USS Iowa




Iowans and A Battleship

In New York for the commissioning of the new United States battleship Iowa, this group of Iowans gets a preview by studying a photograph of the vessel taken when she was launched. From left, the Iowans are: State Senator Ben C. Whitehill (Rep. Marshalltown);
Brig. Gen. Charles H. Grahl; Representative John R. Gardner (Rep. Lisbon); Gov. Bourke B. Hickenlooper; and Mrs. Hickenlooper. – WIREPHOTO (AP).

Source: The Des Moines Evening Tribune, Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, February 22, 1943


Superbattleships Test Their Mettle

Great 45,000 Ton Floating Forts Complete Their Shakedown Cruise

By The Associated Press

The U. S. navy permits publication today, for the first time, some details of the actual operations of the great, 45,000-ton superbattleships Iowa and Missouri, wartime additions to the United States naval might.

Representing the Associated Press on the shakedown cruises – formal tests of speed, fire power, maneuverability and other performances of battle craft of this type – were Elton C. Fay and Charles Mercer.

The following accounts by AP reporters tell how the $100,000,000 ships plowed steadily as a house through seas that sent destroyers reeling; how they banged their 16-inch guns at targets beyond the horizon; how they raced along at speeds up to 30 knots – and came through these preliminaries to active warfare with no more damage than some broken chains.

[omitted, USS Missouri shakedown]


ABOARD THE USS IOWA AT SEA (Delayed) (AP) – They call this biggest battleship ever launched “Showboat,” and for several days now her crew has been rehearing tragedy for the Axis.

Her nine 16-inch and twenty 5-inch guns, her 20 and 40-millimeter batteries were tested against sea, land and air targets with results that caused her skipper, Capt. John L. McCrea, former naval aid to President Roosevelt to say:

“I’m very much pleased.”

The ship’s armaments were designed to deal powerful offensive blows, and her chief firing tests were made by the 16-inchers against moving sea targets. On the defensive too, she demonstrated many a surprise rabbit-punch in store for enemy aircraft and submarines.

The ship, despite her 45,000 tonnage, can show submarines a clean pair of heels with a speed of more than 30 knots.

In the firing of the 16-inch batteries, range-finders were brought to bear as the ship, long guns nuzzling the horizon, moved on courses from more that 8 to more than 18 miles from the target.

After each shattering salvo, photo triangular, aerial photographs, air spots and top spots were combined to determine accurately the fall of shot. But to reports aboard the results were best described by a petty officer who muttered:

“Bingo!” and “Holy smoke!”

Darkness became daylight when the ship entered night battle practice. Star shells rocketed and broke over the distant target. Then the guns thundered, with a flash and a roar like a small boy’s dream of the perfect Fourth of July. The course of the whining shells was clearly visible in the darkness, and suddenly far at sea the Yankee Fourth of July dream became an Axis nightmare.

At dawn the crew again was on the alert and at battle stations. After long waiting, while the big ship plowed steadily on, a plane-towed target, a mere speck against the sun, moved in. A sheet of flame rose from portside as the anti-aircraft batteries challenged the figurative enemy. A few tattered remnants fluttered seaward; the “enemy” was destroyed.

The starboard batteries fired at other targets, then the portsides again.

At battle stations crouched youths from farms and city streets, many of whom had never seen the sea until they joined this ship. Their tense faces showed that to them the targets were the enemy, that the price of inaccuracy was death and the yield of sure aim was victory. Sprinkled among there were many officers and men who have had actual battle experience.

Besides being charged with the responsibility of being good fighters, the crew of “Showboat” must operate what is virtually a floating city. For the Iowa can partially be described with these believe-it-or-not statistics:

Nine and a half acres of deck space, 800 miles of welding, drive shafts totaling one-fifth mile, 400,000 pounds of paint, capacity to generate enough electricity to handle the domestic and industrial load of a city of 20,000, operations involving 900 motors.

Capt. McCrea is pleased with his ship. He believes that with a little more training his crew will be as good as any afloat, for he says:

“They’ve got the stuff!”

Source: The Reno Evening News, Reno, Nevada, Thursday, October 26, 1944


Lean, Clean and Rugged, the U.S.S. Iowa, set for action, cleaves the sparkling Pacific like a gigantic arrow. This is the inspiring view officers of the ship enjoy when looking forward from the bridge.

