Meet The USS Iowa: The Navy Battleship Unretired To Fight Russia

shipping, and eliminate targets on land. And this class of vessels did all of that and more. Iowa’s 16-inch guns were busy during World ധąɾ Two capitalizing on their 24-mile range. Iowa saw service in the Marshall and Mariana Islands, during the Okinawa campaign, and in the summer of 1945, even took part in the shelling of the Japanese home islands Honshu and Hokkaido.

The Big Stick Was Survivable  

Nicknamed the “Big Stick,” Iowa soon showed it could take a punch. It received its first hit when struck by two Japanese shells. A 6-inch projectile knocked into the second turret and the 5-inch round struck the hull. But that enemy attack caused little damage to the huge vessel.

The Iowa turned the tables on the Japanese and assisted with the island-hopping campaign by supporting American amphibious landings during various battles. Its final World ധąɾ Two mission was to appear with the USS Missouri where the Japanese surrendered in Tokyo Bay. It then took a break with decommissioning orders in 1949, but then was activated again in 1951 to serve as a flagship during the Korean ധąɾ. It participated in various bombardment missions against North Korean positions.

Hard to Beat a Versatile Battleship

The Iowa had almost 3,000 sailors. It boasted four engines and four propellors with 212,000 horsepower. Its World ധąɾ Two firepower included nine 16-inch guns and 20 five-inch guns. But that’s not all. Like the USS Wisconsin, Iowa got a new lease on life in the Cold ധąɾ–brought back to take on the Soviet Navy and its battlecruisers–and became a modern missile ship in 1984 with a formidable assortment of Tomahawk cruise missiles and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

It Had One Blemish On Its Record

Iowa ended its stretch of good luck in 1989 when an explosion in the number two turret resulted in the death of 47 sailors. It then patrolled around Europe for a year before final decommissioning in 1990. Iowa later became a museum ship based in San Pedro, California, and hereinafter, the USS Iowa will be remembered as a stalwart warship.

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