Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The USS Iowa has one last fight......

The Battleships were the Kings of the Seven Seas until the Carriers changed everything in WW2....The idea of these Titans slugging it out from 25 miles away from each other went away when the Aircraft Carriers were able to take out one of these Behemoths from the air....In their day, there was no more formidable force.

The ability of these ships to pull up off the shore of a hostile nation and lob shells into an enemy's force cannot be understated. You would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of the force these ships could project ashore.
I hope they preserve this important piece of our Naval Heritage...for future generations to see what it was like, " When Men were men, and Ships were steel."

One last fight looms for the battleship Iowa
San Pedro wants the World War II ship on the waterfront, but so does a group from Vallejo. The U.S. Navy gets the final call.
Eric Risberg / Associated Press)December 28, 2010By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times

The Iowa “is the last available battleship anywhere,” said Bryan Moss,… When San Pedro held its annual holiday parade a few weeks ago, the message to the Navy was unmistakable.

One of the grand marshals — although it couldn't be there in person — was the Iowa, the storied battleship that, with the Navy's blessing, could be permanently berthed on San Pedro's waterfront.

A cheering crowd gave the thumbs up to a float with a 40-foot-long billboard showing "the Big Stick," the vessel that carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to crucial meetings during World War II. Veterans marched alongside, and a 93-year-old who was among the Iowa's first sailors waved, with other aging warriors, from atop a truck loaded with hay bales. Their aim was to show support for turning the vintage ship into a San Pedro tourist attraction.

Although other Navy vessels have been transformed into floating museums — including the aircraft carrier Midway in San Diego — there are no battleships available for boarding on the West Coast. That's why Bryan Moss, a radio operator aboard the Iowa during the Korean War, thinks passing up such an opportunity would be a loss.

"This is the last available battleship anywhere," Moss said. "I think a lot of people would miss an awful lot of history."

The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously endorsed the effort and the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners, after a previous rejection, approved it in November. By May 2011, the Navy is expected to decide between San Pedro and the Bay Area city of Vallejo.

Nearly 900 feet long and 15 stories tall, the 67-year-old Iowa is one of the biggest and most powerful battleships ever built. It also is the only Navy vessel with a bathtub — a feature installed for Roosevelt when he was shuttled to the Middle East to meet with Churchill and Stalin at the Teheran Conference in 1943.

Decommissioned in 1990, the iconic ship is languishing with about 50 other old vessels in the "ghost fleet" of Suisun Bay, a few miles northeast of San Francisco. In an agreement with environmentalists concerned about pollution from some of the mothballed ships, the federal government has promised to remove them by 2017.

1 comment:

Ron said...

Bryan Moss is one of the driving forces behind The Pacific Battleship Center, the organization that is working to bring the USS IOWA to the Port of Los Angeles. Here are some pictures and video of the USS IOWA Grand Marshal float in the San Pedro Holiday Parade.