Verona Cub Scout Pack 32 shipped out for a two-day mission last weekend to Camden last weekend to visit the Battleship New Jersey.
The battleship, one of the most decorated in American naval history, severed six decades from WWII through 1991. She was converted into a museum in 2001 and rests on the Delaware River between Camden and Philadelphia.
The 12 Scouts toured the ship from the tight living quarters all the way to the command decks. They were left slack-jawed at the massive 16-inch, 50-caliber gun turrets as well as the more-modern tomahawk cruise missiles. They held fast when the ship conducted two cannon salutes from its 40 mm antiaircraft guns.
Along the tour, the Scouts learned the history of the ship as well as the history of the American Navy, particularly about Admiral William Halsey, an Elizabeth native, who for a time led the ship as the Pacific fleet’s flagship. An interesting note on the tour: The New Jersey was originally to have been the ship to accept the Japanese surrender in 1945. But with President Harry S. Truman being a Missouri native, the Missouri was selected for the honor.
The Scouts experienced first-hand life on a naval ship, honoring the flag at the end of the day, eating in the mess hall, sleeping in very tight bunk beds and raising the flag in the morning.
For more information on Verona Cub Scout Pack 32, please e-mail [email protected]
Photos courtesy Brian Donnelly.