© 2012
All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.


Email Login
New users
sign up!

Detroit's Only FREE E-mail Provider



Find a Job
Job category:



<< News >>

National News

Wednesday, 11 July, 2012 6:38 PM

U.S.S. IOWA is now open for tours at its new, permanent home in San Pedro


The U.S.S. IOWA is docked at Berth 87 in the Port of Los Angeles.


by Jason Rzucidlo



LOS ANGELES -- The U.S.S. IOWA is not just any ship. It was used in World War II and was known as the "Battleship of the Presidents" because it hosted presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The IOWA was also used during the Korean War, the Cold War and in the Persian Gulf. In addition, the U.S.S. IOWA is the only battleship to be equipped with a permanent bathtub! It took about two weeks to tow the battleship from San Francisco to its new, permanent home. It is now a floating museum for all to enjoy at Berth 87 in the San Pedro district of Los Angeles.

The Pacific Battleship Center, a non-profit organization, raised more than $9 million to bring the ship to the Port of L.A.

"It was pretty easy getting her out of the Golden Gate getting her down here," said Robert Kent, President of the Pacific Battleship Center. "The hard part was getting here out of her storage facility in Benicia. A lot of people don't realize this, if we didn't get her out of there in high, high tide, which we only had six inches of water under our hull, because we had to go over a shull in order to get out of that basin. They had built a bridge in 2005 over the main channel so we really had no way to get her out of there until that high, high tide. With the silting in of 12 inches a year, this was our last opportunity before we'd have to do dredging, which would have taken another three years. I don't think this project would have happened."

Hundreds of veterans celebrated America's birthday on the U.S.S. IOWA on July 4. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and President Roosevelt's great-granddaughter, Julianna, were also on hand.

"We wanted to make sure we had it here for July 1 through July 7 for the veterans," Kent added. "We made it and now we're open to the public. We're hoping to bring in about 200,000 visitors to the San Pedro area in conjunction with the waterfront development of the Port of Los Angeles. There's another billion dollars being invested by the Port to develop this whole San Pedro waterfront. We know that's going to generate a lot for San Pedro and the greater Los Angeles area in general. This ship needs to remain ready to go in case of a national emergency."

The battleship is 14 stories high, 887 feet long and weighs more than 45,000 tons.

"I was assigned to the IOWA in 1952 right out of boot camp," said Bryan Moss, a former IOWA crew member. "We went up and down the coast of Korea shelling the communists. We fired over 4,000 rounds, 16-inch ammunition, more than double what they did in World War II. These last two months are the first time I've seen the ship since I got off of it. I went out on a press boat that when it got here. I was on it when it was pulled from Pier 51 to Pier 87. I didn't have time to visit it in San Francisco. I had a great day today. I saw a lot of people who thanked me and so forth. Everybody has been very kind to me."

Residents from the state of Iowa can tour the ship for free with their state ID or driver's license. So I decided to meet up with two visitors from the Midwestern state.

"It is very nice and I'm very glad I got to come and see it," said Jean Haight, one of the first visitors from Urbandale, Iowa. "It's just all great. There isn't any one spot that is better than some other place. It's just very good. I was very impressed. I like it right here. This is just the spot for it. No, we didn't get to see it in San Francisco. Yes, I plan on coming back again after they open more things up. With money and time, I was told by another gentleman over here, that they will be able to open up more things down below deck. I'll be looking forward to that, yeah."

Visitors can tour seven of the eight floors of the IOWA. Eventually, the hull, or bottom of the ship, will be added to the tour after renovations are complete.

"There hasn't been a battleship built since these ships," said Norman Raskin, a visitor from Anaheim, Calif. "They were finished in 1944, this was 1943. If we were going to build another one, today with all of our technology, it would be exactly the same. We could fix it up and put it into service if we wanted to. My dad worked on it. Like any place else, too many people. I'm a senior so I only paid $15. It's 18 bucks for everybody else to get on here. My brother told me that in 1944, he got paid $18 a day. The parking is my biggest issue, it has to have exact amount."

A computer database is also being created so visitors can search former crew members by name and rank. In addition, a video game is being developed by for younger visitors to enjoy during the tour.

"Yeah, it's really big, oh my gosh," said Lacey Lori, one of the first visitors from Yucaipa, Calif. "Seeing everyone is uniform is pretty good too. It's a pretty big harbor. Yeah, it's reasonable. I will definitely return another day."

Unlike the Queen Mary in nearby Long Beach, Calif., the boilers, engines and propellers will remain intact on the IOWA.

"Behind me, you see the U.S.S. IOWA in 1951," said Wayne Scarpaci, a Naval historian and artist. "The painting below it is the ship in 1955. I donated a painting of the ship for each and every era that was it built from 1943, 1944, 1951, 1955 and 1989. I've donated 70 paintings to the U.S.S. IOWA. They are eventually going to be incorporated on the ship into the museum. IOWA is not just about the IOWA, it is about all of the battleships that the United States had. Each painting takes about three days to do."

The IOWA and other battleships owned by the U.S. Navy must be ready to go to war within 90 days, according to a federal law.

"Right now, there are about a dozen paintings on display," Scarpaci added. "The rest are aboard the ship at various locations. There's some in the captain's cabin, there's some in the wardroom and there's some in storage. There are prints of the paintings of the IOWA available in the gift shop and they're also available online. If you come down here, I am available most times to be able to sign the prints for you. I'm going to operate a new studio in the ship's passageway. I was a veteran, but not on the U.S.S. IOWA, I was aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk."

General admission tickets are $18 for adults (ages 18-61), $15 for seniors (ages 62+) and active/retired/reserve military with ID. Tickets for youth (ages 6-17) are $10. A variety of memberships are also available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased on site, but are recommended to be purchased online before your visit. Parking is $1 per hour. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last ticket sold for the day at 4 p.m. The U.S.S. IOWA is docked at Berth 87 at 250 S. Harbor Blvd. in San Pedro, Calif.

For more information about the U.S.S. IOWA floating museum, visit

Related Story: Tour the Queen Mary on your next trip to southern California




Thousands of visitors waiting in line to be the first to tour the U.S.S. IOWA.



The IOWA features six 5-inch (130 mm)/38 cal guns (three on each side).



Grand opening tickets were sold out weeks in advance.



The IOWA is the only battleship to feature a permanent bathtub.



"Welcome To Your New Home, U.S.S. IOWA."


::: PAGE ONE :::




  Your Ad Here


>> Bookmark This Site Now! << - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.



Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.