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An extremely fine and very highly detailed museum display quality 1:192 scale model of U.S. Navy Iowa Class Battleship U.S.S. New Jersey Pennant No.62,
An extremely fine and very highly detailed museum display quality 1:192 scale model of U.S. Navy Iowa Class Battleship U.S.S. New Jersey Pennant No.62,

built by Fine Art Models with anchors, capstans, fairleads, bollards, valves, lockers, deck rails, companionways, main, secondary and anti-aircraft armament, hose reels, life rafts, fire hydrants and hoses, superstructure with bridge, conning tower and fire control platform, radar, radio, whip and D.F. aerials, halyards, searchlights, binoculars on stands, ready use ammunition bins and racks, deck winches, lockers, three Chance Vought Kingfisher aircraft with appropriate markings, two mounted on catapults and one on a trolley, lifting crane, aft anti-aircraft guns and two ship's boats in davits, with interior fittings and hundreds of other fine details. The hull finished in red, grey and black with accurately simulated planked deck, is fitted with four shafts, two with 'A' brackets, four and five blade propellers, twin rudders and bilge keels, painted brass fittings and upperworks, and mounted on a polished display base -- 13¼ x 62in. (33.6 x 157.5cm.) Lead framed glazed case (one pane broken) See Colour illustration

Details
An extremely fine and very highly detailed museum display quality 1:192 scale model of U.S. Navy Iowa Class Battleship U.S.S. New Jersey Pennant No.62,
built by Fine Art Models with anchors, capstans, fairleads, bollards, valves, lockers, deck rails, companionways, main, secondary and anti-aircraft armament, hose reels, life rafts, fire hydrants and hoses, superstructure with bridge, conning tower and fire control platform, radar, radio, whip and D.F. aerials, halyards, searchlights, binoculars on stands, ready use ammunition bins and racks, deck winches, lockers, three Chance Vought Kingfisher aircraft with appropriate markings, two mounted on catapults and one on a trolley, lifting crane, aft anti-aircraft guns and two ship's boats in davits, with interior fittings and hundreds of other fine details. The hull finished in red, grey and black with accurately simulated planked deck, is fitted with four shafts, two with 'A' brackets, four and five blade propellers, twin rudders and bilge keels, painted brass fittings and upperworks, and mounted on a polished display base -- 13¼ x 62in. (33.6 x 157.5cm.) Lead framed glazed case (one pane broken)

See Colour illustration

Lot Essay

The four American 'Iowa' class battleships, of which New Jersey is one, are the world's only battleships to have survived the Nuclear Age, and remain afloat as reminders of the era of the great capital ships. The 'Iowas' were the largest and fastest American battleships completed during the Second World War and, as a result of strategic and technological change in the post-War years, they were also the last of their breed to be built for the U.S. Navey. Broadly similar to the preceding 'South Dakota' class but lengthened for higher speed and of greatly increased tonnage, they were also considerably faster at 32½ knots. This meant they were the only U.S. battleships capable of keeping up with the fastest aircraft carriers, a feature which helped them retain a role when, particularly after the Korean War, so many other navies began to discard their battleships as obsolete.

Design work for the 'Iowas' began in 1938 following rumours that Japan was preparing a new class of 46,000 ton battleships which would upset the delicate balance of naval power. Originally six were planned but only the four - Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri and Wisconsin - which had been completed before the end of the War went into service; the other two - Illinois and Kentucky - were cancelled during building and their unfinished skeletons broken up in 1945 and 1958 respectively. The orders for the new class were split equally between the Navy Yards in New York (Brooklyn) and Philadelphia where New Jersey's keel was laid on 16th September 1940. Iowa, the nameship of the class, had been laid down in Brooklyn three months earlier, and these first two were built simultaneously. New Jersey was launched on 7th December 1942, the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour the previous year, and completed on 23rd May 1943. Displacing 48,425 tons standard (57,500 fully loaded), she measured 887 feet in length with a 108 foot beam, and her hull and upperworks were protected by varying thicknesses of Class A steel armour up to 17¼in. maximum (turrets and conning tower). Powered by 4-shaft Westinghouse steam turbines fired from eight 600psi. Babcock & Wilcox boilers, her engines could generate a massive 212,000shp to give her a top speed of 32½ knots or a cruising range of 15,000 nautical miles at 15 knots. As designed, her main armament consisted of 9-16in. guns, plus 20-5in. guns and several anti-aircraft guns, but this was adjusted in 1945 to include many more anti-aircraft weapons. When first commissioned, she carried a crew in excess of 2,750 men and proved a formidable addition to the Pacific Fleet when she entered service in 1943.

In action throughout 1944 in the Central Pacific, she participated in the offensives against the Marshall Islands (Operation 'Flintlock') and the raids on the Marianas and Vulcan Islands ('Forager'), whilst in the second half of the year she acted as flagship to Admiral Halsey (Commanding 3rd Fleet), including the major operation off Formosa and Luzon. In October and November, she took part in the vital and prolonged battle to recover Leyte whilst in January 1945, she was again in action assisting the landings on Luzon. February saw her supporting the landing on Iwojima and in March she took part in strategic raids on the Japanese mainland prior to the landings on Okinawa, the latter operations continuing well into April. After serving as flagship to the 5th Fleet for much of 1945, New Jersey - along with two of her three sister ships - was then laid up for several years but recommissioned for the Korean War when she was needed offshore to aid the allied ground forces. Placed in reserve again, she was the only 'Iowa' to be reactivated and refitted for service in the Vietnam War from 1968-69. Recommissioned on 6th April 1968, this time with a greatly reduced crew of 70 officers and 1,556 men, she provided solid big-gun support off the Vietnamese coast with the aid of her QH-50C 'snoopy dash' helicopters for gunfire spotting. One of her last operational tours was off El Salvador in 1983-84, during the Nicaraguan intervention, but savage cuts in the U.S. Navy budget signalled her final retirement in 1990. Currently laid up in Bremerton Navy Yard, Washington, New Jersey's eventual fate remains uncertain and although she may yet end up at the breakers, she is at least being maintained for the foreseeable future.
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