Saturday, September 24, 2011

Last WWII Battleship USS Iowa to become museum in Los Angeles

When the USS Missouri stopped in Astoria, Oregon before leaving for its permanent home in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, I was able to walk around her decks and peer amazed at her behemoth guns.  Now I see that the last WWII battleship, the USS Iowa, will make its way to Los Angeles where it, too, will become a museum and memorial.

USS Iowa (BB-61) fires a full broadside of her nine 16"/50 and six 5"/38 guns
 during a target exercise near 
Vieques IslandPuerto Rico (21°N 65°W
Note concussion effects on the water surface, and 16-inch gun barrels in varying
 degrees of recoil.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

The USS Iowa — the last surviving World War II battleship without a home — will head to the Port of Los Angeles to stand as a permanent museum and memorial to battleships, the Navy said Sept. 6.

 The 45,000-ton ship, which towers 15 stories above the water line, engaged in battles in the Pacific theater during World War II and entered Tokyo Bay with the occupation forces in 1945 where it served as Admiral William F. Halsey’s flagship for the surrender ceremony. The battleship later served off Korea’s eastern shores during that conflict.
 In 1989, the USS Iowa suffered one of the nation’s deadliest military accidents after 47 sailors were killed in an explosion during a training exercise. Before being decommissioned in 1990, it served as an escort for oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
The Iowa was towed to San Francisco from Rhode Island in 2001, after Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California helped secure $3 million to bring it to San Francisco in hopes of making it a tourist attraction at Fisherman’s Wharf. - More:
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