A WWII Battleship is Coming to San Pedro

The USS Iowa is coming to San Pedro! The ship, launched in 1942 and considered to be one of the biggest US battleships, will come to rest in San Pedro’s Berth 87 and become a main attraction and landmark in the South Bay.

The 7,200-horsepower ship will serve as a floating museum once it arrives from San Francisco. On Sunday (5/20/12), four tugboats will guide the Iowa along the west coast. The trip is expected to take three to four days. Entry into the Port of Los Angeles is set for June 9.

The ship and museum will be open to the public on Saturday, July 7 2012. An invitation-only ceremony is set for Wednesday, July 4.

Some of the ship’s highlights:

  • USS Iowa carried¬†Franklin Delano Roosevelt across the Atlantic.
  • It contained a bathtub which was considered a “rare amenity in a U.S. warship”. The feature was installed, along with an elevator for FDR.
  • The Iowa’s huge guns could launch 2,700-pound shells and reach enemy ships and troops more than 24 miles away.
  • The fleet fought in World War II and served in the Korean War.
  • The ship was retired in 1958 and came back to service in the 1980’s during the NATO exercises and in the Persian Gulf.
  • The Iowa carries a 60-foot mast on a body more than 15 stories tall which weighs about 45,000 tons.
  • For several days, the 45,000-ton Iowa will anchor at a spot three miles off Seal Beach, where divers will scrub the hull of any invasive species it might have picked up. Then it will be towed to a temporary berth in the Port of Los Angeles’ Outer Harbor, awaiting what Kent described as a “grand entry” on June 9, when tugs will tow it the final two miles and into place at San Pedro’s Berth 87. An invitation-only “commissioning ceremony” is set for July 4.

$5 million dollars were raised by The Pacific Battleship Center to secure and bring the Iowa to Los Angeles.

“We’re bringing back to L.A. the last battleship left in the world,” stated Robert Kent, director of the Pacific Battleship Center. “It’s a class of ships that no longer exists, and it’s the last one to go into museum status.”

[Via: The Los Angeles Times, Image credit: Greg Bishop]

About the Author

Alejandra Gutierrez Alex is the new Social Media Specialist for the ILWU Credit Union. She's a 'nerd' at heart who enjoys community building. Her obsessions: baked goods and old mariachi ballads.