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Bows of USS Iowa seen from the bridge

Bows of USS Iowa seen from the bridge

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Iowa Class Battleships, Lester Abbey. A modeller's guide to the four ships of the Iowa class, the best American battleships and the longest serving capital ships of the modern era. Includes a history of the ships and their designs, a section of model reviews, a modellers showcase showing some very impressive models, and a section on the changing appearance of these ships over time. [read full review]

USS Iowa World War II Anti-Aircraft Engagements

I had often wondered how many total enemy planes IOWA had engaged and shot down during World War II in the Pacific, but had never discovered this information. The opportunity to review and summarize this topic came to us recently after receiving copies of IOWA's World War II Action Reports and Daily Diaries. These are stored at the National Archives 2 and we had them photographed for our archives. As I read through IOWA's reports, I recorded the entries of aviation attacks on a spread sheet to help summarize these actions. The following is based upon my research.

Although IOWA's radar tracked enemy airplanes on many occasions, she was normally not attacked directly. From the encounters written in IOWAs' World War II reports the enemy planes were either shot down by the Task Force's CAP (Carrier Air Patrol planes) - from the aircraft carriers IOWA was escorting, were after other targets, or were frightened off while coming in range of IOWA's massive anti-aircraft battery. The four IOWAs carried the most anti-aircraft guns in the fleet, along with the new Essex class aircraft carriers (Some of the Essex class carriers, depending on their individual configuration, would carry more 20 mm guns while USS Saratoga (CV-3) carried a hundred 40mm guns in 25 quad mountings). I could imagine the enemy pilots avoiding attacking a battleship and striking either a higher valued carrier for a target or a much less threatening destroyer.

There were 18 engagements when enemy planes were close enough for IOWA to open fire. The 5-inch gun mounts would be the first to fire at long range with radar direction. If the enemy aircraft came closer, the 40 mm guns would open fire, and at an even closer range the 20 mm guns. During some attacks, depending on the angle of the attacking airplane towards IOWA, only certain port or starboard guns would be able to fire. Occasionally, IOWA would have to check her fire against attacking planes so her anti-aircraft fire would not hit other American warships she was steaming with in their Task Force formation or friendly fighter planes.

IOWA's first engagement against an attacking airplane took place on February 16, 1944. IOWA was assigned to Task Force 58 escorting aircraft carriers, as USN carrier airplanes were attacking Japan's anchorage at Truk in the Carolina Islands (Operation Hailstone). A single seat "Zeke" fighter strafed and dropped a bomb off IOWA's starboard bow. IOWA fired back with 2 rounds from a quad 40 mm and 72 20 mm rounds, and then watched as the Zeke was downed by the CAP in the distance.

Another attack, which must have been very dramatic, occurred on October 14, 1944, east of Formosa. That afternoon, a report was received from the CAP of an enemy raid of about 15 planes approaching from the east. At 1515 three enemy planes came out of a rain squall on the port bow of the formation, each being chased by two USN Hellcat fighters. One enemy plane turned east and was shot down by the fighters. Another crossed ahead of the formation and was shot down in flames by fighters south of the formation. The third plane, a "Judy" dive bomber, headed directly for IOWA's port beam and went into a shallow dive towards the ship's bridge. 1516 - As the friendly fighters pulled up sharply and turned west to avoid IOWA's anti-aircraft fire. IOWA opened fire with five 40 mm quads and two 20 mm guns at 1,000 yards. Iowa fired 108 40 mm rounds and 28 20 mm rounds in total at this target. All tracer bullets appeared to hit squarely in the engine and right wing of the plane which burst into flames, fell off on the right wing and crashed 300 yards off the port beam, sinking immediately.

IOWA's Executive Officer called out the performance of one Marine gun crew member against the attacking "Judy" dive bomber in the November 1, 1944 Action Report.

The most intense air attack against IOWA took place on November 25, 1944, while steaming 70 miles east of Polillo Island supporting airstrikes against the Luzon area, Philippines. IOWA's War Diary states that at 1245 the lookouts spotted several enemy planes low on the water and closing in for an attack. For the next 10 minutes the action was extremely rapid. IOWA fired at seven planes, with three being shot down and three more hit. The three planes shot down by IOWA were two "Jill" attack torpedo bombers and one "Judy" dive bomber. During the attack two of these seven planes were seen to crash on aircraft carrier INTREPID and one on the carrier CABOT. IOWA expended 78 5-inch rounds, 1,450 rounds of 40 mm, and 4,400 20 mm rounds, while shooting at the seven enemy planes.