Source: The Des Moines Morning Register, Des Moines, Iowa, Sunday, November 05, 1944


Superdreadnaught U.S.S. Iowan Proves of Value to Navy

Washington. – (AP) – The navy said today the exploits of the super dreadnaught U.S.S. Iowa in helping chase the Japanese back to their homelands demonstrated the need for battleships in the modern navy.

The 45,000-ton Iowa recently was disclosed to be shelling enemy homeland installations and factories. Vice Admiral E. L. Cochrane, chief of the navy’s bureau of ships, said her activities against the Japanese while traveling the equivalent of six times around the globe in the past year and a half already had “done much toward repaying her initial cost of $110,000,000.”

The Iowa was commissioned in February, 1943, and, after her shakedown cruise, carried President Roosevelt to Casablanca for his conference with Prime Minister Churchill. In January, 1944, the ship left Chesapeake bay for the Pacific and arrived in time to take part in the amphibious operation against Kwajalein island in the Marshals.

In frequent strikes thereafter, The Iowa accompanied task forces often protecting carriers, against Saipan, Tinian, Okinawa, Formosa, Luzon and the Visayas.

Source: The Sioux City Tribune-Journal, Sioux City, Iowa, Wednesday, August 08, 1945

Battleships Named Iowa Have A Great Record

A thrill of pride swept across the Hawkeye state on July 10th when Admiral Chester W. Nimtz reported that aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers and the smaller craft were striking at the very heart of Tokyo. Leading the U. S. 3rd Fleet in this onslaught was the superdreadnaught “Iowa,” a 45,000-ton battleship that had been completed the previous year. A few days later the “Iowa” led the attack on the great steel mills of Hokkaido. As a security black-out barred further details, Iowans waited grimly, confident that the powerful namesake of the Hawkeye State would achieve even greater laurels.

The exploits of the “Iowa” in 1945 brings back memories of another famous battleship “Iowa” which was launched at Philadelphia on March 28, 1896. This historic vessel was 360 feet long compared with 880 feet for the modern superdreadnaught. She carried four 12-inch guns compared with nine 16-inche guns, 29 5-inch guns, and over 125 light anti-aircraft guns of the mighty battle-wagon of Admiral Halsey’s fleet. She cost $5,871,206.32 compared with approximately one hundred million dollars expended for each ship of the “Iowa” class in World War II.

Despite this disparity in size and power the former battleship “Iowa” played a dramatic role in United States naval history. On July 3, 1989, she was cruising in front of Santiago harbor when Admiral Cerver’s Spanish fleet attempted to escape to sea.

She crippled the “Teresa,” disabled two Spanish destroyers, and aided in the destruction of the “Vizcaya” and “Oquendo.”

The gallant Iowa itself escaped injury. She remained in service until 1919, when she was removed from the navy’s record because of old age.

In 1932 she was used as a target for the new battle queen “Mississippi,” and sunk in the Bay of Panama.

The story of her career is told by Dr. Ruth A. Gallaher in the April, 1923, issue of “The Palimpset.”

Source: The Belle Plaine Union, Bell Plaine, Iowa, Thursday, August 09, 1945

Iowans Have Reason To Be Proud

Local Boy Was There When U.S.S. Iowa Blasted Tokyo Environs

With the war’s end at last we can learn the work our Navy has been doing in the Pacific and now that censorship regulations have been relaxed to let the people at home know a little more about the component parts of our beloved fleet.

The latest release from the navy – one which is of great interest to all Iowans – concerns the USS Iowa. Two men from Iowa Falls have been a part of her crew during the time she has seen action in the Pacific.

They are Donald Meyer, storekeeper first class, son of Mr. and Mrs. P. Meyer, and Chief Yeoman Sidney Bremer, brother of G. E. Bremer. The latter has just been relieved of duty aboard the Iowa and is now stationed in Washington, D. C., but the other local boy is still with the ship.

The navy tells the following story of the Iowa:

The USS Iowa, first of four 45,000-ton battleships of her class to be commissioned, has traveled close to 150,000 miles, chasing the Japanese from the Marshall Islands to the vicinity of Tokyo since January,1944, only once suffering moderate damage from enemy fire.

The Iowa “has already done much toward repaying her initial cost of $110,000,000,” according to Vice Admiral E. l. Cochrane, USN chief of the bureau of ships. “She has earned her title of ‘First lady of the Third Fleet’ through the record she has established.”

Eight hundred and eighty-seven feet long and over 108 feet of beam, she possesses the latest features of hull design, propulsion, armor and armament. Her striking power and that of her sister ships, the USS New Jersey, Wisconsin and Missouri, is unexcelled on the sea today. This is combined with structural strength capable of withstanding the force of enemy bombardments, air strikes and typhoons.

