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USS Iowa

January 7, 2012 | Life, Photography

USS Iowa

The USS Iowa was brought down to Richmond, CA to be renovated before heading down to its permanent home and exhibition spot near Los Angeles, CA. Though not much was open to the public because its very early on in the restoration process it was still a wonderful visit.

5" Gun on the USS Iowa

Just looking at the ship you can tell that its spent the last 21 years tied up and neglected. If you can believe it from these photos (and I can’t) the Iowa has been considered “in reserve” for the majority of its decommissioned time. Congress deemed that at least 2 Iowa class battleships be kept available in case the need arises but this ship has obviously been mothballed.

Watertight Door on the USS Iowa

From what I understand the Iowa will be in Richmond until March or April of 2012. A lot about its departure date depends on the weather and how much work they can get done before sending it down to LA for a July exhibit opening (I presume they’re aiming for a July 4 opening).

If you live within driving distance of Richmond I highly recommend heading out to take a look. It requires a $10 per person “donation” to visit but its well worth it. Even though we only got to walk around the fore deck a bit we got to listen to knowledgeable folks share stories about the ship. The stories and history is absolutely fascinating and worth the trip alone.

3 Responses

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  • I love this ship and what it stands for the U.S.A. We have our faults but our country and it’s armed services is the BEST in the world!!

    Gregory Bundy, February 2, 2012 11:13 am | permalink

  • The superficial, cosmetic appearance is in no way indicative of the ship’s material condition. She has benefited from humidity control, cathodic protection and more.

    Inside, in the interior spaces: engineering, command, habitability, food service, etc, IOWA is pristine. Perfectly preserved. Her hull, power plant and all major systems are in outstanding condition. She is in fact a Class B Mobilization Asset.

    Reactivation would be relatively straightforward. Not trivial, but nothing out of the ordinary. Crew training would be the single biggest hurdle. The superficial rust and decay are the trivial parts…

    Turret II was damaged in an accident in 1989, but all the major damaged parts have been refurbished and await installation.

    With a little imagination and a shift in internal Navy political winds, she’d be an outstanding addition to the fleet today…

    IronV, February 13, 2012 11:36 pm | permalink

  • The IOWA is in fact superb condition and absolutely ready for relatively quick reactivation. The cosmetic condition of the paint and wood decks is trivial and has no material impact on the ship’s condition. In an emergency, she could be ready in months. In a leisurely reactivation around a year. But that’s factoring in systems upgrades etc.

    The biggest impediment to reactivation is manpower. It takes a lot of sailors to man a battlewagon. But even that could be mitigated with new automation. It’s all a matter of cost and time.

    Given the dismal performance of new naval construction (the LCS and AUSTIN classes) and their mind boggling cost, the most extravegant battleship reactivation would be a relative bargain.

    IronV, April 20, 2012 10:56 am | permalink

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