IOWA's Action Report provided more interesting details on the November 25th air attacks.

The planes observed astern at 1250 commenced their approach from dead astern at 1251. There were three planes, identified as Jills, and they apparently endeavored to remain directly astern of this ship during their approach. In an effort to bring guns to bear, the entire five-inch battery was finally assigned to the after five-inch director, but it was not until the planes reached a range of 6,500 yards that the after two port mounts were out of their danger sectors and fire could be opened up with the five-inch battery. Mount #10 firing Mark 32 fuzzed projectiles was the first to fire and the leading plane received a direct hit from what was believed to be the first projectile fired. It disintegrated in the air, and the Rangefinder of Sky 4 reported that at one instant he was looking at an airplane and the next instant all he could see was a propeller and radial engine flying through the air with no plane attached to it. Five-inch fire was then shifted to the second plane, which by this time was also under fire from the 20 and 40 mm guns as it moved up the port quarter towards the INTREPID. This plane was also shot down in flames as a result of observed hits from 40 mm guns. The third plane zoomed sharply upwards to an altitude of several hundred feet, then despite machine gun hits received from this ship and INTREPID, fell on one wing and dove on the flight deck of INTREPID where it crashed. No five-inch was fired at the third plane since the range was fouled by a screening destroyer.

Approximately four minutes later at 1258 a single enemy plane, a Judy, was sighted directly astern of the ship at an estimated altitude of 6,000 feet, position angle 60 degrees, diving along the fore-and-aft line of the ship towards the center of the disposition. This plane was taken under fire by 13 40 mm quad mounts and 35 20 mm guns. Hits were scored almost immediately, the plane rolled completely over at least twice and then, when it was directly over the ship, went into a tight spin and crashed about 100 yards sharp on the starboard bow. Although no accurate count could be made, it is estimated that between 2,500 and 3,000 rounds of machine gun ammunition was expended on the plane. It crashed so close to the ship that the machine gunners in the bow were ordered to abandon their guns for fear the plane would crash on them. The gunners evidently were of the same opinion of the sector officers since they lost no time in moving aft.

In total during World War II, IOWA shot down 5 attacking planes, assisted downing 3 others, and damaged at least 3 others.

In between periods of action, to keep the gun crews skills sharp, IOWA's daily War Diaries recorded many gun drills. Target sleds would occasionally be towed for 5-inch and 16-inch gun target practice. More frequently were anti-aircraft drills and target practice as described below.

On Sunday April 8, 1945 (this was after Iowa's Hunters Point repairs, while exercising off Hawaii before returning to the forward combat zone):

Another interesting discovering was reading that radio controlled drones were being used during the last part of World War II. IOWA was probably outfitted for launching the "radioplane" drones while she was undergoing repairs and a refit in Hunters Point, San Francisco, from January through March, 1945. The below Diary recorded one such anti-aircraft drone drill.

From what I have read, it seems that IOWA's well trained and dedicated crew, superb fire control and gun systems, and the many split second variables that occur in war, prevented IOWA from being a victim of an enemy plane's bomb or suicide crash upon her.

History [ edit | edit source ]

The USS Iowa (BB-61) was the lead ship of the last class of US Navy battleships. The battleship was originally commissioned in 1943, Ώ] and served during World War II, Korean War, and Cold War. USS Iowa has earned 11 battle stars during her career and hosted three US Presidents, ultimately earning the nicknames, Battleship of Presidents and Big Stick. ΐ] The USS Iowa was awarded to the Pacific Battleship Center on September 6, 2011 for display at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, CA - home to the United States Battle Fleet from 1919 to 1940.

On October 27, 2011, the battleship was relocated from Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet to the Port of Richmond, CA for painting and refurbishment. Α] On May 27, 2012, the USS Iowa was towed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge on its 75th anniversary for final placement at the LA Waterfront. Β] The USS Iowa opened in Los Angeles on July 4, 2012 to a crowd of over 1,500 supporters and veterans at Port of Los Angeles Berth 87. Γ] The USS Iowa museum celebrates the American spirit through daily tours, group programs, education visits, special events, filming, military ceremonies, and is in the process of starting an overnight program.

