 - 21 / Balboa Pier 14 - 15, Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks, the Gaillard Cut, Gamboa, Lake Gatun, and the Gatun Locks, and Cristobal.  USS New Jersey's clearance into the Caribbean Sea / Atlantic Ocean was completed at 11:34 a.m., and her mark for the commencement of the Cristobal, Panama - Philadelphia, PA Third Leg was passed at 11:42 a.m., Thursday, October 21.

Distance Of Second Leg:   September 21 - October 15 / Long Beach, CA to Balboa Anchorage, Panama: 2,948.7 Nautical Miles, the longest leg of New Jersey's homecoming voyage.
Total Average Speed Second Leg: 
5.18 Knots

Distance Of First Leg: 
September 12 - 21 / Bremerton, WA to Long Beach, CA: 1,193.6 Nautical Miles from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to Long Beach, CA anchorage.
Total Average Speed First Leg: 
5.54 Knots

Position:  The USS New Jersey's passage toward the Yucatan Channel between Mexico and Cuba continues this evening.  To her West at this 18 Degree latitude is Northern Belize, and to the East, the island of Jamaica and its principal city, Kingston.  Grand Cayman Island is Northeast of her position here, and due North of her is the Golfo de Batabano, and the Archipielago de los Canarreos, Cuba.

Explanation:  This evening's report was delayed for two reasons: an emerging new story developed in the middle of preparing this one, which will be detailed in Wednesday morning's report; and, the writer needed sleep.

USS New Jersey Carries Two Flags To Panama

The day after the USS New Jersey arrived in Balboa, Panama for her 5 day mission of transit, diplomacy and history-making, the Governor of New Jersey, Christine Todd Whitman, hosted a welcoming reception for Battleship supporters at a Panama City hotel.

She extended the state's congratulations to everyone involved in this effort, and applauded the many veterans in the room for their dedicated service to the Battleship and the nation.  The following afternoon, the Governor offered formal remarks thanking the people of Panama for their gracious welcome and effective service in preparing for New Jersey's transit.

To measure the depth of this ship's meaning to the people of Panama was seen clearly in the eyes and actions of the Panama Canal Commission linemen hauling lines through her Canal passage.  The Canal pilots guiding the ship to, through, and beyond the Locks worked their jobs proudly, as their teammates driving the locomotive mules and the assist tugs kept New Jersey right all the way, and the Canal's reputation polished.

One man of the scrambling, labyrinthine Panama streets, a young taxi driver, as we drove from the hotel back to the Sea Victory and dockside next to the Battleship Sunday evening, revealed the meaning of the New Jersey's presence to him and his family.

Expressing joy and amazement at his fare's destination, in halting English but in the universal language of appreciation, he detoured from the intended route of Balboa's Piers 14 - 15.  Instead, he soon stopped his taxi at a dark place, crowded with men standing around in a parking lot.  One of the men approached his taxi, spoke with the driver in Panama's rapid-fire, high-decibel Spanish tongue, opened the door, and joined us.

The driver quickly explained to his foreign passenger, who had requested a ride to the Battleship in town, that the third rider was his father.   He said his father served with the U.S. Army in World War II.  He said his father spoke seven languages.  He said his father wanted to see the Battleship.   He would take him there, if that was all right.  Of course, no question.   His father didn't ask to step aboard the ship, or otherwise "dally," just see her.

That's what the New Jersey's presence in Balboa and Panama meant to one family, and probably many others.  The trouble was, when the taxi entered the pier's security checkpoint for inspection, a routine administrative procedure at all piers, commotion quickly developed over the third passenger.

Much discussion followed.  Papers were examined and re-examined. Everyone's but ours.  Finally, the decision.  The third passenger, the father, the war veteran, the man whose son brought him to see New Jersey, was held back from entry.  He would remain at the gate as the taxi driver proceeded with his Battleship passenger.  It would be left to his son to tell him how it felt to see her there.  It could have meant so much.

The next day, and the next evening, the state of New Jersey's official delegation, and the 200 supporters who traveled to Panama to salute New Jersey's passage through the Canal, convened again.  Dockside next to the Battleship, flying both the U.S. and New Jersey state flags, Governor Whitman welcomed the pleased crowd of well-wishers.

"It is truly an awe-inspiring honor to be here today to pay tribute to the "Big J," the Battleship New Jersey, and to wish her well as she begins the final leg of her 6,000 mile journey home," the Governor said.

