Ex-USS Iowa (BB-61)…on death row:

by Craig Hooper on April 2, 2010

With the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) agreeing to remove the 52 ships currently moored in the Suisun Bay, the ex-USS Iowa’s execution will be held by September 30, 2017. That’s the date when the last of the Suisun Bay fleet must go.

This is a trade-off. MARAD is responding to a suit by local environmental groups, who, rightly, have pointed out the heavy metals leaching from the reserve fleet’s peeling hulls pose an environmental risk. But a goodly amount of historical legacy will go with it…unless somebody does something to save the ship.

Who will save the Iowa?  Well, despite of what the Navy thinks, i

t sure won’t be these guys.  I wish ’em the best, but…they’ve done nothing but waste money and obstruct efforts to get the vessel to the San Francisco waterfront–the only place the Iowa is gonna have a chance of surviving.

Read this and weep.

MARAD could do a lot for the ex-USS Iowa by mooring the vessel to the government-rented pier off AT&T Park–It’ll be easy; send the current occupants, the Ready Reserve Fleet R0-Ros Cape Horn and Cape Hudson off to the Reserve Fleet moorings in Alameda.  Move the Iowa in.

People will love it.  And, given that baseball season is starting, it’ll have a national audience, too.  Do it!


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Ex-USS Iowa (BB-61): Is the “Iowa-saving” nonprofit credible?
April 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm


Devin C December 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

The Iowa is at the Aquarium of the Pacific in San Padro, CA. It is not going to be scrapped. Go to http://www.pacificbattleship.com

Devin C December 13, 2012 at 9:03 am

The Iowa Is going to become a floating museum just like the USS Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Missouri.

Gray Ghost August 21, 2012 at 1:30 am

@Shane Myers
The USS Arizona.

Shane Myers August 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I meant 16 inch guns everybody always said Japan’s battleships were awesome and Germany’s was awesome well most of there’s is at the bottom of the ocean not ours .

Shane Myers August 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I’ve been to the Iowa in LA I’m so excited we got her here what a beautiful piece of American history. In my opinion no American battleship should be cut up for scrap. The power of them is awesome when one of the Iowa’s pulls up on the enemy’s shore they listen . I can’t wait till the whole ship opens it’s going to be awesome climbing through those massive 18 inch guns. I’m going to get a yearly pass so I can see her every weekend.

renzo August 11, 2012 at 12:19 am

the uss iowa is not in the part of the death row ships she completed the second world war and the war in the persian gulf now his historical land mark becomes in death

DOUG August 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm

The USS Iowa is resting comfortably at Berth 87 in the Port of Los Angeles. Since she has been open, she has seen on average 10,000 visitors per week even though only about 15% of her is open for view. She is a beautiful ship and we’re glad that San Francisco didn’t want a “warship” in her waters. Their loss is certainly our gain.


Alfredo José Brezina May 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

I visited the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk last year (March 2011) and I am sure that a destiny as a museum is the best for such a ship like the USS Iowa. And it is even possible to be useful for military purpose in some future. One never knows… It is a part of History indeed, and deserves to be preserved. Good luck for Iowa and its supporters. 22 May 2012.

Davjohn May 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

San Francisco refused to receive Iowa when the City Council voted 8-3 because of opposition to the war in Iraq/Afghanistan, the military, and taxpayer money spent on weapons.

I guess that means that in order to be appreciated in ‘Frisco you need flowers in your hair and air in your head.

Count me out. They don’t deserve the Grand Lady. She is currently post-cleanup and is being transferred to Los Angeles in San Pedro in custody of Pacific Battleship Center.

Battleship Iowa museum will be commissioned July 4 and opened to the public July 7.

Me April 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Today 20+ years ago, we lost 47 of our own. They should move it to Norfolk next to the memorial.