Daily tours include visits to see the largest guns (16"/50 caliber) on a US Navy ship, Δ] officers ward room, President Roosevelt's cabin, armored bridge, missile decks, enlisted berthing, mess decks, helicopter deck, and other areas. The ship is located at the Los Angeles World Cruise Center Ε] and has over 2,100 parking spaces available.

USS Iowa has played various roles in films and shows including NCIS: Los Angeles, American Warships, and Dark Rising. USS Iowa is home to annual American-focused events including the City of Los Angeles Veterans Appreciation, Ζ] a Memorial Day Celebration, Η] and September 11 remembrance. ⎖]

A New Life For The USS Iowa

It’s hard to recall the number of times I have cruised past the battleship USS Iowa, sitting forlornly at anchor as part of the mothball fleet in Suisun Bay (northeast of San Francisco). Tied off on the end of a cargo ship lineup, it clearly stood out with a low and sweeping sheer line. Those 16-inch gun turrets made it look just plain menacing.

Commissioned in 1943, a veteran of WWII, Korea, and the Cold War, USSIowa was now just an unused and unwanted ship with a glorious history. Nicknamed 𠇋ig Stick,” she was the first of four Iowa-class battleships built, the last battleships ever to be built for the U.S. Navy.

These were the behemoths, the fast battleships designed to keep up with and protect the aircraft carriers. Born of a different time, cheered on by a nation at war, they were lions in the shaping of world history. With 50 years of service, and waning mechanical ability, USS Iowa was permanently decommissioned in 1990 following an explosion in turret number 2.

Saved from an ignoble fate in June 2011, she was towed from San Francisco to San Pedro to see new life as a public museum (San Francisco had turned it down). Under the auspice of the non-profit Pacific Battleship Center, their volunteer working group has performed beautifully, and USSIowa saw her first visitors on the Fourth of July weekend of 2012. It is not yet completely finished, but I can’t wait to go aboard.


It was a sunny morning when I nosed my Nordic Tug 32 Norma Jean out of Marina del Rey and headed south. From outside the Los Angeles Harbor breakwater, you can look down the main channel and see the mast of USS Iowa at berth 87. Before heading to your marina, it’s worth a ride down the channel to see the uncluttered profile of this sleek ship tied up on the San Pedro waterfront.

At nearly 900 feet, the high bow flare drops to only 20 feet of freeboard at the canoe stern when combat laden. Four GE steam turbines each spun a shaft with a 20-ton propeller, driving the ship at 33 knots. It’s a 60,000-ton armored speedboat, an impressive piece of early-1940s design, engineering, and mechanics.

Adjacent to USS Iowa shoreside is the Los Angeles Maritime Museum and Park, also worth a visit𠅊nd just south of the museum is Ports O’ Call Village. There is no guest docking at the ship. A marina and park is under construction next to the museum, but for now, it’s the West Channel for guest docking. If you need fuel, Jankovich Company fuel dock is right on the way.

There are several marinas and yacht clubs in this basin, and I pulled into Cabrillo Marina for a guest slip. This is a well cared for and nicely situated marina. It’s an easy and safe bicycle ride back over to USS Iowa. If you’re afoot, the Free Downtown Trolley’s regular loop stops at the Doubletree Hotel in the marina, and also makes stops at Port’s O’ Call and USS Iowa. On the way is 22nd Street Landing, a great spot to eat overlooking the basin, and there are multiple fresh fish restaurants in Ports O’ Call Village


Once aboard, it’s a step back in history. During World War II, attacks by enemy planes on ships were deemed modern warfare, and this ship boasted the highest anti-aircraft firepower in the entire U.S. Navy. Through multiple-type weapons systems, she could have 150 gun barrels providing skyward defense at any one time. All of the smaller guns were removed when the ship was re-outfitted with missiles in the early 1980s, but many of the mounts remain.

The self-guided tour is well marked, and you can tarry as long as you like at any one spot. The starting entrance is into the Officers Wardroom. The bridge is open to walk through, although the heavily armored combat bridge (reminiscent of USSMonitor) is roped off but still viewable. Original equipment is still mounted on bulkheads throughout the ship. President Roosevelt’s cabin (and head with a bathtub) while traveling to the 1943 Tehran Conference is on the tour, as is the crew galley and mess deck.

