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Assemblywoman Pat Egan Jones on the USS New Jersey. (Nikita Biryukov for New Jersey Globe)

Madame Battleship gets a pier

Battleship New Jersey pier named after retiring assemblywoman

By Nikita Biryukov, September 13 2019 11:12 am

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Madame Battleship’s getting her own pier.

Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial’s board of trustees have unanimously voted to name the pier where Battleship New Jersey is moored after Assemblywoman Pat Egan Jones, who was largely responsible for the ship’s ending up there.

“I cannot begin to thank the board enough for this dedication,” Egan Jones said. “The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial brings visitors to Camden while encouraging an appreciation of our nation’s history and the ship’s involvement in it. It is truly an honor to know that my name will forever be associated with this important historical site.”

The pier where the Battleship New Jersey has been moored for close to 20 years will now be named the Patricia Egan Jones Battleship Pier.

Egan Jones, who is retiring from the legislature this year, fought to bring the retired ship to Camden in the late 1990s.

The ship was originally headed for Bayonne, and South Jersey lacked the political power lent to it today by figures like Senate President Steve Sweeney and kingmaker George Norcross at the time.

Though she has sometimes sought to minimize her role in bringing the ship to Camden, Egan Jones, who was a Camden freeholder at the time, admitted to the Globe last summer that the ship likely would have made its way north had she not repeatedly pushed for its Camden location.

Her commitment to the issue saw her butt heads with then Assemblyman Joe Azzolina, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2010, and even with former Gov. Chris Christie, whose administration sought to relocate the ship but was told to take a hike by the Navy.

“As a veteran of the Battleship New Jersey, I can say firsthand that on behalf of all of the ship’s veterans, we appreciate and thank Pat Jones for all she’s done on behalf of this great ship and museum,” said Steve Sheehan, the chairman of the ship’s board of trustees.

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