Dave Wilson March 31, 2012 at 9:41 am

To put these magnificent Battleships out of active service was I believe a mistake, they represented America’s military might. To scrap even one of them is an insult to all who served aboard them…..and all those who worked on them especially during their 1980’s modernization…..SAVE THE IOWA….Dave Wilson Royal Australian Navy.(RET)

john obrotka October 23, 2011 at 11:12 am

For economical shore bombardment, the battleships can’t be beat. Not only that, these capital ships have an extremly long shelf life and with modern technology, can be refitted to handle anything the Navy can incorporate into them. The Navy would be foolish to allow the two remaining functional battleships go theway of the other museum pieces. I wish I could could take part in the ressurection ofthe Iowa and the Wisconsin. What a deterrant they would be in a theatre of war fully updated with the newest technology, engineering and so on. I hope my opinion doesn’t fall on deaf ears. Monies can be saved elsewhere and incorporated in these two ships. Some solid economic thinking and sensible reductions elsewhere could be incorporated into these ships.

RB January 7, 2011 at 8:01 am

I don’t think there’s any chance the Iowa will ever be scrapped. In fact, what I’ve read here is the only thing I’ve ever seen to suggest such a thing and it’s not exactly the best source. Congress in 2006 made it law that two of the four remaining battleships be kept in a state that if reactivation was ever necessary it could easily happen, though I’m sure the Navy is eager to dispose of the ships since it’s paying billions to keep them afloat. The Iowa is the last still in its possession having given one (the Wisconsin I believe) over fully to the City of Norfolk sometime in the last year or so. What’s unclear is if the law passed by congress still applies or ever expires. If for any reason they ever need something with the firepower an Iowa class battleship can provide in such an event as a war with China as mentioned above, they probably won’t hesitate to recommission the Iowa or even take back one of the museum ships if need be. But from what I heard on the news recently about newly developed cannons this is unlikely ever to happen, unless it’s sometime within the next few years that such firepower is needed.

Дима from Russia November 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I am not sure if she can help you much if the worst happens. But there are not many battleships left in the whole world as well as she is a real part of US history. You know kids always love ships and so keeping such a big and powerful boat safe can cause their interest to their motherland’s history, to The Second World War. I think this is important. Besides in my humble opinion there were no battleships more beautiful than those of Iowa class. So please don’t scrap BB-61, save Iowa for your children.

Rhoda Thompson August 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

The Iowa is a part of our history and the mess the navy did on the turrent explosion and all they want to just get rid of the ship to cover their butts of the humilation they did to the families. I say move the ship to a location on the west coast where it is easy to get too or the gulf coast like the Alabama is and let our children and so on be able to see history.

ACR July 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

R E Murray, in my opinion, you’re on the right track, but not quite. The Navy has this silly desire for “Command ships” that take up around 800 sailors and have no capability for putting rounds of any kind on target. They should modernize two of the Iowa boats, use them as command ships. The Marines want fire support. I think those sixteen inch guns are good fire support. Sixteen inch shells are also much, much cheaper than missiles and impossible to shoot down, unlike missiles.

The Navy doesn’t want the Iowa boats and they make up excuses about manpower and money, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting new carriers, does it?

Who will provide fire support for an amphibious assault?

R E Murray May 14, 2010 at 11:48 pm

The Navy should convert the Iowa into an armored missle ship. The guns should be removed leaving the turrets which could be converted to fire missles. This would be a ship that could take the hits & still survive. We are in for a bad shock when we get in a war with China & find out that our unarmored ships are easily destroyed. Just check out the Falklands war. The 17″ internal armor will protect the ships vital parts.

Chris V April 22, 2010 at 12:34 am

The Iowa is not part of the 52 ships. The fleet is severely downsizing, but not going away completely. There are about 74 ships in Suisun Bay, the 52 that have to be gone in 7 years are the non-retention/disposal ships. Iowa is a retention ship. The press, like usual, has bad errors in their reporting.

Tom Goering April 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

I am still depressed about the pending loss of Forrestal… One things for sure, fishing off America’s coast will be even better over the next century.

Matthew S April 3, 2010 at 12:46 am

Keep the hull/armour and the 16inchers and update everything else. New modern engines, electronics, AA and AS/ASW and land attack missles, generators for future weapons, and more automation to bring crew to about 1k at most. Hey it’s not too late for April Fools yet is it?

Moose April 3, 2010 at 12:10 am

As important as Iowa is, 7 years is enough wiggle time. SS United States doesn’t have anywhere near that long, and unlike Iowa there are no others of her class to carry on if the worst happens.

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