Sunday, May 27, 2012


5/30/12 Up Date USS IOWA arrives off the coast in San Pedro

5/29/12 Up Date With Videos

Memorial Day commemorates those whose lives were sacrificed while serving our nation. All branches of military service are honored for their efforts intended to protect our liberties.  Ground troops, airborne squadrons, fleets of ships have been launched in our name.  
One of those ships built in 1940 was the USS IOWA.  She’s become known as the “’world’s greatest naval ship’ [based on] her big guns, heavy armor, fast speed, longevity and modernization [because] she kept pace with technology for 50 years.”   The ship is the fourth to be named in honor of our 29th state.

The USS IOWA also known as “The Battleship of Presidents” left San Francisco yesterday, Saturday, heading to her new home port in the Los Angeles area.   She’ll receive some refurbishing to become “…the most interactive and educational museum of its kind,” then is expected to provide public tours in July. in addition to the information above is providing streaming video via links, including Facebook, of the ship’s expected four day journey. 

                                                                                                                                                  6:57 mins.

Battleship USS IOWA was launched in 1942, was the only ship in her class to serve in the Atlantic before being transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1944.    She served in WWII, Korea, then in 1984 became part of a 600-ship navy plan to operate in both the Atlantic and Pacific to counter the Soviet Navy.
During WWII in addition to major combat operations she carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a secret meeting.   Several serious life-threatening mishaps occurred during the time the President was on board.   Those interesting stories and many more are recounted in an extensive Wikipedia article encompassing the ship’s entire history.   One side story is that the ship had been outfitted with a bathtub for the President since he could not stand for a shower due to his polio paralysis many years earlier.  

In 1984 USS IOWA was engaged in several humanitarian efforts in South America.  On July 4, 1986 President Ronald Regan and First Lady Nancy Reagan boarded the ship for an international National Review held on the Hudson River.   In September 1987 the ship joined the 6th fleet in the Mediterranean as support in the Iran-Iraq War.    The Iowa had earlier returned to U.S. waters, then in 1989 experienced a tragic loss of lives due to on board gunpowder explosions later proven to be through no fault of one of the deceased seaman initially accused. 

Iowa earned nine battle stars for World War II service, two for Korean War service and additional awards.

There have been many cutbacks in defense expenditures through the years with the Iowa in and out of activity.  Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act 2006 requiring naval preparedness that has resulted in the USS IOWA being kept in a condition the ship could be used if ever needed. 

Subsequent years of planning, meetings, and negotiations ultimately resulted in these plans Wikipedia describes which have begun:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s yacht, The Potomac, has escorted the Iowa out of the San Francisco Bay, and now the ship is being tugged down the West Coast to Berth 87 in the Port of Los Angeles for its final sea voyage expected to take four days. 


"This floating museum is scheduled to open to the public 7 July 2012 at Berth 87 along the Main Channel, directly south of the World Cruise Center."     

I hope this warship need only remain a museum as I think of the valiant millions in all wars who have had their lives taken from them.  I do wonder if the day will ever come when our nation's men and women can all live in peace?  I am eternally grateful especially to those WWII veterans who insured our freedom and that our  homeland remained safe. 


  1. Fascinating!!!!! I hope it remains a museun, too. Thank you foe reminding us!

  2. I read about the Iowa in the New York Times and I am so happy she is finding a good home. Those old ships are marvelous. Thanks for posting more information. Dianne

  3. While I viewed the Memorial Day Service in Nation's Capitol I felt a great wave of sadness knowing that so many of the Veteran's who gave the final sacrifice did so not to save our nation, but to enrich the military industrial complex.

    The pretty speeches were patriotic but I found them to be bittersweet.

    1. Darlene, yes, honoring those whose life was taken is bittersweet given what we know about how the issues associated with some wars.

  4. Excellent information about a great ship. With you, I hope someday we won't need these powerful weapons of war.

  5. So much sentiment afloat these days. I don't know any IOWANS who actually served on the USS Iowa. The guys & gals I know from Iowa served on other ships. Now they're struggling to live their lives.

    1. I don't think citizens of any given state necessarily serve on ships named for their state, but then I've never checked all of a ship's roster through all these wars and peacetime deployments, and mothballing.

      I think of the WWII U.S. Navy 5 Sullivan Brothers born in Waterloo, Iowa serving on the same ship that was torpedoed by the Japanese and whose lives were all taken as a result of that attack.

      This tragedy set in motion the regulations that prevented such family members serving together on the same ship. See the brothers picture and read their story on this 1940 U.S. Census Blog:

    2. I just checked for the status of regulations about family members serving together. They can now serve together. Read the facts which clarifies some of my misunderstandings at this link: