Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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USS New Jersey Construction Officially Begins; Norcross On-Hand for Keel Laying

Mar 25, 2019
News Release

NORFOLK, VA – U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) – a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Chair of the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, and member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee – today participated in the keel laying ceremony for the USS New Jersey (SSN-796), which marks the beginning of the ship’s construction.

“The Navy’s first submarine was designed and constructed in New Jersey and our state has always had a strong relationship with the Navy. It is only appropriate for the newest nuclear-powered submarine to be named in our state’s honor,” said Congressman Norcross. “When I’m home in Camden, I visit the Battleship New Jersey often and I think of my city’s shipbuilding roots. I know that we, like the Navy, are ‘forged by the sea.’ It’s an honor to participate in this momentous day for New Jersey’s third namesake ship.”

New Jersey’s Dr. Susan DiMarco is the ship’s sponsor, and she was on-hand for the keel laying ceremony today. By request of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, DiMarco will christen the USS New Jersey next year. Dr. DiMarco is an active volunteer and recently helped Covenant House New Jersey open Nancy’s Place, a residence for mentally ill homeless youth in New Jersey. She is married to Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

New Jersey was where USS Holland, the Navy’s first submarine, was designed and constructed in October 1900. The first USS New Jersey (BB-16) was commissioned in 1906 and decommissioned in 1920. The second USS New Jersey (BB-62) – referred to as the Battleship New Jersey – is the most decorated battleship in U.S. history.

There can only be one vessel named after New Jersey at a time, and the Battleship New Jersey was decommissioned in 1991 and has lived in Camden since 2001. The Battleship was constructed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and was launched December 7, 1942, one year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Battleship served nearly five decades, playing critical roles in World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm, among other conflicts. The Battleship currently serves as a floating museum and Norcross served a critical role in the application to the Navy to have the Battleship New Jersey returned home and was on-board the Battleship for part of its 5,800 mile journey to its home along the Delaware River.


Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director