"It is also a pleasure to help salute the Panama Canal and the men and women who, for most of this century, have made this engineering marvel a vital part of world commerce and, in times of war, our national defense.  On behalf of the people of New Jersey, I want to begin by extending well-earned thanks to some of the people who have made this final journey of the "Big J" possible," she said.

"Today, no men line the "Big J's" rails.   Her bridge is empty, her billets unoccupied, her engines are silent, her guns will roar no more."  "Yet as I walked across her sleeping deck just a few minutes ago, I could feel the presence, the living presence, of the thousands of men who, over the years, served on this ship with honor, courage, and commitment."

"They put aside self for country.  They sailed to distant lands, to places their friends and family back home would have trouble finding on a map, in answer to their nation's call.  And they have left a legacy as proud and as brave as the ship on which they served.

"To all those who served on the "Big J" - those who are here today and those who are with us in spirit - I offer you the abiding gratitude of the people of New Jersey," Governor Whitman concluded.

Then, Sunday evening, another formal reception was held which typified the many USS New Jersey official foreign port calls made through her illustrious career.

America's Ambassador to Panama, Simon Ferro and Mrs. Ferro, and the Chairman of the Panama Canal Commission and Secretary of the U.S. Army, Louis Caldera, hosted the delegation at the Ambassador's hill-top residence.  (Sadly, according to an embassy official, the Ambassador was unable to attend.  His plane was overly delayed in Miami because of Hurricane Irene.)

Governor Whitman's office has graciously provided us a list of the New Jersey's official, veteran and private supporters who made their way to Panama for the ship's final inter-oceanic passage last week.  It is a mark of New Jersey's stature to see the breadth and depth of her support.  It bodes very well for her future.