I spent most of my time on the decks, intrigued with the design and wartime utility of the New York Navy Yard shipbuilders. The majority of the main deck is open to visitors, as are smaller weapons decks on multiple levels. The original main deck was teak-planked, and some still remains. During the 1980s re-fit, damaged teak was replaced with Douglas fir due to cost and availability. Much of that fir has since rotted, presenting yet one more maintenance challenge to the hardworking volunteers.


The business end of the Big Stick was the three huge gun turrets. Each turret mounts three 16-inch guns that could be fired individually at different elevations, or in concert as one massive salvo. A 2,700-lb. armor piercing projectile could be hurled on target 24 miles away—smaller projectiles went further. This was no small feat, considering it was a blind shot over the horizon using 1940s range-finding equipment and a slide rule for calculation.

Each turret is a self-contained complex, dropping several decks into the ship. The top two decks are the gunhouse and gun pit, machinery and electrical is in the middle, and the bottom decks were the magazines with shells and powder bags. For each shot, one projectile and six powder bags came up via hoist to the gun deck𠅊 good crew would fire every 30 seconds. When all three guns in the turret were seeing action, the working crew could be up to 80 men.

The turrets are not yet open to visitors, but will be as refurbishment allows. The future plans also include access to the smaller 5-inch gun turrets, gunnery control centers, the engine room, and crew living spaces. Needless to say, visitor support is crucial to help make these plans a reality.

Aerial view of USS North Carolina. Does anyone know why she's painted in camouflage but the Iowa aren't ? [2000x1600]

When I went as a kid I remember her in standard grays.

Same. She was all grey up until relatively recently.

How each museum ship is painted is left to the trust that runs it. I know that at one time USS Kidd was also in camouflage. I think many avoid camouflage simply because of the cost, a lot of these ships are run on a shoe string budget.

This is probably the best explanation. Money is tight for a lot of historical displays and when money is tight, KISS becomes the primary operations and maintenance philosophy.

I believe the North Carolina is one of the better funded museum ships, so they're able to use that incredibly cool looking paint job.

Kidd is still camouflaged. It’s just a much simpler scheme compared to the dazzle scheme seen here. Depends on the fleet and theatre the ship was assigned to.

I’ve actually asked this question to the USS New Jersey’s curator. He said that because the ship is not in its WW2 configuration, it would be inaccurate to paint it in WW2 camouflage.

Lol tell that to IWM and what they did with HMS Belfast.

If I had to guess it is because those Camouflages were more common in WWII as dazzle camouflage which would affect the enemies ranging, and estimations on course and speed. The North Carolina didn’t serve that much longer afterward so it may have retained its original camo scheme. The Iowa’s served for much longer and during WWII actually had their own dazzle camo schemes. I believe the paint scheme they are in right now is the same as when they decommissioned.

Battleship USS IOWA Museum – San Pedro

Battleship USS IOWA Museum – San Pedro

My dad was a naval officer who served in World War II on Guadalcanal, so the Navy (and especially naval vessels) have always held a special interest for me. Tracy and I toured the USS Midway in San Diego about four years ago (we finally got Tracy and Mary out of the brig), and in the past year, we’ve had a couple of opportunities to go aboard one of the greatest battleships that have ever sailed the seas.

On a recent Sunday morning (April 19th…the date is important), Tracy and I put on our sea legs and served our second tour of duty aboard one of the most important ships in American naval history…the Battleship IOWA. This ship has served in numerous world conflicts, and it’s been a floating museum in San Pedro since 2012. To get in the mood, I started the day with a navel orange, which got me in ship-shape condition.

Built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the USS IOWA (nicknamed “The Big Stick”) joined the Atlantic Fleet in 1943 and was the lead ship of her class of battleship. You’ll see later why she was also nicknamed, “The Battleship Of Presidents.”

We purchased our tickets online (slight discount for buying online…and even a further senior discount for old geezers like me…62 and older) and arrived at the ship shortly after it opened at 10:00 a.m. Before boarding, we got to have our photo taken in front of a green screen. It’s here where one can display their finest acting talents.

The first picture was the requisite one of us smiling, but on the second photo op,

we channeled our inner actor personas and covered our ears with our hands and brandished a look of fear on our faces that were definitely Academy Award-worthy. Sure it’s cheesy, but we bought the pictures at the end.