The Iowa, in her two and a half years in service has proven that the mighty new type battleships have a very definite and important role to play in a modern navy.

The only time the Iowa has suffered damage by enemy action was in the operations in the Marshall Islands on March 18, 1944, when Japanese shore batteries on Mille Atoll scored two hits. One shell landed on number two main battery turret and the other against the port side of the hull. Only moderate damage resulted, no fires were started and there were no personnel casualties. The Iowa continued her shelling of the island’s installations in an unbroken pattern, starting two large fires on the southern end of the atoll, obliterating other targets.

Prior to the Mille episode, the ship had taken part in other Marshall Islands strikes, and had a hand in amphibious landings by protecting carriers whose planes were bombing Kwajalein and Eniwetok.

In a bombardment of Ponape in early May, 1944, the Iowa sent salvoes from her 16-inch guns into enemy positions on the slopes of the island and into the airfield and its nearby barracks. Fires were started in the island’s town and waterfront district. The only observed enemy retaliation was sporadic antiaircraft fire seen from the distance.

No return fire was encountered in the Iowa’s blasting of Saipan and Tinian in the Marianas in June, 1944. One salvo from the main battery blew up an ammunition dump with spectacular results.

The Iowa made its first sweep into the Western Pacific late in 1944, leaving a base in October with the task force assigned to protecting the Leyte landings. She also operated with the carriers whose planes struck against Okinawa, Formosa, Luzon and the Visayas.

The Iowa and other surface units with heavy enough armament to blast the best of the Jap fleet were prepared to engage the enemy in a decisive battle in these early strikes against heavily guarded targets in the inner circle of enemy defenses. In the Iowa’s task group were other battleships, carriers, light cruisers and destroyers. During the intense bombing of Formosa’s airfields and factories, the United States force was under air attack several times.

On October 25, the force started south toward San Bernadino Straits in the Philippines, and that night contacted one enemy vessel which appeared to be either a destroyer or a light cruiser. Salvoes from the Iowa’s force started huge fires on the ship. Light units closed in on the burning ship and continued to fire until tremendous topside and underwater explosions were heard and the ship was declared sunk.

The following morning a large oil slick was observed and about 50 Japanese survivors were found among the debris.

In the Formosa and Northern Luzon sweeps a total of 43 enemy planes were shot down. In late November, during the strikes at Luzon, antiaircraft fire from the Iowa and accompanying ships accounted for several enemy dive bombers. When the assault on Luzon was resumed in December, the Iowa completed the tour of duty in that area undamaged from enemy air or surface units.

Early in 1945, the battleship arrived at the U. S. Naval Drydocks, Hunter’s Point, California, for routine overhaul and modernization of her equipment. Upon completion of improvements she again joined the Third Fleet for the ravaging sweeps up and down the enemy’s homeland.

The Iowa was commissioned February 22, 1943, at the New York navy yard under the command of Rear Admiral (then Captain) John L. McCrea, USN. Other successive commanding officers have been:

Captain Allen R. McCann, USN; Captain James L. Holloway, Jr., USN; and Captain Charles Wellborn, Jr., USN.

After commissioning and shakedown the Iowa carried President Roosevelt to Casablanca for his conference with Prime Minister Churchill.

Source: The Iowa Falls Citizen, Iowa Falls, Iowa, Thursday, August 23, 1945

Fleet Alert As 21 Emissaries Confer On Halsey’s Flagship
By Frank Bartholomew, United Press Correspondent

ABOARD THE BATTLESHIP IOWA OFF TOKYO (UP) – Every gun on the Iowa pointed at the dingy little Jap destroyer hovering off the starboard. It was the Hap Uzakura, which brought 21 Jap emissaries to the conference aboard Adm. Halsey’s flagship, the Missouri.

The men of our ship stood at battle stations throughout the conference, ready to blow the Jap destroyer from the water at the first sign of treachery.

We approached the Jap shores 400 ships strong and 100 miles out.

Crew Excited

Every man aboard was alert with excitement at approaching the heart of the beaten enemy’s homeland when the signal sounded that the Hat Uzakura was sighted.

The U. S. destroyer Nicholas broke from formation and approached the Jap destroyer. Halsey’s Missouri signaled and asked the Nicholas if the Japs had depressed their guns as ordered. The Nicholas said yes.