Governor's Visit to Panama Governor's Visit to Panama
USS New Jersey Battleship Tribute Ceremony
Balboa Piers 14 & 15
Sunday, October 17, 1999 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Attendees: Attendees:
Governor Christine Todd Whitman
Mr. John Whitman
The Honorable & Mrs. Donald DiFrancesco, New Jersey Senate President
Edward Burton, Director of International Trade, NJ Commerce Commission
Rachel Donington, Governor's Director of Protocol
Major General Paul J. Glazar, Adjutant General, Dept of Veterans Affairs
Kelly Glazier, Aide to the Governor
Pete McDonough, Governor's Director of Communications
Michael Torpey, Chief of Staff to the Governor
Cecil Wallace, Governor's Director of Advance
COL (Ret) Mike Warner, Deputy Commissioner, Dept of Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Delegation: New Jersey Delegation:
Aikens, Mark, Battleship New Jersey Foundation
Allen, Mark, Plant Service Corporation
Almeida, Emanuel, Army Veteran
Aloisio, T., Chief Executive Officer, 186KNET
Anderson, Al, Manager of Special Projects, Crowley Marine Services, Inc.
Azzolina, Assemblyman Joseph, Chairman, Battleship NJ Commission
Baker, Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth, Dept of Veterans Affairs
Balzano, Joseph A., Executive Director, South Jersey Port Commission
Bateman, Assemblyman Christopher, New Jersey General Assembly
Beard, Timothy, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Bentley, Raymond, Adam Metal Products
Benzilio, Victor, Battleship New Jersey Veteran
Beske, Carol, ACT Engineers
Bischoff, Robert, Navy Veteran
Bishop, Gordon, Battleship New Jersey Foundation
Bishop, Mrs. Jeanne
Blue, Glen, New Jersey State Elks Association
Bonnello, Francis, Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer
Bowser, Nancy, Home Port Alliance
Burgess, Arthur, Commercial Building Owners
Busch, Todd, Crowley Maritime Corporation
Byles, Dan, USS New Jersey Battleship Commission
Byles, Mrs. Phyllis
Caldwell, James, (Assemblyman Holzapfel)
Caldwell, Mrs. Marion
Caldwell, Tom, Operations Manager, American Marine Services
Callan, Sergeant Declan, Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Caro, Louis S., USMC Veteran
Carroll, Charlie, Disabled American Veterans
Cavaliere, Paul, Senior Vice President, Summit Bank
Christopherson, Elizabeth, Executive Director, NJN
Connelly, Maryanne S., Mayor, Borough of Fanwood
Consiglio, Paul, Army Veteran
Crisonino, Gerald, USS New Jersey Battleship Commission
Crisonino, Mrs. Gerald
Crowley, Tom, Chairman & CEO, Crowley Maritime Corporation
Custodio, John, Summit Bank
Daly, Thomas, Board President, Commission of Pilotage
Darakjy, Jack, USMC Veteran, BB-62 Group
Deane, Captain Robert A., United NY & NJ Sandy Hook Pilots Assoc.
Deane, Mrs. Lois
Dougherty, Colonel Dennis, Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Doyle, Bill, Chairman Emeritis, Winning Strategies
Drissel, Thomas, Home Port Alliance Supporter
Drucks, Ira, Army Veteran
Dwyer, Lieutenant Colonel John, Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Edwards, Daniel, NUI Environmental Group, Incorporated
Ender, Frank, Vice President of Operations, Boyd Steamship Comapny
Engel, Larry, VP of Operations, Battleship New Jersey Foundation
Esser, Richard, President, USS New Jersey Veterans Association
Esser, Mrs. Richard
Faber, Gary, VP of Operations, Crowley Marine Services, Incorporated
Faherty, Jr., William F., Honorary Life Member, NJ Chamber of Commerce
Faherty, Mrs. William
Falcone, Dr. Gilbert, Princeton Dental Association
Falso, Vincent, President, Battleship New Jersey Museum
Fanders, Herb, Pilot, Inductotherm Industries, Inc.
Felice, Assemblyman Nicholas, New Jersey General Assembly
Fenster, Dr. Saul, President, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Fenster, Mrs. Roberta
Fernicola, Pasquala, Director of Tin Can Sailors
Fernicola, Mrs. Joan
Fletcher, Charles, Chairman, Technology General, Incorporated
Fletcher, Frank, Cooper's Ferry Development Association
Flood, James Allen, BB-62 Group
Foreso, Joseph, Navy Veteran
Foreso, Ronald, Army Veteran
Foy, Thomas, Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley, LLP
Foy, Mrs. Janice
Gagliano, S. Thomas, President, Jersey Shore Partnership, Incorporated
Gagliano, Mrs. Maria
Garner, Walter
Garner, Mrs. Walter
Gaymon, James Uzcategui, Dir. of Civic & Gov't. Relations, Rowan Univ.
Gerstenmeier, Edward
Gerstenmeier, Marybeth
Gonzalez, Joseph, New Jersey Business & Industry Association
Goodhue, Rebecca, Vice President & COO, Health Network America
Gorman, Thomas, USS New Jersey Battleship Commission
Hanna, Berley, State Commander, American Legion
Hanna, Mrs. Janet
Hanson, John, New Jersey Commerce & Economic Growth Commission
Hart, Patricia, BB-62 Group
Harvat, Thomas A., Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Hines, Harry, City of Newark
Horan, John, Battleship New Jersey Veteran
Hudacek, Steven, Spouse of Joan Verplanck