As you board the IOWA, there are veteran docents (or should that be docent veterans) who explain the route to take on the self-guided tour. Our vet informed us there would be other vets who, at various venues would reveal more about the ship and its history.

On our most recent visit, as we listened to the naval veteran explain the ship’s history, we looked up and saw what looked like the end of a formal and somber ceremony (that’s why April 19 th is an important date).

The most important detail we heard was that there were lots of stairs…and they were very steep. Believe me they’re not kidding. Watch your step.

We started our tour by walking toward the front of the nearly three-football-field long ship (887’ to be exact), where I, of course, took a bow.

I got a serious case of Turret Syndrome looking at the Forward Main Battery, which has seen a lot of action over the decades. Being a man of high caliber, I posed for a picture.

Turret Two, one of the 16-inch, 50-caliber gun turrets took a big hit from Japanese shelling during the Marshall Islands campaign at Mili Atoll in World War II. It took a licking but kept on firing.

On both our visits, fire boats greeted us. It’s nice to be wanted.

We toured the executive officer’s quarters of the ship, and while better than the enlisted men’s quarters, it’s no night (or year) at the Ritz (or Motel 6 for that matter).

On our first tour last year, we were led to a room where docents explained the history of the IOWA. This area provided a couple of interesting tidbits.

The first story was about a dog named Vicky.

It just so happens that Vicky (nickname for its real name, Victory) was the pet of Captain John L. McCrae during World War II. The captain’s wife didn’t like Vicky too much, so the pooch became part of the IOWA “crew.”

According to the IOWA website, “The dog quickly won the hearts of the 2700 officers and sailors. He (yes, a boy name Vicky) was outfitted with a special sailors suit and even swam in a 50-yard qualifying test with other sailors.” I’m sure he dog-paddled.

Also from the USS IOWA website, “In November of 1943, the Iowa received the Top Secret mission of transporting President (Franklin) Roosevelt across the Atlantic to the Tehran Conference. Roosevelt’s party included the Joint Chiefs of Staff along with their aides as well as his own presidential staff.

“Roosevelt was no sooner transferred aboard from the presidential yacht Potomac than he noticed a small dog running around. FDR asked his friend, and former Naval Aide, John McCrea where the dog slept. Captain McCrea replied that the dog normally slept at the foot of his bunk and, since the President would have the Captain’s Cabin, he would take the dog up to the Captain’s Sea Cabin by the bridge. Roosevelt, probably missing his little dog Fala, said, “Well John, I see no reason to disrupt this little dogs routine.”

So Vicky slept at the foot of the President’s bed in the Captain’s Cabin during Roosevelt’s 15-day stay on board the IOWA.

Vicky did have one misadventure where he went missing. When Vicky was found, the captain had his rank reduced (no nepotism on this ship mister!).

Today, Vicky helps lead you on the self-guided tour with numbered signs along the route that corresponds to a brochure given to you at the beginning.

Also located in this room, we saw a reproduction of the poker table of President Harry S. Truman. I was going to ask why his poker table was here, but the room was crowded (I’m telling you straight…it was a full house).

On our second visit, the room was unavailable due to the ceremony I wrote about at the beginning of this report. April 19 th turned out to be the anniversary of a tragic event that occurred aboard the Battleship IOWA.

Stepping back on deck, we saw a wreath and the reason behind the ceremony. On April 19, 1989, the IOWA was conducting peacetime drills near the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, when, while preparing to fire Turret 2, an explosion in the center gun room killed 47 crewmen aboard (a crewman took the picture above on that fateful day).

There is a plaque commemorating all those who perished that day.

Before entering the Captain’s Quarters, a docent gave us all a quiz regarding famous naval Admirals. When asked about Admiral Halsey, I gave him no “Bull” with my answer.

Now it was time to enter the Captains Quarters where FDR held meetings with high rankings admirals and generals on the way to the Cairo Conference and the Tehran Conference in November and December of 1943.

There was also a replica of FDR’s wheelchair.

You’ll remember that Captain McCrae offered his quarters to Roosevelt when he was on board.

We saw where Roosevelt slept (with Vicky) and…

… and the famous FDR bathtub.” Because of his polio, Roosevelt was unable to take showers, so the tub was custom built for his time on board. It was like stepping back in history (even my photo came out in black and white).

