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USS Iowa

The first ship in a new class of WWII battleships, the USS Iowa was built by the Brooklyn Naval Yards (Brooklyn, NY) beginning in 1938, and became a home for nearly 3,000 soldiers fighting overseas. The 887 ft in length and 187 ft. in height ship began its journey in WWII after being commissioned on February 22, 1943. The navy ship was commanded under Officer Captain John L. Mcrea and engaged in its first war assignment, "Tirpitz Watch" on February 24- a mission to neutralize the German war threat near Norway. On January 2 of 1944, the ship officially became a charter member of the Pacific Fleet Task Force 58. The ship continued on to defend in WWII, engaging in the following significant events: - January 23, 1944- First Pacific Campaign- Air strikes against Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atolls - February 16, 1944- First Firing of Weapons in Combat- Attack on Japanese Naval Base in Truk, Caroline Island -June 19, 1944- Battle of Philippine Sea- Downed three attacking planes -Aug- Nov. 1944- Captain Allan R. McCann becomes Commanding Officer - October 23, 1944- Battle of Leyte Gulf - November 1, 1944- Captain James Lemuel Holloway, Jr. becomes Commanding Officer -November 25, 1944- Kamikaze Attack - July 1, 1945- Captain Charles Wellborn Jr. becomes Commanding Officer -July 15, 1945- Attack on Hokkaido - August 30, 1945- Secured Japanese Battleship Nagato -November 1, 1945- Captain Frederick I. Entwistle becomes Commanding Officer - July 1, 1945- Captain Raymond D. Tarbuck becomes Commanding Officer -September 1, 1948- Inactivation begins in San Francisco, CA By March of 1948, the USS Iowa had been placed out of commission and sent to the reserves. The ship remained until August 25, 1951, when it was brought back into service due to the Korean Conflict. Captain William R. Smedberg III was named Commanding Officer and began strikes in Wonson-Songjin on April 8th of 1952. The ship engaged in multiple bombardments along the Japan coastline, attacking ports to prevent ships from supplying enemy troops. The ship participated in the following significant events: - April 9, 1952 - Joined Bomb Line - April 25-26, 1952- Bombardment of Chindong and Kosong -June 1, 1952- Month of June Gun Strikes -June 9, 1952- Rescued USS Princeton Pilot -July 1, 1952- Captain Joshua W. Cooper becomes Commanding Officer -September 23, 1952- Gun Strikes in Wonsan - October 14, 1952- Operation Decoy to draw enemy troops in at Kojo - July 1, 1953- Captain Wayne R. Loud becomes Commanding Officer -July 1, 1953- Operation Mariner -September 1, 1954- Captain William C. Bryson becomes Commanding Officer -November 1, 1955- Captain John W. Ailes becomes Commanding Officer -April 13-15, 1956- Ship arrives in Havana, Cuba -December 1, 1956- Captain F. Julian Becton becomes Commanding Officer -September 1, 1957- Operation Strike Back - February 24, 1958- Ship is decommissioned The USS Iowa remained decommissioned until September 1, 1982 when the ship was towed from Philadephia to New Orleans for modernization and reactivation. Captain Gerald E. Gneckow became the Commanding Officer and the ship was recommissioned on April 28, 1984 for duty in the Cold War. After completing training in Guantanamo Bay and a series of maintenance checks, the ship was deployed to Central America in February of 1985. The USS Iowa engaged in these significant events during the Cold War era: - September 20, 1985- Operation Ocean Safari - March 1, 1986- Ship lands in Central America - July 1, 1986- Captain Larry Seaquist becomes Commanding Officer -September 1, 1986- Operation Northern Wedding near Norway coast -December 14, 1986- Fired 1000th Round of 16-inch ammunition - February 11, 1987- Operational Readiness Inspection in Guantanamo Bay -October 26, 1987- Begins North Sea Operations - January 1, 1988- Escorted convoys through Gulf of Oman -May 1, 1988- Captain Fred P. Moosally becomes Commanding Officer -January 26, 1989- Fired the Longest 16-Inch Round - April 19, 1989- Turret Two Explosion kills 47 crewmen near Puerto Rico coast -June 7, 1989- Northern Europe and Mediterranean deployment -January 4, 1990- Turret Two Memorial Plaque -April 19, 1990- Turret Two Memorial Service -May 1, 1990- Captain John P. Morse becomes Commanding Officer -October 26, 1990- USS Iowa Decommissioned After the 1990 decommission of the USS Iowa, the ship was towed to the Naval Education and Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island. In 2001, the ship was taken from Rhode Island on a path through the Panama Canal to California, to the Suisan Bay in San Francisco, CA. In 2011, the Pacific Battleship Center of Los Angeles submitted an application to hold the USS Iowa as its final home. In June of 2012, the ship arrived at the Port of Los Angeles, with a grand opening on July 4. Today, visitors can tour the ship to experience and learn what life would have been like for a soldier over the decades. The ship also became the film site for CBS Studios, filming shows such as "NCIS- Los Angeles" onboard the ship.