Iowa file photo [1485]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassIowa-class Battleship
Hull NumberBB-61
BuilderNew York Navy Yard
Ordered1 Jul 1939
Laid Down27 Jun 1940
Launched27 Aug 1942
Commissioned22 Feb 1943
Decommissioned24 Mar 1949
Displacement44,560 tons standard; 55,710 tons full
Length887 feet
Beam108 feet
Draft37 feet
MachineryFour General Electric geared turbines, eight Babcock and Wilcox boilers, four shafts
Bunkerage7,073 tons of oil
Power Output212,000 shaft horsepower
Speed33 knots
Range18,000nm at 12 knots
Armament3x3x16in(406mm)/50cal Mark 7 guns, 10x2x5in(127mm)/38cal Mark 12 guns, 80x40mm/56cal Bofors AA guns, 49x20mm/70cal Oerlikon AA guns
Armor12.1in (307.3mm) belt, 11.3in (287mm) bulkheads, 11.6-17.3in (294.6-439.4mm) barbettes, 19.7in (500mm) turrets, 7.5in (190mm) decks
Aircraft3x OS2U Kingfisher floatplanes
First Recommission25 Aug 1951
Second Decommission24 Feb 1958
Second Recommission28 Apr 1984
Final Decommission26 Oct 1990


ww2dbaseIowa was the lead ship of her class of modern battleships. Commissioned with Captain John L. McCrea in command, she sailed for the Chesapeake Bay and along the east coast of the United States for her shakedown cruise. Her first mission came six months later when she sailed on 27 Aug 1943 for Argentia, Newfoundland to counter the threat of the German battleship Tirpitz. In Oct 1943, she carried President Franklin Roosevelt to Casablanca as he was en route to the conferences at Cairo and Tehran; she also brought Roosevelt back to the United States after the conferences.

ww2dbaseOn 2 Jan 1944, acting as the flagship of Battleship Division 7, Iowa sailed for the Pacific. She supported carriers as their aircraft struck Marshall, Caroline, Mariana, and Palau Islands in the first few months of 1944. Between 22 and 28 Apr 1944, she supported air raids on Hollandia, Aitape, and Wakde Islands to support the landing operations in New Guinea. In Jun, she supported the landing operations against the Mariana Islands. On 13 and 14 Jun, she was detached to bombard Japanese installations on Saipan and Tinian; she also participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. On 17 Sep, she supported the landings on Peleliu. On 10 Oct, Iowa supported the carrier strikes on the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan, on 18 Oct Luzon, then on 20 Oct Leyte. On 25 Oct 1944, lured by Admiral Jinsaburo Ozawa's decoy fleet, Admiral William Halsey brought Task Force 38, with Iowa as a member, away from Samar. Halsey's action resulted in the destruction of several destroyers, destroyer escorts, and escort carriers. The losses suffered at the Battle off Samar was demoralizing for the United States, and Halsey was bitterly criticized. After the Leyte actions, Iowa returned to the United States on 15 Jan 1945 for an overhaul at San Francisco.

ww2dbaseArriving in the Ryukyu Islands region on 15 Apr 1945, Iowa supported carrier operations beginning nine days later through Jul 1945, in which the American aircraft struck Japanese targets ranging from Okinawa to Hokkaido.

ww2dbaseDuring the Japanese surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay on 2 Sep 1945, Iowa served as Halsey's flagship. She remained with the occupation forces until 20 Sep.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Iowa was decommissioned in Mar 1949, but the hostilities in Korea brought her back into service in Aug 1951. Operating out of Yokosuka, she was the flagship of the Seventh Fleet under Vice Admiral Robert Briscoe then Vice Admiral Joseph Clark. Her big guns bombarded North Korean and Chinese targets at Songjin, Hungnam, and Kojo. She left the region in Oct 1952 and conducted training operations in the Caribbean Sea and Northern Europe. In Jul 1953, she acted as Vice Admiral Edmund Wooldridge's flagship of the Second Fleet. In Sep 1954, she was Rear Admiral R. E. Libby's flagship of the Battleship Cruiser Force of the Atlantic Fleet. From Jan to Apr 1955, she served as the flagship of the Sixth Fleet, though intermittently interrupted by overhaul and training missions. She was placed in reserve on 24 Feb 1958. She was recommissioned in 1984. On 19 Apr 1989, an explosion onboard killed 47 men, but the damage was contained by flooding of the number two powder magazine in time; the cause of this explosion was never determined for certain, though static electricity and lose powder is believed to be the cause today. Turret number two, damaged during the explosion, was never repaired when she was decommissioned for the final time in 1990.

ww2dbaseIowa is now anchored off Richmond, California, United States as a museum ship while undergoing conversion work to expand the area within the ship available for tours. She will ultimately be moved to Los Angeles, California, United States.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2012

