Uss Iowa Shows Off His­tory With New Ex­hibits

Escalon Times - - NEIGHBORHOOD VALUES - By CARY ORDAWAY Cal­i­fon­ri­aWeek­

LOS ANGELES — New ex­hibits have been added to the USS Iowa dur­ing , which means the ship now dis­plays ar­ti­facts from each of the time pe­ri­ods of op­er­a­tion. There also will be first-hand ac­counts of life on board the USS Iowa.

The ship is a vet­eran of World War II, Ko­rea and the stand-off with the Soviet Union known as the Cold War. The ship is now open for pub­lic tours in San Pe­dro, near Long Beach.

Two new ex­hibits were added. “The World’s Great­est Fight­ing Ship” will fea­ture ar­ti­facts and per­sonal ac­counts from peo­ple who served on the ship. The “Bat­tle­ship of Pres­i­dents” is a col­lec­tion of pho­tographs and materials de­pict­ing the time spent on board by many U.S. Pres­i­dents. In ad­di­tion, new com­part­ments will be opened up for pub­lic view­ing. Th­ese in­clude the Marine Guard Shack, Com­mand Mas­ter Chief state­room and the Bakery.

A trip to the USS Iowa is the per­fect fam­ily ad­ven­ture -- it’s great for Dads who love mil­i­tary stuff, but also has plenty of wow fac­tor for the kids in the fam­ily. Mom will be fas­ci­nated by the his­tory of the ship and its con­tri­bu­tion over the years to keep­ing our coun­try safe.

The ship was built in 1940 and ac­tu­ally was in ser­vice for more than 50 years. It once had the Navy’s big­gest guns and was the fastest bat­tle­ship the United States had. The ship was only made a float­ing mu­seum in re­cent years and is lo­cated ad­ja­cent to the Los Angeles cruise ship ter­mi­nals.

When you tour the USS Iowa, you fol­low in line along a pre-de­ter­mined route that takes you through many ar­eas of the ship. Along the way, mu­seum rep­re­sen­ta­tives an­swer ques­tions you may have, and will also pro­vide fun anec­do­tal in­for­ma­tion. At the end of the tour you exit through a gift store so plan on do­ing a lit­tle shop­ping while you’re there and tak-

ing home sou­venirs for the kids to re­live this field trip many times over.

Se­nior cit­i­zens might have some trou­ble nav­i­gat­ing the nar­row pas­sage­ways and stairs on the ship if they have mo­bil­ity prob­lems. Gen­er­ally, if you can climb a 10-foot lad­der, you should be able to com­plete the tour with­out any prob­lems.

The ar­eas cov­ered in your tour are in­ter­est­ing and it’s easy to en­vi­sion what life on board this fight­ing ship must have been like. You’ll get to see the ship’s bridge and com­mand cen­ter as well as gun tur­rets and ev­ery-day liv­ing quar­ters of the sailors. You’ll see where sev­eral sailors were killed in a fa­mous ac­ci­dent in which a gun tur­ret ex­ploded in 1989.

The USS Iowa hosted many more pres­i­dents than any ship in U.S. his­tory in­clud­ing Franklin D. Roo­sevelt, Ron­ald Rea­gan and H.W. Bush.


The gun tur­ret of the USS Iowa is a pop­u­lar photo back­drop.

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