We crowded the starboard rail to watch as The Nicholas launched a whaleboat carrying an American flag. The loudspeaker on this ship blared, “Now hear this, a whaleboat from the Nicholas is now on her way to the Jap destroyer.”

Satisfying Sight

The men grinned. This was the comment they had been waiting for. The Japs, who thought their navy could knock us out at Pearl Harbor, were coming aboard a U. S. battleship to discuss the occupation of their mighty Yokosuka naval base.

It took two trips in the bobbing whaleboat to complete the transport of the envoys from the Hat Uzakura to the Nicholas. Then, with 21 emissaries, two Jap officers, 13 harbor pilots and six interpreters aboard, The Nicholas steamed past us to deliver them to the Missouri.

Cmdr. Harold Stassen, Adm. Halsey’s flag secretary and former Minnesota governor, took up the story over the flagship radio and told the men of the fleet what was going on.

Battle Rations

No meals were served on our ship. The officers, crew and correspondents were issued battle rations and stayed at battle stations ready for any hostile movement from that lone Jap ship.

The bay’s surface was like a slab of green marble. Above us rose Fujiyama, snowless and smoky blue all the way up its symmetrical cone.

Source: The Stars and Stripes - Pacific Edition, Monday, August 27, 1945

U.S.S. Iowa Was In On The Kill

The giant USS Iowa, 45,000-ton battleship of the Third Fleet, has been in waters near Tokyo, engaged with other fleets in the occupation of Japan. The Iowa is now helping bring the boys home.

Source: Hawarden Independent, October 4, 1945

Local Sailor Serving on Mighty U.S.S. Iowa

A Fort Madison boy, John Donald Green, is among many Iowans now serving on the U.S.S. Iowa, the mighty floating fortress called “the greatest ship ever launched by the American nation” by the late Secretary of Navy Frank Knox, according to word received today from Washington.

Gov. Robert D. Blue of Iowa has just received the story of the Iowa’s part in World War II from the ship’s commanding officer, Capt. J. W. Roper.

To Africa.

On March 24, 1943, the Iowa put to sea on her shakedown cruise and then was assigned to carry the late President Franklin Roosevelt to North Africa for the historic conference with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin.

The ship departed for the Pacific in January, 1944, and took part in the Marshall Islands campaign when she received the only damage of the war when Japanese projectiles struck her. Damage was slight and there were no casualties. The Iowa took park in strikes against the Caroline group of islands, the Marianas and attacks by air against the middle Philippine islands.

In October, 1944, the Iowa served as press ship for the Third fleet, continuing this service until her return to the United States after the initial occupation of Japan.

At the same time, as the flagship of a Third fleet task group, The Iowa took part in the initial Okinawa campaign, and the softening of northern Luzon for the Leyte campaign. During that campaign, the men of The Iowa shot down three enemy planes and hit three others.


The ship was then ordered back to San Francisco for repairs, and from there rejoined the Third fleet, serving as the flagship of Rear Admiral O. C. Badger in the Okinawa campaign.

After replenishment at Leyte, The Iowa moved into position off Japan for sustained air attacks and was among the ships for the first landings on the Japanese home islands Aug. 30.

Source: The Fort Madison Democrat, Fort Madison, Iowa, Wednesday, October 17, 1945









Leading a vanguard of 10 ships to Seattle is the
45,000-ton battleship Iowa, shown preparing to
dock as many persons lined the waterfront
 to greet sons and fathers returning home.
 (AP Wirephoto.)

Illustrious War Record of
Battleship Iowa Revealed

Des Moines – (AP)  -- The Battleship Iowa had made an illustrious record since her commissioning in 1943, Capt. J. W. Roper, commander, reported to Gov. Robert D. Blue Wednesday.

She has been in on almost every important assignment since she first took to the water, the commander said.

A detailed history of the ship up to the time she was patrolling the shores of Japan from the waters of Tokyo bay was made public by the governor from Captain Roper’s report.

The Iowa now is at Seattle and will participate in the Navy Week celebration beginning Sunday.

Captain Roper wrote in the report to Governor Blue:

“As I write from Tokyo bay, the Iowa’s might guns are trained ready to enforce, f need be, the imposition of the will of the United States upon the conquered, treacherous
Japanese. May they remember the name ‘IOWA’ as a mighty force of the way of justice.”

The history of the ship showed she was paid her first tribute by the late secretary of the navy, Frank Knox, who at the launching ceremonies called her “the greatest ship ever launched by the American nation.”

After a “shakedown” cruise, the ship was assigned on Aug. 28, 1943, to the “Tirpitz watch,” neutralizing the threat of the German battleship which was then in Norwegian waters.

