Wednesday, August 29, 2012

USS Iowa

NBC Los reports:
The length of three football fields and the height of 15-story building, the USS Iowa on Saturday began its reign as an impressive presence at the Port of Los Angeles. The decommissioned World War II-era battleship berthed at the port after a years-long struggle from supportes to get her to San Pedro.
"There's nothing like giant guns, heavy armor and the ability to go so fast nobody can keep up with you," said Robert Kent of the Pacific Battleship Center. "This is the last battleship left in the world."

From Fred Reed’s “Best of the last battleships” on the website:
The Iowa class were the last of the battleships and the best, the end of a naval world.

Actually they didn't get much real work even in World War II, having been passed by technology, notably the aircraft carrier.
Battlewagons of the older classes spent their days bombarding shores in support of the Marines, and the Iowa class ships did carrier escort duty. In practice, this meant they sprouted large numbers of 5-inch anti-aircraft guns and almost never fired their huge 16-inch main batteries.
The Iowas are today perhaps the only ships in the fleet that look like warships. Modern ships are boxy so that they can hold electronics, their armament consists of hidden missiles. They aren't exactly pretty, but the Iowa is beautiful

George Cavanaugh and George Milligan, both of Cedar Rapids, served on the USS Iowa at the same time during the Korean War.
But the men never met until Tuesday, as they toured the restored battleship at the Port of Los Angeles.
“It’s fun,” Cavanaugh, 80, said of meeting Milligan and other former crew members the day before the Iowa is officially dedicated as an interactive museum.

Bob Rogers, a California veteran who has worked to publicize the restoration effort since the Iowa was towed out of a the “ghost fleet” of Suisun Bay in northern California last year, agrees. The ship had been docked there for the past decade with dozens of other Navy ships in the reserve fleet.Gov. Terry Branstad and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, will join hundreds of veterans on the battleship today for what’s being described as a “final commissioning” ceremony. More than 500,000 visitors are expected to visit the Iowa annually at its new home in the Los Angeles suburb of San Pedro.
“This is a very special ship,” said Cavanaugh, who hadn’t seen the Iowa since he left the Navy in 1954. “I really do think people will come to see it.” (story continues below gallery)
“We want to honor the Iowa, point to the Iowa and thank the people of Iowa for helping to save the ship,” Rogers sad. “The people of Iowa all should be very, very proud, she’s a mighty ship.”
The Iowa is widely known as one of the most powerful ships in world history. It has been called the Battleship of Presidents because Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush have all spent time on its deck. Roosevelt lived on the Iowa for more than a month in 1943. Julianna Roosevelt, Roosevelt’s great-granddaughter, also will attend today’s dedication.
The ship was docked in California’s Port of Richmond in the San Francisco area for the $12 million restoration project — Iowa contributed $3 million — and was towed to the Port of Los Angeles in a trip that began May 26 and ended June 9.
Sharp green road signs along Interstate 110 just south of Los Angeles now point to the exit that will take drivers to battlewagon that served during World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War.
At night the ship is illuminated with dozens of flood lights, making the Iowa stand out like a lighthouse to thousands of drivers passing over the Vincent Thomas Bridge, a major connection between San Pedro and Long Beach.
Cavanaugh and Milligan are among the thousands of USS Iowa veterans who are on hand this week for the dedication. A handful of Eastern Iowans made the trip and will participate in the ceremony.
“It was a real honor to be on the Iowa,” said Milligan, 82. who flew to southern California with his wife, Marlene.
The couple, who also attended the ship’s second recommissioning in 1984 in Pascagoula, Miss., are excited to see the Iowa turned into a museum.
“I’ve never sat up here,” Milligan said with a laugh while sitting in the captain’s seat Tuesday afternoon. “I never dreamed I would be sitting here.”
“It’s great for these guys,” Marlene Milligan said of the hoopla over the ship’s opening as a museum, which officially happens Saturday.

USS Iowa (BB-61) was the lead ship of her class of battleship and the fourth in the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 29th state. Owing to the cancellation of the s, Iowa is the last lead ship of any class of United States battleships, and was the only ship of her class to have served in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.
During World War II, she carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic to Casablanca en route to a crucial 1943 meeting in Tehran with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. She has a bathtub — an amenity installed for Roosevelt, along with an elevator to shuttle him between decks. When transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1944, Iowa shelled beachheads at Kwajalein and Eniwetok in advance of Allied amphibious landings and screened aircraft carriers operating in the Marshall Islands. She also served as the Third Fleet flagship, flying Adm. William F. Halsey's flag at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. During the Korean War, Iowa was involved in raids on the North Korean coast, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "mothball fleet." She was reactivated in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and operated in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets to counter the recently expanded Soviet Navy. In April 1989, an explosion of undetermined origin wrecked her #2 gun turret, killing 47 sailors.

In April 1989, 
an explosion of undetermined origin
   wrecked her #2 gun turret,

 killing 47 sailors.

1 comment:

  1. Hello All,

    Met with the curator of the USS IOWA - he says he wants the MVPA there at his functions for static display. He has one this SUNDAY "VJ DAY Ceromony" if anybody can attend please call me. or email me. there are supppose to be a lot of city officials and honorary members of the community there.

    if you attend the curator says you will get a free pass on board the USS IOWA.

    yes- i know - it is very short notice... but if you can- he would love it. There is a giant spot right next to the entrance for many vehicles... can probably fit 60 there... please see facebook photos.

    USS IOWA - wants us at all their functions... they have many throughout the year to celebrate or remember the WWII era.

    up and coming are NOV 11 VET Day, DEC 7th Pearl Harbor remembrance day.

    anyhow anybody want to, it's from 8am- 3pm this SUNDAY Sept 2nd.

    Cell/ text - 951-217-5115