Battleship Iowa's 1 anniversary

CNC report from Los Angeles
Added On July 11, 2013

One of America's most storied battleships, the USS Iowa, was turned into a floating museum a year ago. On the anniversary this month, falling on the weekend of Independence Day, the museum operators and tourists celebrated the storied history of this long-serving ship now in port in Los Angeles.

After 21 years in the reserve fleet, the USS Iowa was towed to Port of Los Angeles in June 2012 and opened to public as museum ship one month later.

As the lead ship of her class of battleship, Iowa was the fourth ship in the United States Navy to be named in honor of the mid-western state.

SOUNDBITE: JONATHAN WILLIAMS, President of Pacific Battleship Center
“It’s our one year anniversary at the port of Los Angeles waterfront and opened as tourists destination, so we just hit one year on July 7. July 4 was our dedication ceremony, so that was Independence Day for United States. We also dedicated the ship on that date at the port of Los Angeles L. A. Waterfront.”

Iowa is 270 meters long and 64.7 meters tall. She has a displacement of 45-thousand tons, and, of course, immense destructive power.

Her top speed was 61 kilometers per hour.

SOUNDBITE: JONATHAN WILLIAMS, President of Pacific Battleship Center
“During Roosevelt’s administration, vice president Henry Wallace was his vice president in the early 40s. He was the secretory of the agriculture from the state of Iowa was also the founder of Del-C Company or Pioneer-C Company. Henry Wallace was from the state of Iowa, and because of that, Roosevelt decided the first one of the last class battleship should be named Iowa, so that was why the Iowa class battleship.”

Iowa was commissioned in 1943 and was in service at various times until 1990, earning 11 battle stars and numerous other awards.

She saw action in World War II and the Korean War.

During World War II, she carried President Roosevelt across the Atlantic to the crucial 1943 meeting with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. 

SOUNDBITE: JONATHAN WILLIAMS, President of Pacific Battleship Center
“You look at it today in the modern day world, we design everything by computer. In 1939 and 1940, this was designed completely on drawing boards, hundreds of people on drawing boards. This is, you know, purely by hand. ”

Visitors can have a journey through World War II and the Cold War to experience the life of a sailor on the lead ship of the last class of gunships.

SOUNDBITE: RICK REARDEN, Tourist
“I think it shows the reflection of our history during a very trouble time, and you know, you can look back on it, you can appreciate what the guys who actually had to fight in that war had to deal with, and you can really respect them for their sacrifice.”

Iowa is located at the L.A. Waterfront, the former home of the U.S. Navy battleship fleet prior to World War II and an area rich in maritime history.