In November, 1943, the Iowa carried Franklin D. Roosevelt to Teheran for the conference with Churchill and Stalin. The ship also carried the president to north Africa, where he was transferred to a French ship.

Pacific duty followed for the Iowa. She joined Pacific units of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance’s Fifth fleet in task force 58 on Jan. 2, 1944. Action in this phase of her career brought the only damage received by the ship during the war.

“In an action against the Jap held Marshall islands, the Iowa was struck by two Japanese projectiles, one bursting on the deck near turret two with small damage, and the other holing the ship’s side, bursting an empty compartment where damage was negligible. Casualties amounted to one man with a cut face,” Captain Roper said.

The ship continued to be involved in some of the most important battles of the Pacific campaign.

She was present and fighting during the campaigns against the Caroline islands, Humbolt bay, New Guinea, where she supported Gen. MacArthur’s forces during their landings on Hollandia, Aitape and Wake, the Marianas campaign culminating in the bombardment and invasion of Saipan, Tinian and Guam, Palau and Eniwetok.

In September the ship fought in the regaining of the Philippine islands. In October, she was at Okinawa.

After a trip to the drydocks in this country, the ship returned to the Pacific theater and was present during the suicide plane battles off Okinawa.

In July, the Iowa bombarded Japan proper, blasting Muroran. Later, during the same month, she struck at Tokyo and Nagoya.

Early August found the ship at Iwo Jima. August marked the start of Japanese surrender negotiations and the ship held fire, awaiting further orders.

“On Aug. 27, three years to the [Page 2] day since her launching, with her log reading 190,313 miles, the Iowa – her batteries alerted against any treachery, dropped anchor in Sagami Wan, an open bay, 30 miles southwest of Tokyo.

“On Aug. 29 she moved into Tokyo bay and there acted as one of the first support ships for the first landings on the Japanese home islands,” Captain Roper said.

Among Iowa enlisted men serving at present aboard the Iowa is Bert S. Cook, of Waterloo.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Wednesday, October 17, 1945, Pages 1 & 2

Of The Iowa

The ensign flown by the battleship Iowa when she steamed into Tokyo bay Aug. 29 after months of Pacific action will be presented to her name state Thursday afternoon.

Capt. Charles Wellborn, Jr., N.S.N., of Los Angeles, Cal., the Iowa’s commanding officer since early 1945, will make the presentation.

Gov. Robert D. Blue will accept the banner, the Stars and Stripes, at ceremonies in his office.

Sunday the governor said the size of the ensign will determine whether it will be preserved in the state house case of flags or at the state historical society.

Coming Here.

Captain Wellborn, two other officers and an enlisted man probably will fly from Seattle, Wash., reaching here Wednesday.

Friday night Captain Wellborn will speak at a Navy League dinner at the Black Hawk hotel at Davenport, Ia.

The Iowa was launched at the New York, N. Y., navy yard at Brooklyn, N. Y. August 27, 1942.

Mrs. Henry A. Wallace, wife of the present secretary of commerce, sponsored the ship, which had been completed seven months ahead of schedule. The Iowa was authorized by an act of congress May 25, 1939.

190,313 Miles.

Three years to the day of her launching The Iowa moved into Sagami bay, 30 miles southwest of Tokyo and two days later into Tokyo bay. Her log book listed 190,313 miles of travel.

Commissioned in February 1943, the superdreadnaught carried President Roosevelt to Therean, Iran, for his conference with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Josef Stalin.

The Iowan first went into action in the amphibious operations against Kawjalein island in the Marshalls.

Her log book is a long series of strikes in the major Pacific operational areas – Truk; Palau island of the Caroline groups; Hollandia; New Guinea; Saipan; Tinian; Guam; Philippines and Okinawa.

On July 1, 1945, The Iowa took up her position for sustained attacks upon the Japanese and continued at intervals until the end of the war.

The Iowa is 887 feet long and over 108 feet of beam (extreme breadth). At the time of the launching, it was said The Iowa was more than twice as long as the height of the Equitable building. She carries 16-inch guns.

Predecessors of the present Iowa were: (1) a post-Civil war wooden screw sloop; (2) a battleship which served in the Spanish-American war and as a training ship in World War I; (3) another battleship scrapped before completion in accordance with the terms of the 1921 Washington treaty limiting naval armaments.

Source: The Des Moines Morning Register, Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, October 22, 1945

Capt. Chas. Wellborn, Jr.