Tracy and I traversed the narrow hallways…carefully!

…took a look at the galley…

…and moved on. I hoped they would not fire on the dock workers unloading cargo.

Up the stairs to the next level we climbed, even more carefully.

I quickly realized this ship was a danger if you’re on blood thinners like me.

I signaled the city of San Pedro that all was still well…

…while Tracy signaled an SOS that she was touring the vessel with an “idiot.”

Both days we visited, the weather was perfect.

The Battleship IOWA proudly displays its colorful service ribbons. From the IOWA website, “Ships are awarded ribbons and medals just like sailors. When a ship earns a ribbon, all the sailors serving aboard at the time are also awarded that ribbon. The ship’s ribbons are worn on the outside of her bridge wings. The USS IOWA earned 14 different ribbons over her nearly 50 years of service.”

Soon, Tracy eased her way into the Chief Of Staff’s chair (that’s one big chair)…

…while I stood by to see a Time Magazine cover of Admiral “Bull” Halsey on the Level Flag Bridge.

We ran into a veteran who explained about the armored conning tower, where the helmsman steered the ship. Obviously, the helmsman had to be well-protected, and he was…

…by a door that weighed 2 tons and walls that were 17 inches thick. Even though we were in a tower of the same name, I don’t think he was conning us.

The USS IOWA (and its class of ships were mothballed after World War II but came back into action during the Korean War, The Viet Nam War and both wars in the Persian Gulf.

Of course, it has been equipped with new weaponry like cruise and Tomahawk missiles and updated missile defense systems for those conflicts.

Hey, I told you…watch your step!

Be especially careful of the lips before the steps…that first step could be a doozy…and your last.

We finally saw where the crew slept…not quite as cushy as the executive officer’s quarters.

The IOWA also hosts parties, and if they get out of hand, those guns could come in handy. I guess being in the back of a ship can make one stern.

Heading back down more stairs, we walked through the crew’s eating quarters, saw a movie about the IOWA class battleships…

…and toured through an exhibit of interesting paraphernalia…

…including the story of “The Battleship Of Presidents.”

Besides Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan (who boarded for the celebration of the restoration and centenary of the Statue Of Liberty in 1986) and George H.W. Bush (who was there for the memorial service for those killed in that freak explosion) have also been guests aboard the IOWA. Reagan came with wife Nancy, which is why the ship has a woman’s restroom (true story).

In 1923, the USS Mississippi also had a tragic accident when 48 crewmen were asphyxiated as a result of an explosion in her Number Two main battery turret (an eerily similar number of casualties as the IOWA sustained…the accident happened off the coast near San Pedro). There is also a plaque commemorating those that lost their lives on the Mississippi.

While we toured, numerous veterans who came on board got their just due.

They were announced over the loudspeaker, each mentioned with their time served in the military. Two of them had served aboard the Iowa (one in 1956 and the other from 1988-89).

There’s also an extensive gift shop, and, yes, a place to buy those crazy pictures that they took of us before we boarded.

Our self-guided tour took about 90 minutes, but you could easily spend longer if so inclined. The Battleship IOWA is the only battleship permanently moored on the West Coast.

At every turn, there are interesting parts of the ships to view and interesting stories to hear.

The Battleship IOWA is an integral part of U.S. naval history, and now you can be a part of it.

With Memorial Day coming up, I can’t think of a better place in the area to visit.

Battleship USS IOWA Museum
250 South Harbor Blvd. • Berth 87
San Pedro, CA 90731 • Phone: 877.446.9261
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. • Ticket Prices: Age 12 – 61 ($18…Online $15) Seniors 62 & Older, kids 6 – 11 & Military with ID ($15…Online $13) • Kids under five (Free)
Parking Lot: Forts Ho is Free…$2 each subsequent hour
Directions From South (San Diego) – Take the 5 freeway north to 405 north. Take exit 37 to merge onto I-110 S toward San Pedro. Take exit 1A to merge onto CA-47 N toward Vincent Thomas Bridge/Terminal Island/Long Beach Take the South Harbor Blvd exit to continue on S. Harbor Blvd. Proceed to the Battleship parking lot

