The USS Iowa (the fourth piece of military hardware to be named after Iowa) is a legendary retired naval ship that commenced construction in 1940 and was completed by 1942. The construction of the USS Iowa followed an era where bigger and better guns were being produced and international law and conventions were flouted or loopholes found in order to permit such construction of heavy artillery. The Naval ships Iowa significantly raised the bar when it came to armaments and was truly the pride and joy of the US Navy. US aircraft carriers, for example, were much better protected with the likes of the Iowa around. Let's take a look at some fun facts about the Iowa and what made it such a unique ship:
1) During construction the Iowa's armour was declared more robust than it actually was in order to fool the enemy.
2) The Iowa was the biggest Navy Battleship of its time coming in at 45,000 tons which was heavier than any other ships that had come before her. It was so big, in fact, that it even carried 3 King Fisher float places!
3) The Iowa had a maximum cruising speed of 33 knots with 212,000 horsepower coming from its General Electric engines. This was very unusual for boats anywhere near the size of Iowa. Almost every other battleship could barely reach 30 knots. One could say that 33 knots is almost motorboat cruising speed!
4) On its second mission in 1943, the Iowa was tasked with bringing President Roosevelt to North Africa where he would later meet with Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Stalin of the former Soviet Union at what became known as the Tehran Conference located in Tehran, Persia, later to be known as Iran. Roosevelt spent 15 days on the ship, largely in his quarters with the ships dog and mascot teaching it tricks and playing games with it. The dog was supposed to be the Captain's dog but alas his wife wanted nothing to do with any pets including a dog! Lucky for Roosevelt he found something to do with his time during the long voyage!
5) Navy Battleship Iowa had all kinds of guns and armaments meant for aircraft, military installations on land and other battleships. What is particularly noteworthy of the heavy artillery is its accuracy. Ships if that day just didn't have the accuracy of the Iowa. It's armaments were to accurate that in 1984, when the ship was re-commissioned, it kept the old system in place despite the advent of computers which made accuracy more precise.
The Iowa participated in both WW II and The Korean War. It was placed into reserves multiple times and was re-commissioned in 1984. Tragically in the late 1980's, an explosion killed over 40 sailors on the ship. The Iowa was later retired and was donated to the Pacific Battleship Center, located in Los Angeles where it currently sits in the harbor at berth 87 and is now a museum for all to see.
Written by: natesmith2122