The big news in naval history last week was the formal transfer of the battleship Iowa (BB-61) to the Pacific Battleship Center, and her subsequent departure from the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, CA. Iowa‘s transfer to a private organization closes the book on the battleship era. Nicknamed “the Big Stick,” Iowa is the last remaining U.S. battleship to find a home as a museum ship. The Pacific Battleship Center is working hard to prepare a permanent home for this historic ship at the Port of Los Angeles. Iowa will get a fresh coat of paint and some much need cleaning in Richmond, CA, prior to her final tow to Los Angeles early next year.
One of our colleagues, Bob Fish from the USS HORNET Museum, observed Iowa‘s two-day journey from Suisun Bay to Richmond from a fishing boat. He shared a series of photographs with us, and we’d like to share them with you. They give a good sense of the sequence of events that took place during this successful move.
We’ve also uploaded a photo essay with some spectacular images from USS Iowa‘s many years of service on our Facebook page, please head on over there to check them out. And be sure to watch this time lapse video of Iowa on the move on the USA Today website.
Update (7 Nov 2011): Bob Fish, who shared these great photos with us, has also penned a short article about Iowa‘s history. Please take a moment to read it: USS Iowa – Farewell Salute to “The Big Stick.”