Directions From Northern (LA) – 405 south to exit 37 to merge onto I-110 South toward San Pedro. Take exit 1A to merge onto CA-47 N toward Vincent Thomas Bridge/Terminal Island/Long Beach. Take the South Harbor Blvd exit to continue on S. Harbor Blvd.
Proceed to the Battleship parking lot

It would be a long time before the US had a grasp of the Yamato’s capabilities. When design started in 1938, the Yamato was believed to be a standard battleship. Over the course of the war, new evidence slowly allowed the navy to better understand what it was that it was up against. A breakdown of discoveries about the Yamato can be broken down into the following:

  • In 1936, a US received reports that Japan was building ships up to 55,000 tons.
  • In 1938, reports stated that Japan was building two 16″ heavy battleships with two more on the way.
  • It wasn’t until 1944 that the US found that the Yamato carried 18″ guns.
  • It wasn’t until late 1944/1945 that the US navy finally had a grasp of the true specifications of the Yamato.

This proves without a doubt that the Montana class wasn’t designed to counter the Yamato.

So if the Montana wasn’t designed to counter the Yamato, why was it so large? It is largely because the ship was designed to withstand the firepower of its own guns. The 16″/50 cannon when coupled with the “super heavy” 2700lb shell could have been the finest battleship gun ever to see service. At long ranges, its penetration power was almost that of the larger Japanese18.1″ shell. Due to this similarity, the fact that the Montana was so well protected was really a happy accident.

The other contributing factor was that the US wanted a battleship more powerful than anything its adversaries was likely to use. A ship more powerful than the vessels preceding it, the Bismark class of Germany, the Nagato class of Japan, and so on. An almost impractically large ship to dominate all others. In some ways, the US didn’t believe anyone else would construct such a large ship. Unknown to the US, Japan had the exact same thoughts when designing the Yamato.

3. O’Hare International Airport Saucer (2006)

Flight 446 was getting ready to fly to North Carolina from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, when a United Airlines employee on the tarmac noticed a dark grey metallic craft hovering over gate C17. That day, November 7, 2006, a total of 12 United employees𠅊nd a few witnesses outside the airport—spotted the saucer-shaped craft around 4:15 p.m. 

The witnesses say it hovered for about five minutes before shooting upward, where it broke a hole in the clouds𠅎nough that pilots and mechanics could see the blue sky. The news report became the most-read story on The Chicago Tribune’s website to that date and made international news. However, because the UFO was not seen on radar, the FAA called it a “weather phenomenon” and declined to investigate.

Battleship USS Iowa

Old WWII battleship USS Iowa has recently become a museum at the port of Los Angeles, so I decided to take a look and take some pictures.

The USS Iowa, is very thin and unfortunately not as photogenic as other od ships such as the Midway or the Queen Mary as there are no ornate decorations or furnishings, but it's nice to see a piece of history.


2. Rear cannons and the projectile and gun powder in the foreground.

3. I think these are 15 inch guns.

4. As you can see, the ship is very thin and slender, almost like a canoe shape, I'm sure to make the ship go fast.

5. View out from the bridge.

6. Inside the bridge is this bunker like control room with 17 inch thick steel walls where the ship is controlled during battles.

7. In one of the rooms, they have a panel of lcd's that gives you a sense of the view from the bridge during combat.

Farewell, battleship Iowa

1 of 5 Visitors board the U.S.S. Iowa at the Port of Richmond, California, on May 12, 2012. The biggest battleship ever built is being prepared for its final journey on May 20, when it will be towed to a permanent home at a museum in the Port of Los Angeles. (Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times/MCT) Don Bartletti/McClatchy-Tribune News Service Show More Show Less

2 of 5 A visitor makes a picture of the muzzle of one of the 16-inch guns at the bow end of the U.S.S. Iowa at the Port of Richmond, California, on May 12, 2012. The biggest battleship ever built is being prepared for its final journey on May 20, when it will be towed to a permanent home at a museum in the Port of Los Angeles. (Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times/MCT) Don Bartletti/McClatchy-Tribune News Service Show More Show Less

4 of 5 FILE - This April 21, 2001 file photo shows the battleship USS Iowa being towed through the Carquinez Straits near Benicia, Calif., as it makes its way toward the mothball fleet in Suisun Bay. The 887-foot long ship that once carried President Franklin Roosevelt to a World War II summit to meet with Churchill and Stalin is coming to life once again for what is most likely her final voyage this month to become a floating museum in Los Angeles.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) Eric Risberg/Associated Press Show More Show Less

Sunday afternoon the U.S. battleship Iowa will pass through the Golden Gate, leaving San Francisco Bay forever.

