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


Crew


Crew


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