Photos: Armament of the USS Iowa

These launchers aboard the USS Iowa fired the RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile. Each missile was just over 1,500lbs and had a range of between 64-85 nautical miles. A 360lb booster would propel the missile away from the ship, approximately 5 miles, then drop away.

Armored box launchers for the BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missile aboard the USS Iowa glowing at night from ambient city lights. Each launcher carried 4 missiles and each Iowa class ship was outfitted with 8 canisters, which enabled her with the ability to fire off up to 32 missiles. 

USS Iowa Heads to Southern California

On Saturday, the USS Iowa (BB-61) will be towed from Richmond to her new home in Long Beach. She is the last Iowa Class battleship in existence to become a museum, which will thankfully preserve the ship that served in WWII, carried Roosevelt across the Atlantic in 1943 and suffered a turret exploring in 1989, killing 47 crew members. 

Much has changed since this image was taken of her in the Mothball Fleet in January 2010, but my feelings about her still remain the same. She is magnificent. 

The first time I set foot on her deck, I was immersed in the history, tragedy and beauty of this ship and though I am sad to see her leave the Bay Area, I am incredibly happy to see such a big part of our history preserved. 

U.S.S. Iowa BB-61: Benicia to Richmond


On Thursday October 27, 2011, USS Iowa was removed from the Suisun Bay Mothball Fleet and placed at the Port of Benicia, where she spent one night before beign transferred to Richmond. For the next three months, USS Iowa will undergo significant refurbishment before making the long journey to Berth 87 in Los Angeles where she will become an interactive museum.

The battle this ship has experienced since her decomissioning was politically based and spanned across the past ten years as she sat in Suisun Bay. There was always a push to turn the battleship into a museum in San Francisco, but the Board of Supervisors was against mooring a miliitary ship based on a "homophobic entity" within the confines of the city, which caused other organizations to raise money in the hopes to move the ship to another California dock. 

USS Iowa is the last of four remaining battleships of its kind and the last of the four to be turned into a museum. The 887 foot long USS Iowa, built in 1940, was the fastest ship in her class of battleship and the only ship of her class to have served in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. Her main battery consisted of nine 16"/50 Caliber Mark 7 guns which could fire 2,700lb shells approximately 20 miles. 

In 1989, during a gunnery excersise, an explosion occurred in the center gun room destroying Turret #2 and killing 47 sailors. 

The ship was decomissioned in 1990 and placed in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet short thereafter.

Port of Benicia

Leaving the Port of Benicia

Approaching the Carquinez Bridge

USS Iowa after passing under the Richmond Bridge

Nearing Berth 3 in Richmond

Tugboat pushes USS Iowa towards the pier

Aft guns

Arriving at Berth 3 in Richmond

Flying the US Flag in Richmond

Forward 16"/50 caliber Mark 7 guns

Portside guns, 5"/38 caliber twin turrets

Securing the mooring lines



WWII Veteran Joe served aboard USS Iowa during her first deployment in 1942.