Total Run This Leg:
Total Average Speed: 6.22 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg: 104 Hours / 4.33 Days, from the Freeport, Grand Bahamas
Island transfer point, at Noon, Thursday, November 4.
Distance To Go This Leg: 179.2 Nautical Miles to the Cape Henlopen Sea
Estimated Time Of Arrival: 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 10, at the Cape
Henlopen Sea Buoy.
Present Course: 000 Degrees North
Winds: North-Northwest at 5 Knots, down from 25 Knots just two Hours
Seas: Rippled Surface
Swells: 8 Feet from the North-Northeast
Barometric Pressure: 1007 Millibars
Air Temperature: 56 Degrees
Sea Temperature: 77 Degrees
Visibility: 10 Miles
Sea Floor: The ocean depth at this point is 1,120 Fathoms, or 6,720 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
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
Total Average Speed First Leg: 5.54 Knots
Position: The USS New Jersey is presently 51
Miles East of Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound, North Carolina. She has passed
through the conflicting seas of Cape Hatteras at this point, and the transit has become
far more comfortable for the tug and the crew. The Battleship never has a problem
with the seas.
Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr.,
Elizabeth, New Jersey
"... The Right Man, For The Right Times, At The Right Place ..."
One hundred years ago, in 1899, Bill Halsey, Jr. entered
the University of Virginia's School of Medicine at the age of 17. He left Virginia
to later graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1904. On August 16, 1959, 5 Star
Admiral William Frederick "Bull" Halsey, Jr., died at the age of 76.
In between lies the story of a remarkable, fearless, and
victorious warrior, the ultimate New Jersey veteran, who lived to tell his story.
Admiral "Bull" Halsey, nicknamed by the press,
was a Third Fleet Commander on USS New Jersey who drove his ships into a devastating and
fatal western Pacific typhoon, losing three destroyers and all crewmen aboard; he was a
Carrier Commander called upon in 1942 to rally the American forces at Guadalcanal, and
did; he was the Flagship Commander on whose battleship, USS Missouri, the enemy formally
surrendered in September, 1945, in Tokyo Bay; and he was one of only four living Naval
officers of World War II to be awarded the Congressionally directed 5 star rank of Fleet
"Well, he's very controversial," said former
New Jersey Commanding Officer during Vietnam, Rear Admiral J. Edward Snyder, Jr. (Ret.).
"But you have to grant that he was the right man for the right times at the
right place, and the fact that he used the New Jersey as his flagship made the people on
the New Jersey feel very close to him even though they didn't know him."
General Douglas MacArthur called Halsey "the
greatest fighting admiral" of World War II. In 1942, Halsey took command of
U.S. Naval forces in the South Pacific, and in a series of bloody battles, his forces
defeated the Japanese in the Solomon Islands. This victory enabled the American land
forces to occupy the entire island chain. During this period, he also supported the
opening offenses of General MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific.
On June 15, 1944, Halsey took command of the Navy's Third
Fleet. In October, 1944, in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, considered "the greatest
battle in naval history" by Annapolis historian and former Jerseyman, Paul Stillwell,
Halsey's fleet and Admiral Thomas Kincaid's Seventh Fleet smashed the Japanese Navy and
virtually eliminated it from the war.
"In my opinion," said Admiral Snyder,
"part of the New Jersey was Admiral Halsey. In fact, the major role that New
Jersey played during many months of the war was in fact as the flagship for the
Admiral," he said.
Stillwell, author of "Battleship New Jersey: An
Illustrated History," (published by the Naval Institute Press, 1986, Annapolis,
Maryland), places Halsey in the top tier of historically important naval figures.
"I think his place in history is pretty high,"
he said. "He is indeed viewed as an icon and serves as a symbol of the fighting
spirit of the Navy. with messages like he said at Guadalcanal: "Attack ... Repeat ...
Attack ...," and the situation in Guadalcanal in the fall of 1942, when Admiral
Gormley was the Commander there. Things turned around when Admiral Halsey showed up,
because he had the fighting spirit, and defeatism turned into aggressiveness and
eventually victory," Stillwell said.
"There are critics because he was not a detail man,
and he was a human being, and sometimes he made decisions that in retrospect turned out to
be unfortunate. He personified aggressiveness. He had a concern for the
welfare of the enlisted people, and they felt that they were on the winning team when they
were with him," Stillwell said.
"He was aggressive; he was inspirational; he
relished an opportunity to fight with the enemy. There were some in World War II who
did not do that. He tended to be impulsive rather than cautious. Sometimes
caution was called for, sometimes his impulsive aggressiveness was just what was needed.
