Ship Photos of The Day – USS Iowa Makes Her Final Journey

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 USS Iowa was launched from the New York Naval Yard on August 27, 1942. Photo: Pacific Battleship

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.

This photo, taken during a fire power demonstration in 1984, has "don't mess with us" written all over it. Photo via Wikipedia

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.

President Ronald Reagan and the First Lady standing under the guns of the U.S.S. Iowa during the Statue of Liberty Centennial celebration in 1986.

But the Iowa wasn’t just some Presidential yacht, she played critical roles in World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War.

USS Iowa in October 1952 firing her 16-inch guns at enemy coastal defenses off Koje, Korea. Photo: Wikipedia

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.

USS Iowa (BB-61)
Photo of the USS Iowa (BB-61) taken by Jef Poskanzer on May 26, 2012
Crowley's tugboat Warrior tows the USS Iowa across San Francisco Bay on May 26 at the start of a four-day tow that ended today, May 30, at a Los Angeles offshore anchorage. Photo: Pacific Battleship Center Photo/Jeremy Bonelle via Crowley
Making her way through the Golden Gate.

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.

On the high seas for the last time. Photo: gCaptain Forum
Close up of the USS under tow. Photo: gCaptain Forum

For more information on the USS Iowa’s future as a naval museum, check out the Pacific Battleship website.