Battleship Iowa (BB-61) Interactive Map


Aerial view of USS Iowa underway, 10 Jun 1944USS Iowa with newly-equipped SC-1 Seahawk aircraft, 5 Mar 1945USS Iowa firing a full broadside during a gunnery demonstration, 15 Aug 1984Guided missile frigate USS Halyburton receiving fuel from battleship USS Iowa in the North Atlantic, 6 Sep 1985, photo 2 of 5
See all 132 photographs of Battleship Iowa (BB-61)

Iowa Operational Timeline

1 Jul 1939 The order for the construction of battleships Iowa and New Jersey was issued.
27 Jun 1940 The keel for battleship Iowa was laid down at the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard in New York, United States.
27 Aug 1942 Battleship Iowa was launched in Brooklyn, New York, United States, sponsored by Ilo Wallace, wife of Vice President Henry Wallace.
22 Feb 1943 Iowa was commissioned into service at Brooklyn Naval Shipyard in New York, United States with Captain John L. McCrea in command.
24 Feb 1943 USS Iowa began her shakedown cruise in Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of the United States.
27 Aug 1943 USS Iowa departed for Argentia, Newfoundland.
14 Nov 1943 USS Iowa conducted an anti-aircraft and anti-torpedo exercise. A torpedo from destroyer USS William D. Porter nearly hit the battleship by mistake while US President Franklin Roosevelt was on board.
16 Dec 1943 USS Iowa disembarked US President Franklin Roosevelt.
2 Jan 1944 USS Iowa departed the east coast of the United States for the Pacific Ocean.
7 Jan 1944 USS Iowa transited the Panama Canal.
16 Feb 1944 USS Iowa was detached to raid Japanese shipping in the Truk, Caroline Islands area.
19 Feb 1944 Armed merchant cruiser Akagi Maru, cruiser Katori, destroyer Maikaze, destroyer Nowaki, and minesweeping trawler Shonan Maru No. 15 departed Truk, Caroline Islands at 0430 hours for Yokosuka, Japan. After 0500 hours, Truk came under attack by many US carrier aircraft. A number of aircraft spotted the group and attacked, sinking Akagi Maru and damaging Katori and Maikaze; at least one US F6F fighter was shot down during the attack on this group. Battleship New Jersey, battleship Iowa, cruiser Minneapolos, cruiser New Orleans, destroyer Bradford, and destroyer Burns then approached at about 1300 hours about 64 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Truk. Maikaze fired a spread of torpedoes, which missed the two battleships. Gunfire from Minneapolis and New Orleans started a fire on Maikaze, causing an explosion, and leading to her sinking at 1343 hours; all aboard were lost. Then, New Jersey sank Shonan Maru No. 15 with her port side 5-inch battery. Next, Iowa opened fire on Katori, straddling Katori with the first salvo. Katori fired torpedoes, but all of them missed. Iowa's gunfire eventually overwhelmed and sank Katori; Captain Tamekiyo Oda was among those killed. Nowaki alone escaped the attack.
21 Feb 1944 USS Iowa was assigned to escort the Fast Carrier Task Force during a raid in the Mariana Islands.
18 Mar 1944 USS Iowa bombarded Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands. She was hit by two 120-millimeter shells from Japanese coastal guns during the bombardment, suffering minor damage.
30 Mar 1944 USS Iowa joined Task Force 58.
22 Apr 1944 USS Iowa began to escort carriers while the aircraft struck Japanese positions on New Guinea, Dutch East Indies.
28 Apr 1944 USS Iowa completed her escort mission for carriers off New Guinea, Dutch East Indies.
12 Jun 1944 USS Iowa escroted carriers while the aircraft struck Japanese positions in the Mariana Islands.
13 Jun 1944 USS Iowa bombarded Saipan and Tinian, Mariana Islands.
10 Oct 1944 USS Iowa arrived off Okinawa, Japan to cover carriers while the carrier aircraft struck targets in the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan.
18 Dec 1944 Many ships from the United States Third Fleet, Task Force 38 sailed into Typhoon Cobra in the Philippine Sea. Three destroyers and 790 men were lost.
15 Jan 1945 USS Iowa arrived at San Francisco, California, United States.
19 Mar 1945 USS Iowa departed San Francisco, California, United States.
15 Apr 1945 USS Iowa arrived at Okinawa, Japan.
25 May 1945 USS Iowa arrived off Kyushu, Japan.
13 Jun 1945 USS Iowa departed waters off Kyushu, Japan for waters off northern Japan.
15 Jul 1945 American battleships USS Iowa, USS Missouri, and USS Wisconsin bombarded industrial targets at Muroran, Hokkaido, Japan; the main targets were Wanishi Iron Works plants and the Muroran Works. From the air, American naval aircraft attacked northern Honshu and Hokkaido, destroying railways and coal ferries. 104 US Army P-51 fighters based in Iwo Jima Meiji, Kagamigahara, Kowa, Akenogahara, Nagoya, and Suzuko, Japan. B-24 bombers attacked Tomitaka, Usa, Kikaiga-shima, Amami Islands, Yaku-shima, Osumi Islands, and Tamega Island. After sun down, American B-29 bombers mined Japanese waters at Naoetsu and Niigata and Korean waters at Najin, Busan, and Wonsan, while other B-29 bombers attacked and seriously damaged the Nippon Oil Company facilities at Kudamatsu in southwestern Japan.
18 Jul 1945 American battleships USS North Carolina, USS Alabama, USS Iowa, USS Missouri, and USS Wisconsin and British battleship HMS King George V bombarded Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan with 2,000 shells; the Taga Works and Mito Works of Hitachi Manufacturing Company were moderately damaged, and the Yamate Plant and the copper refining plants of Hitachi Mine were lightly damaged; civilian housing areas were also attacked, causing many deaths. Japanese battleship Nagato was damaged in port at Yokosuka, Japan by aircraft from carrier USS Shangri-La; a Japanese destroyer, a submarine, and three smaller vessels were sunk during the attack on Yokosuka. Aircraft from USS Yorktown struck the Tokyo area. P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang aircraft of US Far East Air Forces attacked various targets on Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands, Japan, focusing largely on communications lines, bridges, shipping, and population centers.
27 Aug 1945 USS Iowa arrived at Sagami Bay, Japan.
29 Aug 1945 USS Missouri leading USS Iowa and escorted by USS Nicholas entered Tokyo Bay, Japan.
