Sunday, October 18, 2009

Guns Ablazing!

USS Iowa (BB-61) aka "The Big Stick", 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. Owing to the cancellation of the Montana-class battleships, 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, Iowa served as a presidential shuttle in the Atlantic Fleet, moving President Roosevelt to and from the Tehran conference. When transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1944, Iowa shelled beachheads at Kwajalein and Eniwetok in advance of Allied amphibious landings and screened aircraft carriers operating in the Marshall Islands. During the Korean War, Iowa was involved in raids on the North Korean coast, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "mothball fleet". She was reactivated in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and operated 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.

Iowa is currently berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, near San Francisco, California, and is awaiting donation to a not-for-profit entity for use as a museum ship. At present, Iowa is the only member of her class not open to the public.

When I saw the picture below I was amazed by the power this ship controlled. I do believe you will be too.

USS Iowa, A Grand Dame of the US Navy!

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