Particularly with the typhoon experiences, if he had not had the record of success
prior to that, he might have been relieved for cause, but his overall record was viewed on
balance and it was positive, so he stayed," Stillwell offered.
Admiral Snyder, who commanded the USS New Jersey from
April, 1968 to August, 1969 in perhaps Vietnam's hottest period, spoke of discussions with
Halsey's former top aide. "Admiral Carney, who was his chief of staff,
explained to me how the staff operated on the New Jersey, and at that particular time
there wasn't anybody on the New Jersey that was at all concerned about how controversial
he was. They just looked at him as a hero.
"In fact, I remember finding a five-star flag aboard
the ship, there was a 5-star flag in the signal locker that still was there that had a tag
on it: 'Here's hoping the old guy makes it,' signed by some Signalman Second Class, which
showed great affection for him. He was very popular on the ship, and as a result the
ship felt they were doing a tremendous service in being the flagship," Snyder said.
On matters that perhaps only USS New Jersey commanding
officers fully appreciate, Snyder tells of speaking with Carney about Halsey's preference
for the Battleship.
"Admiral Carney told me that the reason Halsey was
so pleased with the New Jersey was that he didn't have to turn into the wind to launch
aircraft and recover aircraft like he'd been doing in the past on carriers. Here he had a
ship that just passes the aircraft carriers and was able to maintain course and speed and
head for the objective without worrying about the ability to launch and recover aircraft.
"Plus," he said, "the New Jersey had an
entire suite of offices because she was large and modernized in those days - I'm speaking
of World War II - so large that Halsey's entire flag staff had a complete intelligence
operation and all the things that they needed to carry out the functions of a flagship,
which had not been the case, at least that's what Admiral Carney told me."
On April 12, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died
in Warm Springs, Georgia,opening up the conduct of the remainder of World War II to Harry
S Truman of Missouri.
Earlier, in January, 1945, Admiral Halsey left the USS
New Jersey with his Third Fleet flag and staff. By May of that year, though, Halsey
was back as Third Fleet Commander, but this time on the USS Missouri. Halsey preferred the
New Jersey as before, but she was undergoing an overhaul on the West coast.
After he resumed Third Fleet operations, one of Halsey's
first strikes was the bombardment of Naha, Okinawa. According to Stillwell's second
Battleship book on the USS Missouri, Fleet Admiral Halsey said of the Naha strikes:
"I gave orders for her to drop some 16-inch calling cards on the enemy's doorstep.
I wanted him to know I was back."
On August 6, 1945, President Truman's decision to drop
the atomic bomb on Japan was executed, and a second one came on August 9. Japan
surrendered officially on August 15.
Admiral Halsey was having breakfast in the Mighty Mo's
flag mess when he received the surrender message, a transcript of President Truman's
official announcement. Halsey was described as "exultant," and ordered the
Battleship's steam whistle to blow for one minute, steady, in celebration. But the
whistle was so long unused, it stuck, and blew for two.
It had been 3 years, 8 months, and 7 days since Pearl
Harbor, when then Rear Admiral Halsey and his Carrier Division Two were all South of
Hawaii, strategically and fortunately absent from Pearl Harbor at 8:00 a.m., Sunday,
December 7, 1941.
On September 2, 1945, Admiral William F. "Bull"
Halsey, Jr.'s Flagship, the Missouri, hosted Supreme Allied Commander and General of the
Army, Douglas MacArthur, and the official Japanese delegation, as the Japanese signed the
formal instruments of surrender, ending World War II.
After the moving, historic, unprecedented, and largely
silent proceedings, General MacArthur put his arm around Bill Halsey and said: "Start
Then, the local Elizabeth, New Jersey boy, soon to be
awarded only the nation's fourth Fleet Admiral 5 star Flag, gave the order to 450 carrier
planes and "a horde" of B-29 bombers to fly over the victorious allied naval
assets and Japanese vessels thickly amassed in Tokyo Bay.
The sheer numbers of aircraft that flew in low, slow
formation over Halsey's Flagship, USS Missouri, "blackened the sky, making
conversation of any kind impossible."
With that accomplished, MacArthur said these words:
"Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it
always." Then, turning to the Japanese, he said, "These proceedings are
Admiral Halsey's flagship soon returned to Pearl Harbor.
The former University of Virginia medical student transferred to the USS South
Dakota, and headed for San Francisco for a post-war, Navy Day celebration.
It's curious: do you imagine anyone ever asked what kind
of a medical doctor Bill Halsey would have made?
Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.