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Battleship USS Iowa Museum
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Battleship USS Iowa Museum

All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2012 - 2017.


Battleship USS Iowa Museum is sometimes called Battleship Uss Iowa BB-61 or Pacific Battleship Center. Regardless if its name, this floaitng museum opened in summer of 2012 (July 7) and became in instant hit. At opening, only about 15% of the ship was open, but more sections will open in time, but for now, there is enough to justify a visit. As of this writing, sections of the Main Deck, Second Deck, and Levels 1-5.

The USS Iowa, BB-61, was the first in the Iowa Class of battleships (ship classes are usually named for the first ship built in that design, later ships in the class have the same design), the last class of battleship build for the US Navy. She was built during World War II, after which, battleship had lost their dominance to aircraft carriers. Still, she was upgraded, decommissioned three times, recommissioned three times, and finally left service in 1990. Despite being converted to a museum, the Navy requires that she be maintained in battle ready condition until 20??. She was designed (final design) in 1938, her keel was laid in 1940, launched in 1942, commissions in 1943, sent to the San Francisco Naval Shipyards in 1949, second commissioning in 1951, second decommissioning in 1958, third commissioning in 1984, third decommissioning in 1990. In the event of an emergency, she can be commissioned again. She served in WW II, Korea, and the Cold War. At the time of her launching, she was dubbed "World's Greatest Navel Ship" and she was on active duty 20 years and in the Navel Reserve Fleet for 50 years and is still consider on reserve.

Facts:
Overall length, 887 feet, 3 inches with a beam of 108 feet, 2 inches, about two feet narrower than the Panama Canal which she was required to traverse. Total height of 209 feet (keel to mast) with a draft (below water line when fully loaded) 37 feet. When fully loaded during the Cold War, she displaced 57,450 tons (the weight of the water that would fill the space of the hull).
During WW II, she had a crew of 2,8000 largely due to the number of anti-aircraft guns on her deck that required gunners. In the Cold War era, the guns were replaced with missiles and a smaller crew required.
Iowa has eight oil fired boilers in four fire/boiler compartments, running at 859 degrees to feed steam to the turbines and reduction gear at 600 PSI (pounds per square inch).
The four engines (turbines and gears) powered four propellers weighing 20 tones each. The two inboard propellers were five-bladed at 17 foot diameter and the two outboard propellers were four-bladed at 18 foot diameter.
She carried three 16 inch gun turrets with three guns each.
She carried twelve 5 inch guns
In the Cold War era she carried sixteen Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile Launchers, Thirty-two Tomahawk Cruise Missile Launchers, and four Cruise Missile Defense / Phalanx Guns.
The aft deck is a Helicopter Flight Deck.
Iowa recorded the longest range of a fired projectile in 1989, 26.9 miles from the 16 inch guns with a recoil of 47 inches.
The Iowa class of battleships were the fastest with a top speed of 33 knots (40 mph) and Iowa once reached 35 knotts (43 mph).

In World War II, USS Iowa had the greatest Anti-Aircraft (AA) firepower in the US Navy. No WW II AA weapons were used in the Cold War era. The configuration was modified during the war but normally carried:
52 20 mm Oerlikon guns.
19 quad 40 mm Bofor guns (total 76 barrels)
10 twin 5 inch gun mounts (total 20 barrels).

For the Cold War, USS Iowa was refitted. Four of the twin 5 inch guns were removed to make space for modern weapons. Eight Armored Box Launchers (ABL) housing 32 Tomahawk cruise missiles were installed. Four quad Kevlar protected canisters 16 Harpoon cruise missiles. Four Phalanx anti cruise missile gatling were installed. Sensors and radars were upgraded and the boilers converted to use distillate fuel.

Pacific Battleship Center is a non-profit supported by visitors, members, and fees for events.
Location:
250 S. Harbor Blvd.
San Pedro, California 90731
Phone 877-446-9261
www.labattleship.com
www.pacificbattleship.com

Hours:
Summer: Daily 9am-4pm
Winter: Daily 10am-4pm.
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We revisited the ship recently. More images and text soon.


The center opening at the front is the "bullnose" through which ran a tow line.

Looking foreward with a blimp and fireboat station beyond.

Looking forward toward bell and Transmitting Antenna.


Number 61.
Iowa carried two anchors at 31,500 pounds each. Two chains, each 1,080 feet long consisting of approximately 1000 links at 128 pounds each, tied the ship to the anchors.

Anchor chain.

Looking forward over a turret from the bridge.
Transmitting Antenna


Looking aft along the starboard side.

Side railing near stern on starboard side.

Looking forward over a turret from the bridge.
Looking forward over a turret from the bridge.

Side of hull showing paint detial.

5inch, 38caliber, mark12 gun.
5inch, 38caliber, mark12 gun.
5inch, 38caliber, mark12 gun.

5inch, 38caliber, mark12 gun.

5inch, 38caliber, mark12 gun.



