The USS Becuna was originally built and operated as a BALAO class submarine during World War II and completed five wartime patrols. In 1951 the USS Becuna was altered and upgraded into a Guppy 1A submarine that was capable of carrying nuclear warheads and an improved radar system. Currently the USS Becuna (SS-319) is the only Guppy 1A submarine on display to the public and is on display at the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum next to the USS Olympia which is also the oldest steel warship still floating and on display in the world.
The USS Olympia (C-6) is the world’s oldest floating steel warship and the only ship surviving from the Spanish-American War that took place in 1898. The USS Olympia was launched in 1892 and there were never any sister ships built which made the USS Olympia a one of a kind ship even during its service time. The USS Olympia was originally equipped to feature four 200mm(8 inch) 35 caliber guns for the main battery, ten 127mm(5 inch) 40 caliber guns for the secondary battery with five guns on each side, and fourteen 57mm(2.24 inch/6 pounder) guns for dealing with small ships at short distances. The USS Olympia also had six 18 inch torpedo tubes located above the water line as well to complete its main firepower capabilities. The 200mm and 127mm guns were replaced with 5 inch(51 caliber) guns in 1916 when she was docked for repairs after she ran aground. The USS Olympia was Admiral Dewey’s flagship in the Battle of Manila Bay in the Spanish American War, patrolled the US eastern seaboard during World War I, escorted a peacekeeping force to Russia, and its final official mission was to carry the body of the Unknown Soldier from France to the United States.
Currently the USS Olympia resides at the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum and is on display to the public throughout the year. The USS Olympia (C-6) sits next to the USS Becuna (SS-319) submarine and both remain floating after all of these years. Both ships, especially the USS Olympia, require extensive repairs to keep them floating and also on display to preserve this very important piece of naval history
USS New Jersey (BB-62)
The USS New Jersey (BB-62) is an Iowa class battleship and was the second Iowa class battleship to be built. The USS New Jersey (BB-62) was commissioned in 1943 and served in World War II and was finally decommissioned in 1991 after nearly 48 years of service. The New Jersey’s main battery consisted of nine sixteen inch 50 caliber mark 7 guns in three three-gun turrets. The second battery consisted of twenty five inch 38 caliber guns mounted in dual-gun turrets. Throughout the years the USS New Jersey (BB-62) received many upgrades and changes to its armament to keep up with the changes in warfare and these upgrades allowed the New Jersey to serve as long as it did. The US New Jersey being an Iowa class battleship had armor up to 430mm of armor on its citadel and a 310mm thick armored belt covering the magazines and engine room.
Currently the USS New Jersey resides in Camden New Jersey across from the USS Olympia and USS Becuna on the Philadelphia bank of the Delaware River. The USS New Jersey is open as a museum ship for most of the year for tours and also a look into naval history with great displays showcasing other warships from the Yamato to the Bismarck.