Battleship USS IOWA in San Pedro (Courtesy photo)
……Hey wait….this ain’t a cornfield!
Nicknamed the “Battleship of Presidents, the “Mighty I,” and most famously, “The Big Stick,” the USS Iowa is currently on display as an Interactive Historical Museum in San Pedro. Currently docked at the Los Angeles World Cruise Port Terminal on the LA Waterfront, this incredible ship awaits an opportunity to spill to you its vast naval secrets. All aboard!
Here’s why you should visit:
1. A piece of living military history, nestled right in your backyard! The USS Iowa heralds as the sole west coast battleship. I’m sure we all have heard the famous phrase uttered by Teddy Roosevelt “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick.” The USS Iowa had quite a different name when it was commissioned during the 1980’s cold war: It was referred to affectionately as, “The Big Stick.” Aptly, the USS Iowa was active and utilized during World War II, The Korean War, and the Cold war. Suffice to say, it has a few stories to tell!
2. Come on join your fellow man…..In the Navy! Haven’t you always been curious about what it would be like to be deployed, in the midst of military action, on a Battleship? There are a multitude of tours offered, all that delve into placing yourself in the shoes of crewmembers making the USS Iowa their seaward home while deployed. On these tours, you will be a seagull’s eye view of the sailor’s galleys, working shops trash room, gun mount, combat engagement center, post office, engineering spaces, and so much more. If you are really the type that likes to get into the act, you can have even have lunch in the Captain’s or Admiral’s Cabin, which sometimes include surprise guests such as former crewmembers and veterans.
3. V is for Victory! Take a tour guided by the USS Iowa’s surprising Mascot, “Victory, the “First American Dog on Japanese Empire Soil.” FDR took such a strong liking to this tiny little furry morale booster, that he even let him sleep at the foot of his bed in the Captain’s Quarters, as to not disrupt his routine. Kids can also take a Victory guided tour and end up in the museum which highlights Victory’s exploits as the USS Iowa’s seafaring pup.
4. The extraordinary exhibitions! Experience Robert Ballard’s, “Lost At Sea,” a retrospective regarding the vessels that found their final resting place at the bottom of the ocean. Or perhaps choose to honor the, “Legacy of the Navy,” in the self-titled exhibit that highlights the history and evolution of all military ships. Dig into Naval artillery accidents in a brave tell-all exploration into USS Iowa’s own tragedy in 1989, which cost 47 crew their lives. Lastly, the “Pacific War and Peace” exhibit sponsored by the Australian National Wartime Museum presents an in-depth look into the World War II loss of the HMAS Perth and USS Houston, titled “Guardians of Sunda Strait.” There is truly something for everyone here!
5. Expect the unexpected! You never know what unique attributes the USS Iowa holds deep within her confines. Be privy to President Roosevelt’s privy! Did you know the USS Iowa is the only battleship with a bathtub? It was installed expressly for FDR to enhance his top-secret journey to Morocco for the 1943 Teheran conference, where he met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Secretary General Joseph Stalin. Who wouldn’t need a long soak in the tub after such an affair? Test your trivia skills and find out which iconic CBS TV show filmed on the very decks of the USS Iowa recently.
See you at the USS Iowa!
For this uniquely immersive opportunity to delve into one of the Navy’s legendary strongholds, parked right in Los Angeles, plan your trip at https://www.pacificbattleship.com