Her ultimate triumph: enduring 20 years of active service and 21 subsequent years in mothballs to find a permanent home in Los Angeles Harbor.

Our ultimate tragedy: that but for the misguided rejection of our Board of Supervisors, Iowa's final home port would have been San Francisco.

The lesson to our ostensibly progressive government and citizenry: In righteous protest against war and prejudice, we - like Iowa's first-rate fire control computers in World War II - must engage our targets with rationality and precision.

The Iowa deserved a permanent home in San Francisco's historic fleet. Iowa represents history's noblest achievement of naval architecture. Designed in 1938 - a virtual contemporary of the Hoover Dam, the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge - Iowa matched those structures in function and design excellence. With nine 16-inch guns in tandem projecting a 2,000-pound shell 23 miles every six seconds, in precision that Japan's larger guns could not attain, Iowa at 33 knots outflanked any vessel then afloat.

Iowa's design was matched by the teamwork of her 2,200-person crews, who transformed architecture into combat reality. As much as her naval engineers, Iowa's veterans and their survivors deserved the best memorial our nation could create.

That memorial belonged here. San Francisco's historic-ship collection would have been crowned by the Mona Lisa of that class. Berthing Iowa at Hunters Point, where she was recommissioned for Korean War duty, would have invigorated that community. Had our city government backed Iowa's supporters, private restoration funds would have materialized.

But if Iowa earned the summit of triumph - anchored as Adm. William Halsey's flagship at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay - she also suffered the depths of tragedy. In a 1989 gunnery exercise an explosion in Iowa's No. 2 turret killed 47 men, proving the nearly unfathomable risk of loading and firing each 16-inch round. But Iowa's crew bore the even greater tragedy of insult: Navy brass attributing this loss to an allegedly homosexual sailor's sabotage, until a congressionally chartered reassessment pinpointed the cause as unstable 1930s-era gunpowder.

In this context and that of the Iraq war, the San Francisco supervisors frustrated Congress' expectation that Iowa would be enshrined here. By an 8-3 vote in 2005, the board rejected Iowa as a symbol of war and of military bias against gays. Other California cities sought the ship, and the Navy selected Los Angeles last year.

As the battleship leaves the bay, let us confront the irrationality of the politicians' undisciplined and fruitless rejection. Iowa is being preserved not as a monument to Bush's war but to the craft of her design and construction, and the service of her crew: American ingenuity at its apogee. Iowa was commissioned in 1943 not to start a war but to end one.

Nor would Iowa's presence validate "don't ask, don't tell." The supervisors' vote disrespected San Francisco's largely gay American Legion post, which recognized the ship as a memorial to the gay men and women who served in her. The politicians' rejection of Iowa advanced neither the end of the war nor the end of the military's benighted prejudice.

For no good reason, San Francisco lost a museum masterpiece, a historical attraction to both residents and visitors, and an exhibit to exemplify the city's positive role in advancing equal rights for gay service members. Bay Area veterans and volunteers now lose the opportunity, briefly seized these past few months in Richmond, to complete the ship's restoration and interpret her history to the generations ahead. Let us be thankful that our Los Angeles colleagues have ensured Iowa's preservation.

But let's also resolve as a progressive citizenry not to repeat the supervisors' mistake. Today the nation faces threats to its basic constitution graver than those of Iraq or "don't ask, don't tell." In frustration at the stranglehold that a mean-spirited minority imposes on our country and state, we must choose our targets wisely. As Iowa leaves us, let us remember that she attained victory not with the biggest guns, but with those best aimed.

Antonio Rossmann, a destroyer officer in the Vietnam War, served this year as tour guide on the battleship Iowa in the Port of Richmond.

Watch the video: Battleship USS Iowa docked in San Pedro, CA - Bridge (June 2022).


  1. Tenos

    Just that is necessary, I will participate.

  2. Beall

    Granted, this is a funny thing

  3. Weolingtun

    What a sympathetic message

  4. Yancy

    So it happens. We will examine this question.

  5. Taugor

    I think you are wrong. I'm sure. Email me at PM, we will talk.

  6. Burhleag

    I can tell you :)

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