The Mark 38 stereascopic rangefinder Directors are located at the top of Spot 1, forward superstructure tower, and Spot 2, after tower. These sensors, part of the16inch Fire Control Systems, perform ranging and spotting to fired shells and send the information to the Plot/Fire Control Rooms, in the most protected parts of the ship, which then adjust the aim. The Main Battery Plot is on Deck 4 and the aft Secondary Battery Plot is on Deck 3. The Mark 8 was so advanced, it was not replaced with the 1983 modernization.

Standing on the deck, the torrets look large, but there is even more below deck. The Gun House, or turret, holds the three Mark 7 gun assemblies and loading and aiming equipment, tended by 27 crew. Below is the Pan Floor, Electric Deck, Upper and Lower Projectile Flat, and Powder Handling Flat requiring 50 more crew. The turrets measured 48 feet long, 32 feet wide, 10 feet high, and weighed about 2,000 tons. The magazines held 1,290 total projectiles. Range about 26 miles.














The 5 inch gun, SRBOC, and stack.







The Armored Conning Tower runs through the center of the bridge. Its 17.3 inch Class A armor protected the helsman and commanding officers from attack once the hatch was closed. Small openings allow occupants to view out. Show nhere is the Level 4 section, the Level 5 section held the Fire Control Officer and the Level 3 held the Flag Staff. The Admiral could direct the fleet without interfering with the Captain and the Iowa. There is a Battle Bridge on Level 8.

Door to armored conning tower.





In November 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his staff traveled to the Tehran Conference aboard USS Iowa. They used the Captain's in-port cabin for meetings, dining, and movies. Because of the President's handicap, this is the only bathtub on a navel vessel.


Enlisted Berthing was actually several locations throughout the ship, Main Deck, Second and Third Desks, fore and aft. During the World War II era, "Pole and Canvas Racks" stacked as many as 5 high, were home to 2,640 crew. During the 1984 refurbishment, newer bunks and air conditioning were added for a crew of 1,450.






Some type of crane or boom.

Officers Wardroom.





The Phalanx CIWS Cruise Missile Defense was added in the 1984 modernization. Four Mark 15 Phalanx Close Inboard Weapon System Block 0 mounts were located so that any two can fire at a target creating a 360 degree field of protection. The Block 0 is a high speed, 20mm, six-barrel Gatling-type gun capable of firing 3,000 rounds per minute with a range of 2,000 yards, at approximately 3,600 feet per second. The bullets were made of depleted uranium (very dense but not radioactive).







Enlisted Mess and Galley, Aft 2nd Deck.
One of two, a larger galley was forward.
The Chief Petty Officers had their own Galley and Mess further aft, the Officer's Wardroom had a galley, and the Captain and Admiral's cabins shared a small galley.
During WW II, the crew of 2,600 required 7,800 meals a day but by the Cold War era, the crew had reduced to 1,450.








Galley.




Equuipment near the bridge.

Fire suppression.





Iowa was equipped with sixteen AGM-84 Harpoon Missiles, added in 1983. The missiles were carried and launched from four quad Kevlararmored tubes on aft 03 Level, two on each side. The missiles were primarily used ship-to-ship but sometimes fired at land targets. The missiles used a solid fuel rock for the initial boost, then switched to turbo-jet engines. The missiles used active radar. The range was about 75 miles.



Hatchs.

Hatchs.

Hatch.

Hinge.








Iowa carried eight ABL Armored Box Launchers, each carried four 32 BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Four ABLs were on each side, four mid-ship, four aft. While there was no need to aim the launchers, the missiles adjusted course after launch, the boxes were raised up to firing position, thus avoiding railings, deck equipment, and personnel. Tomahawks came in three configurations, shop to ship, ship to land, ship to land nuclear. Range was 250 to 1.500 miles. The four mid-ship ABLs were removed to a destroyer while Iowa was in the reserve fleet, that destroyer and Iowa's ABLs are now part of an artificial reef. Full size models occupy the original space of the removed ABLs.




SRBOC, Super Rapid Blooming Offship Chaff, is a deck mounted short-range mortar for launching chaff or infrared decoys to confuse incoming missiles by creating false returns to enemy guidance systems. Four systems are mounted on each side of the ship on 05 Level. Each has six tubes pointing at different angles to fire a cloud of aluminum chaff to confuse radar. Infrared or flare decoy chaff confuses heat seeking missiles.









Starboard side.








The deck was originally Teak, but later replaced with Fur which was more affordable and available. Wood decks were used because a steel deck is too hot to walk on and it provided more grip for walking. Wood was used through the 1950s.
Resurfacing the deck.
Flight deck was originally for floatplanes. The planes could be launched from catapults and a crane at the stern could life the planes onto the deck. During the Korean War, the planes were replaced with helicopters and the catapults and crane was removed. Later the Flight Deck was used to recover Remotely Piloted Vehicles.
Tie-down hardware on the flight deck to keep aircraft from being blown off the deck.


Model of the USS Iowa.

Small boats.

Truck.
Sculpture Unconditional Surrender by J. Seward Johnson, based on the famous photo the day WW II eneded.
© 2004 The Sculpture Foundation




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