The USS Iowa is now serving as a floating museum and memorial to battleships and is berthed at Berth 87 at the Port of Los Angeles.
Visiting and tour hours are daily from 0900 to 1700 (9:00am to 5:00pm) at 250 South Harbor Blvd. in San Pedro, CA.
The USS Iowa was designed in 1938 and built by the New York Naval Yard with her keel laid on June 27, 1940 and launched August 27, 1942. She was the first of her class of “Fast Battleships” commissioned by the United States.
USS Iowa (BB-61) was the lead ship of her class of battleship and the fourth in the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 29th state. USS Iowa is the last lead ship of any class of United States battleships, and was the only ship of her class to have served in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.
During World War II, she carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic to Casablanca en route to a crucial 1943 meeting in Tehran with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. The Iowa was transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1944 and saw action at Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Truk, Caroline Islands, Saipan, Tinian, Rota, Guam in the Mariana Islands, Mili Atoll in the Marshall islands, Palau Islands and Woleai of the Carolines, Hollandia (now known as Jayapura), Aitape, Wakde Islands, Tanahmerah and Humboldt Bays in New Guinea, Ponape in the Carolines, Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Rota, and Pagan Island, Battle of the Philippine Sea, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands and Formosa, Muroran, Hitachi on Honshū, Kahoolawe, and Sagami Bay.
Serving as the Third Fleet flagship, flying Adm. William F. Halsey’s flag, she was present in Tokyo Bay at the surrender of Japan.
The Iowa also served during the Korean War, and participated in raids on the North Korean coast including such locations as: Suwon Dan, Kojo, Wonsan Harbor, Kosong, Tanchon, Chindong, Kosong, Chongjin, Mayang-do, Tanchon, Chongjin, Chodo-Sokcho and the ports of Hŭngnam and Wonsan in support of the UN and South Korean forces.
BB61 was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve “mothball fleets” and was later reactivated in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan operating in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets to counter the recently expanded Soviet Navy. In April 1989, an explosion of undetermined origin wrecked her #2 gun turret, killing 47 sailors.
Iowa was decommissioned for the last time in 1990, and was initially struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1995. She was reinstated from 1999 to 2006 to comply with federal laws that required retention and maintenance of two Iowa-class battleships. Finally 2011, the USS Iowa was donated to the Los Angeles-based non-profit Pacific Battleship Center and was permanently moved to the Port of Los Angeles at Berth 87 and was opened to the public on July 7, 2012.
For more information: Click here to visit the USS Iowa site…