Hughes, The Honorable William, Former US Ambassador to Panama
Hughes, Mrs. Nancy
Jones, Patricia, Camden County Freeholder
Jones, Mr. George
Kane, Harold, USMC Veteran
Kane, John F., Army Veteran
Kantor, Neal, Navy Veteran
Kardos, Dr. Stephen, President & CEO, Health Network America
Kardos, Michael, Health Network America
Keegan, John P., Thomas Alva Edison Preservation
Keegan, Mrs. John P.
Kelly, Dennis, Kelly Associates
Kio, Basil, State Commander, US Submarine Vets WWII
Kio, Mrs. Basil
Koury, Donald, President, 186KNET
Kraemer, Francis J., USMC Veteran
LaVine, Robert, Battleship New Jersey Veteran
LaVine, Mrs. Lydia
Lawton, William D., Army Veteran
Leavens, William, Chairman, Digital Creek Publishing
Leonard, James, Vice President, NJ State Chamber of Commerce
Malane, Ryan, Manager of Public Relations, Crowley Marine Services, Inc.
Maras, Robert, President, Vietnam Veterans of America
Marck, William, Congressman Saxton's Office, Home Port Allaince Supporter
Marck, Michael, Home Port Alliance Supporter
Martin, Tom, Executive Director & GM, Crowley Marine Services, Incorporated
Martinez, Joseph, Navy Veteran
Martinez, Mrs. Josephine
Matheussen, Senator John, New Jersey State Senator
McCabe, Judith, CW3 NJ National Guard
McDermott, Frank X., Apruzzese, McDermott, Mastro, & Murphy
McDermott, Mrs. Patricia
McDonough, Frank, Executive Director of Maritime Resources, NJ Commerce Commission
McDonough, William, USMC Veteran
McGovern, Andrew, Port Authority of NY & NJ
McMulty, Hugh F., Army Veteran
McPherson, Malcolm, President, New Jersey State Elks Association
Melone, Bernardo, Air Force Veteran
Mernar, Tom, New Jersey State Elks Association
Michaels, John, Air Force Veteran
Miller, Jennifer, Cooper's Ferry Development Association
Mirucki, Patrick, Videographer of "Veterans Issues & Answers"
Moran, Jr., Bernie, Principal, Home Port Alliance
Moran, Sr., Bernie, Principal, Home Port Alliance
Morford, James C., President, New Jersey Food Council
Morford, Mrs. Roiann
Morris, John, Mediterranean Shipping Co., VP Montclair Historical Society
Morris, Mrs. Sally, Jersey Skyline, Inc.
Murphy, Jim, Battleship Song with "The Pine Barons"
Musorrafiti, Francesco A., President & CEO, EPS, Incorporated
Musorrafiti, Mrs. Angelina
Norcross, Donald, AFL-CIO Southern New Jersey Central Labor Council
Norris, Charles, BB-62 Group
Olier, Frank J., Navy Veteran
Olkowski, Walter E., USS New Jersey Battleship Commission
Patrizio, Gloria, USS New Jersey Battleship Commission
Patrizio, Mr. Eugene
Perrucci, Frank, Past Commander, Catholic War Veterans in Bayonne
Perno, Anthony, Cooper's Ferry Development Association
Pfaltz, Hugo, USS New Jersey Battleship Commission
Pfaltz, Mrs. Hugo
Porrovecchio, Colonel Joseph, Dames & Moore Consultants
Powell, James, Navy Veteran
Presnell, Clark, TSB-S3, Guest of Joe Porrovecchio
Progana, Manuel, Panama Canal Elks Lodge
Reider, George, USS New Jersey Battleship Commission
Ross, Robert, Battleship New Jersey Veteran
Ross, Mrs. Natalie
Rowan, Henry, President, Inductotherm Industries, Incorporated
Rowan, Philip, Exec. Director, Camden County Improvement Authority
Rowe, Robert, VFW, Post Past Commander
Ryan, Charles, Battleship NJ Commission
Ryan, Mrs. Gretchen
Ryan, John S., Deputy Grand Master of NJ of F&A Masons
Sammartino, Al, USS New Jersey Historical Society
Schade, William, Home Port Alliance
Sheenan, Thomas, Battleship Rememberance Program
Sheppard, Bill, BB Foundation Marketing Representative
Sheppard, Mrs. Carol
Sheppard, Miss Lauren
Simko, Eugene, USS New Jersey Battleship Commission
Smith, James
Smith, Mrs. Muriel
Spinnanger, Jon, Bell Atlantic
Spinnanger, Mrs. Judy
Squires, Richard, Battleship Commission Supporter
Staffieri, Patrick, Dir. of Engineering & Housing, US Army-Panama,
Guest of Joe Porrovecchio
Strangia, Anthony, Battleship Commission Supporter
Strangia, Mrs. Gail
Strangia, Anthony Jr.
Sweeney, Joseph, Battleship New Jersey Veteran, Navy League of US
Syers, Paul, Trustee, Battleship New Jersey Historical Museum Society
Taggart, Donald, Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Thomas, Liz, Thomas/Boyd Communications
Venticinque, Colonel Carmen, Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Verplanck, Joan, President, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
Von Zwehl, Christopher, Former BB Commissioner
Voss, Margaret, Guest of John Horan, Battleship New Jersey Veteran
Walsh, Todd, Grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Pfaltz
Wegener, Diane, Guest of Arthur Burgess, Commercial Building Owners
Weiss, Daniel, Executive Director, Jewish War Veterans
Williams, Neil, Vice President, American Marine Services
Yancey, Robert, State Commander, Disabled American Veterans
Yoffredo, Gilbert, Trustee, Battleship NJ Historical Museum Society
Young, Barbara, Guest of Assemblyman Azzolina
Zoe, Gretchen N., Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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