Skipper of Battleship Iowa Believes Trained Reserve is Key to Future Fleet Needs

Capt. Charles Wellborn, Jr., commanding officer of the battleship Iowa, who will be the principal speaker at the city’s Navy Day banquet Friday night at the Hotel Blackhawk, believes maintenance of an adequately trained navy reserve force holds the key to the problem of the manning of Uncle Sam’s future fleet.

The banquet, first event of the Navy Day observances, will be held at 6:30 p.m. under the auspices of the Davenport Council of the Navy League of the United States. Attending will be members of the council and their ladies as well as those of the Davenport Association O’ Life Underwriters, which sponsored Navy Day observances for several years before the league was organized here.

The LSM 113, amphibious navy ship, came over from the engineer basin Friday and moored at the foot of Brady street. Visitors may board the boat Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Presented Ensign.

Capt. Wellborn came to Davenport Thursday night from Des Moines where he presented to Gov. Robert D. Blue, for the people of the state, the colors flown by the battleship Iowa during the entry into Japanese waters and the surrender ceremonies in Tokyo bay. They will be turned over to the Iowa State Historical society.

“The effectiveness and success of more than 300,000 reserve officers in World War II,” Capt. Wellborn said in an interview with reporters Friday, “furnish all the proof we need that the reserve plan is distinctly the American solution of the problem. I don’t believe any other nation in the world could have equaled our accomplishment in the development of a navy with the sea power which proved to be the decisive factor in final victory.

“Approximately 15,000 regular navy line officers provided the nucleus of our sea force, directed the training of the reserves, afforded the know-how for over-all planning and strategy, and to a considerable extent filled topflight billets.

“Altho this was imperative, particularly at the outset, reserve officers gradually moved into positions of increasing responsibility, and in many cases there were ships commanded entirely by reserve officers. Meanwhile, reserves with particularly qualifying civilian experience were placed in high-ranking shore posts.”

It has been revealed that the navy’s program for the future defense of the United States involves the maintenance of a force of approximately a thousand ships. In addition to an activity operating force in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, there would be partially-manned reserve fleet which could be utilized for the schooling of the men assigned to the navy in a universal training program, and there would be still other ships which would be kept in fighting trim, but without crews.

“Altho we may be able to rely to a large extent on men receiving reserve training,” the captain said, “both as officers and enlisted men, it will be vital, as before, to have a nucleus of regular navy men. We should readily solve our problem regarding officers, particularly as some of the present reserves elect a naval career, and I am confident that thousands of men who saw sea service during the war will want to return, particularly after they have come to grips with some of their personal postwar problems in civilian life.”

Source: The Davenport Democrat, Davenport, Iowa, Friday, October 26, 1945

FDR Escape

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (AP) – The battleship Iowa, while carrying President Roosevelt to the Cairo conference in November, 1943, narrowly escaped being torpedoed accidentally by the U.S. destroyer USS William D. Porter, Navy circles revealed today.

Source: The Stars and Stripes - Pacific Edition, Saturday, December 01, 1945

Mothball Fleet Gets Iowa

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, (UP) – The Navy’s 45,000-ton battleship USS Iowa will tie up at Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard to join the mothball fleet. The last active Pacific battleship, the Iowa is survived on active duty only by her sister-ship, the USS Missouri.

Source: The Stars and Stripes - Pacific Edition, Tuesday, March 22, 1949

NOTE: The USS Iowa was the only ship of her class to have served in the Atlantic during World War II. In the Pacific, she served as the flagship of the Third Fleet. She was the cover story for Life Magazine’s October 30, 1944 issue.

During the Korean War, she participated in raids on the North Korean coast. She was decommissioned on February 28, 1959, and entered into the reserve ‘mothballed’ fleet. In 1984, she was recommissioned and served with the 600-ship fleet to counter the expanded Soviet Union Navy.

An explosion on April 19, 1989, demolished her #2 gun turret and killed 47 of her sailors. Eventually it was determined that this was an accidental powder explosion.

She was decommissioned on October 26, 1990. She was reinstated from 1990 to 2006 in compliance with federal law which required that 2 Iowa-class battleships be retained and maintained. She was struck from the Naval List on March 17, 2006. Donated to the Pacific Battleship Center in 2011, she was moved to her permanent Berth 87 at San Pedro on May 26, 2012 and permanently anchored on July 7th. She is open to the public, serving as a museum and a memorial.

During World War II, she earned 9 battle stars and 2 more during the Korean War.