The USS Iowa (BB-61) was the lead ship of the last class of U.S. Navy battleships. The battleship was originally commissioned in 1943, and served during World War II, Korean War, and Cold War. USS Iowa has earned 11 battle stars during her career and hosted three U.S. Presidents, ultimately earning the nicknames, Battleship of Presidents and Big Stick. The USS Iowa was awarded to the Pacific Battleship Center on September 6, 2011 for display at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California – home to the United States Battle Fleet from 1919 to 1940.
On October 27, 2011, the battleship was relocated from Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet to the Port of Richmond, California for painting and refurbishment. On May 27, 2012, the USS Iowa was towed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge on its 75th anniversary for final placement at the LA Waterfront. The USS Iowa opened in Los Angeles on July 4, 2012 to a crowd of over 1,500 supporters and veterans at Port of Los Angeles Berth 87. The USS Iowa museum celebrates the American spirit through daily tours, group programs, education visits, special events, filming, military ceremonies, and is in the process of starting an overnight program.
Daily tours include visits to see the largest guns (16″/50 caliber) on a U.S. Navy ship, officers ward room, President Roosevelt’s cabin, armored bridge, missile decks, enlisted berthing, mess decks, helicopter deck, and other areas. The ship is located at the Los Angeles World Cruise Center and has over 2,100 parking spaces available.
USS Iowa has played various roles in films and television series including NCIS: Los Angeles, American Warships, Bermuda Tentacles, and Dark Rising. USS Iowa is home to annual American-focused events including the City of Los Angeles Veterans Appreciation, a Memorial Day Celebration, and September 11 remembrance.