20 Sep 1945 USS Iowa departed Tokyo Bay, Japan with US servicemen and liberated prisoners of war on board.
15 Oct 1945 USS Iowa arrived at Seattle, Washington, United States.
29 Oct 1945 Battleship USS Iowa, cruiser USS Atlanta, and destroyer USS Nicholas departed Seattle, Washington bound for San Pedro, California, United States.
1 Nov 1945 Battleship USS Iowa, cruiser USS Atlanta, and destroyer USS Nicholas arrived at San Pedro, California, United States.
25 Mar 1946 USS Iowa returned to the United States from Japan.
24 Mar 1949 Iowa was decommissioned from service.
25 Aug 1951 USS Iowa was recommissioned into service, with Captain William R. Smedberg, III in command.
1 Apr 1952 USS Iowa became the flagship of Vice Admiral Robert P. Briscoe of the US 7th Fleet.
8 Apr 1952 USS Iowa bombarded communist positions in the Wonsan-Songjin area, Korea.
13 Apr 1952 USS Iowa bombarded communist positions in Korea.
14 Apr 1952 USS Iowa bombarded communist positions at Wonsan, Korea.
20 Apr 1952 USS Iowa bombarded railroad lines at Tanchon, Korea.
25 May 1952 USS Iowa bombarded factories and railroad lines at Chongjin, Korea.
28 May 1952 USS Iowa bombarded communist positions in Wonsan Harbor, Korea.
9 Jun 1952 A helicopter from USS Iowa rescued a downed airman from USS Princeton off Korea.
20 Aug 1952 USS Iowa took on 9 wounded sailors from USS Thompson, which was damaged by Chinese artillery off Korea.
23 Sep 1952 General Mark Wayne Clark observed the USS Iowa bombardment of Wonsan, Korea from aboard the battleship.
25 Sep 1952 USS Iowa bombarded railroad lines in Korea.
1 Jun 1955 USS Iowa departed on a midshipman training cruise.
4 Jan 1957 USS Iowa departed Norfolk, Virginia, United States for the Mediterranean Sea.
13 Jun 1957 USS Iowa participated in the international naval review at Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States.
3 Sep 1957 USS Iowa departed for Scotland, United Kingdom.
28 Sep 1957 USS Iowa arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, United States.
22 Oct 1957 USS Iowa departed Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States.
24 Feb 1958 USS Iowa was decommissioned from service and was placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
28 Apr 1984 USS Iowa was recommissioned into service after modernization with Captain Gerald E. Gneckow in command.
6 Aug 1984 USS Iowa transited the Panama Canal.
17 Mar 1986 USS Iowa underwent an inspection by the US Navy Board of Inspection and Survey; the board would ultimately find many faults with the battleship and recommended to remove her from service, but the US Navy would decide to allocate funding to address the faults.
4 Jul 1986 USS Iowa hosted US President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy Reagan during the international naval review on the Hudson River in New York, United States.
17 Aug 1986 USS Iowa departed for exercises in the North Atlantic.
5 Sep 1986 USS Iowa fired her primary guns on Cape Wrath, Scotland, United Kingdom during an amphibious assault exercise; the firing lasted until the following day.
10 Sep 1987 USS Iowa departed for the Mediterranean Sea.
22 Oct 1987 USS Iowa deprated from the Mediterranean Sea for the North Sea.
25 Nov 1987 USS Iowa transited the Suez Canal.
20 Feb 1988 USS Iowa departed the Persian Gulf.
10 Mar 1988 USS Iowa arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, United States.
26 May 1988 Captain Fred Moosally was named the commanding officer of USS Iowa.
25 Aug 1988 USS Iowa held a post-overhaul shakedown cruise in the Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of the United States. She was grounded in mud briefly, without causing any damage, during the cruise while maneuvering to avoid collision with other ships.
20 Jan 1989 USS Iowa set the record for the distance traveled of a 410mm shell (43.3km or 26.9mi) during a gunnery exercise off Vieques, Puerto Rico.
19 Apr 1989 USS Iowa suffered an accidental turret explosion at 0955 hours, killing 47. It was the US Navy's worst loss of life during peace time.
26 Oct 1990 USS Iowa was decommissioned from service.
24 Sep 1998 Battleship Iowa arrived at Newport, Virginia, United States.
8 Mar 2001 Battleship Iowa departed Newport, Virginia, United States under tow.
21 Apr 2001 Battleship Iowa arrived at Suisun Bay, California, United States under tow.
17 Mar 2006 Battleship Iowa was struck from the US Naval Registry.
25 Apr 2009 The senate of Iowa, United States passed a resolution to support battleship Iowa remaining at Mare Island, California, United States as a museum ship.
13 May 2010 US Navy reopened the bidding process for the conversion and maintenance of battleship Iowa as a museum ship.
24 May 2010 The US Federal Register reopened the bidding process for the conversion and maintenance of battleship Iowa as a museum ship.
26 May 2010 The US Navy received the Pacific Battleship Center's Letter of Intent to submit an application for maintaing battleship Iowa as a museum ship.
24 Sep 2010 The city council of Los Angeles, California, United States passed a resolution to support Pacific Battleship Center's proposal to bring battleship Iowa to Los Angeles.
7 Oct 2010 The Board of Harbor Commissioners of Los Angeles, California, United States tentatively welcomed battleship Iowa as a museum ship in Los Angeles.
4 Nov 2010 Pier 87 in the Port of Los Angeles, California, United States was named as a recommended location for battleship Iowa as a museum ship.
18 Nov 2010 The commissioners of Port of Los Angeles, California, United States approved Berth 87 as the future home of battleship Iowa.
21 Nov 2010 The Pacific Battleship Center submitted the initial application to the US Navy to acquire battleship Iowa.
31 May 2011 The Pacific Battleship Center submitted the final application to the US Navy to acquire battleship Iowa.
6 Sep 2011 The US Navy awarded battleship Iowa to the Pacific Battleship Center for placement at the Port of Los Angeles, California, United States as a museum ship.
28 Oct 2011 Battleship Iowa arrived at Port of Richmond, California, United States under tow.
10 Dec 2011 Battleship Iowa was opened to tourists as a museum ship at Port of Richmond, California, United States.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
22 Apr 2015 01:51:31 AM

