USS Iowa, 16 inch guns

Traveling Light on the USS Iowa (Part-2)

This is the 2nd part of my visit to the USS Iowa.  The more I look back on the time I spent on this fantastic ship, I came to realize what an important role she played in history!

Doing a little research I found this on Wikipedia (click on the link to go there):

USS Iowa (BB-61) 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, she carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic to Casablanca en route to a crucial 1943 meeting in Tehran with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. She has a bathtub — an amenity installed for Roosevelt, along with an elevator to shuttle him between decks.[1] 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. She also served as the Third Fleet flagship, flying Adm. William F. Halsey’s flag at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. 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 stricken 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 twoIowa-class battleships. In 2011 Iowa was donated to the Los Angeles-based non-profit Pacific Battleship Center and was permanently moved to Berth 87 at the Port of Los Angeles in the summer of 2012, where she was opened to the public to serve as a museum and memorial to battleships.
USS Iowa

There are a lot of other great sources of information on this ship online, just go to Google or your favorite search engine, type in USS Iowa and check it out!

Some of the highlights of my visit would include seeing the USS Iowa for the 1st time, as I started to cross over the Vincent Thomas Bridge.  And then there’s my first real full view of the ship as I pulled into the parking lot.  I’ve been on USS Midway in San Diego, and many years ago had the privilege to tour the USS Missouri.  I was no less impressed when I boarded the USS Iowa!  And standing next to those massive 16 inch gun turrets really made me feel small.

Speaking of small, I have to say the my camera choice (Olympus E-P3) for this little adventure worked out perfectly!  I took about 500 shots that day with a fair amount of keepers.  Granted I was shooting with HDR in mind, and had the camera set up for bracketing 3 exposures each time I pressed the shutter.  For those interested, I kept the camera in Aperture Priority mode, and have the bracketing set for the metered exposure and +1/-1.  The ISO was set for 200 when outdoors and in the bright sunshine, and for 400 when inside.  The only other thing I did was to change to the Art Filters and set it to black & white.  Another thing to note would be that all shots were taken with the camera hand-held.

That’s enough of that!  Here are some more photos from the USS Iowa!

USS Iowa, Harpoon Launchers

USS Iowa, Bow Lines

USS Iowa, 16 inch guns

USS Iowa, Bridge

USS Iowa, Galley

USS Iowa, Crews Mess

USS Iowa, Life Preserver

I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos of the USS Iowa.  It would be best if you planned a visit for yourself!  Here’s the link to the Pacific Battleship’s website where you can get all of the information you’ll need to plan your visit!

My final thoughts on this subject would be to take your time when you get on-board.  There are a lot of things to see; some obvious, some not so obvious.  You’ll need to look around and take it all in!  And don’t forget to bring your camera!

That’s it for now, until next time – Happy Shooting!



4 thoughts on “Traveling Light on the USS Iowa (Part-2)”

  1. I am a U.S. Navy veteran who served during Vietnam. I had the fortunate experience to visit the U.S.S. Iowa when she pulled into Mayport Naval Station around 1986. They were only allowing family of crew members to board, but I was able to convince a 3rd Class Petty Officer to relax the rules so I could take a stroll on her decks. I was only able to take a tour of the main deck, but I had goosebumps the whole time. I hope one day to visit the U.S.S. Iowa and take a complete tour. What an amazing part of history and I am so glad she found a home. I have visited the Intrepid, Yorktown, Pampanito, U-505 (Chicago) and many other fighting and auxillary ships, but this would be the most exciting visit that I can imagine.

    1. Hey Joe, thanks for commenting and sharing! I envy you being able to visit the Iowa back in 1986! That was about the time I was able to get on board the Missouri (my brother in-law was on of the radio operators). I hope you’ll be able to visit the Big Stick in her new home, you won’t be disappointed!

  2. Thanks very much for sharing these fantastic photos. I served aboard IOWA from ’86-’89 so my opinion might be a wee bit biased, but your art definitely makes the old girl look great!

    1. Thanks Chris, I’m pleased that you liked the photos. It’s ok to be biased, it must have been amazing to serve on this ship!

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