May 21, 2024

History protects heritage: Join the efforts to restore Battleship IOWA

Restoring Battleship IOWA

Battleship USS IOWA, the first ship in the largest, fastest class of battleships ever produced by the United States, is on display at the Pacific Battleship Center, which is ranked in the top five museums of Southern California. Iowans can take the lead in restoring this beauty of heritage for future generations. Named after our Midwest state in the heart of the nation, USS IOWA was launched in 1943, during the sorrow and devastation of World War II.

The Department of War contributed to the advancement of Naval forces by launching a total of four Iowa Class battleships. These ships were built to be magnificent, colossal, and to defend the freedom framed in our Constitution. USS IOWA was in commission during three eras between 1942 and 1990: WWII, the Korean War, and the Cold War. She earned the nickname “The Battleship of Presidents,” having hosted presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. One of the proudest claims in her impressive history is having been the site of the initial planning for the June 6, 1944, “D-Day”, invasion of Normandy.

Permanently decommissioned in 1990, Battleship USS IOWA has been docked in Los Angeles and open to the public since 2012. Currently, she is in need of deck repair due to deterioration. Iowans can spearhead the charge nationwide so that pumps don’t have to run and visitors can have a safer experience to explore all levels of the storied ship.

President Ronald Reagan said while aboard the USS IOWA, “These vessels embody our conception of liberty itself: to have before one no impediments, only open spaces; to chart one’s own course and take the adventure of life as it comes; to be free as the wind — as free as the tall ships themselves.”

To become involved in this restoration, please visit Iowans for Battleship IOWA and to make a contribution to the project, contact Kyle Aube, director of development of the Battleship IOWA Museum at 877-446-9261.