My great grandfather worked on the USS Iowa and I was wandering if by any chance anybody knew of him. Name was Rader.
2. Lee W. says:
27 Apr 2018 10:00:42 PM

My uncle, Monzie “Red” Poirot, enlisted in the Navy in 1942 at the age of 31 and reported to the USS Iowa in December 1943 just before the Iowa sailed from the East Coast for the Pacific theatre. He served on her until the end of hostilities as a Gunners Mate Third Class.
3. Eipers says:
20 Jan 2019 11:09:55 PM

A relative of mine was a crew member during WWII. His name was Merwin Steven Homerding; Service Number: 8536660. I was wondering if anyone knew of him or his time aboard the vessel.
4. Kevin says:
8 Feb 2019 12:52:14 PM

My father was stationed on the Iowa Right at the end of WWII or shortly there after. His name was Donald Smedes. I would love to know more about his service
5. Anonymous says:
16 Jun 2019 05:59:43 PM

Battle of Samar was a loss?
On what planet?
6. Doug Iversen says:
11 Nov 2019 09:52:51 PM

Battleship IOWA opened as a museum ship in Los Angeles on 4 Jul 2012.
7. Dan says:
28 Jul 2022 06:09:30 PM


My dad served on the Iowa during the same timeframe as your dad

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More on Iowa
Event(s) Participated:
» New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3
» Marshall Islands Campaign
» Attack on Truk
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Palau Islands and Ulithi Islands Campaigns
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Typhoon Cobra
» Preparations for Invasion of Japan

Battleship Iowa (BB-61) Photo Gallery
Aerial view of USS Iowa underway, 10 Jun 1944
See all 132 photographs of Battleship Iowa (BB-61)

Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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