One of the biggest stories of the week here in the U.S. was the USS Iowa’s journey from San Francisco to her final resting place in the Port of Los Angeles where she will become an interactive museum to celebrate her achievements and U.S. battleships in general.
Coined the “World’s Greatest Naval Ship”, the USS Iowa was known for her big guns, heavy armor, fast speed, longevity and modernization as she kept pace with technology for more than 50 years.
The USS Iowa was built in 1940 at the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn as the lead battleship of the Iowa-class.
The ship measures more than 15 stories high, is 887 feet long and weighs more than 45,000 tons. Here she is back in her hay-day, or at this point was more like a midlife crisis, back in 1984.
The USS Iowa is famous for being the “Battleship of Presidents” because over the years she has been host to a number of historic Presidential visits including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
But the Iowa wasn’t just some Presidential yacht, she played critical roles in World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War.
In 1989, the USS Iowa suffered a fatal explosion to one of her gun turrets during an exercise and was officially decommissioned by the Navy a year later.
In 2011, the U.S. Naval Reserve fleet signed her over to the Los Angeles-based non-profit Pacific Battleship Center, where she will serve as a museum and memorial to battleships at Berth 87 at the Port of Los Angeles.
To get there, the Iowa had to undergo a refurbishment to get her ready for her public appearance and towed from San Francisco. She left San Francisco on May 26th during the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge.
From there she spent four days under tow by Crowley‘s 7,200hp tug, Warrior, and safely arrived at a Los Angeles offshore anchorage on May 30th. After a swift cleaning offshore, the USS Iowa will be towed to her final resting place in the Port of Los Angeles, where she will be greeted by a number of Iowa veterans for a special ceremony before opening up to the public on July 7th.
For more information on the USS Iowa’s future as a naval museum, check out the Pacific Battleship website.