Weather delays trip of battleship down California coast
The Navy's Vice Adm. Mark Skinner, left, and Robert Kent of the Pacific Battleship Center sign the donation transfer contract for the USS Iowa during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in April.
May 20th, 2012
01:23 PM ET

Weather delays trip of battleship down California coast

[Updated 1:23 p.m. ET] A weather system affecting the West Coast has delayed plans to tow the battleship Iowa from the San Francisco Bay to the Port of Los Angeles, the tow boat operator said in a statement on Sunday.

Crowley Maritime Corp. said all activities related to the movement of the Iowa will be rescheduled once the weather system passes later in the week.

[Posted 12:50 p.m. ET] The battleship Iowa begins what its expected to be its final voyage on Sunday, being towed from Richmond, California, south to San Pedro, where it will open as a museum this summer.

The ship, launched in 1942 and decommissioned in 1990, has been part of the mothballed fleet anchored in Northern California's Suisin Bay since 2001, according to a report in the Contra Costa Times. Efforts to turn it into a museum in the Bay Area were unsuccessful over the years, and it was acquired by the nonprofit Pacific Battleship Center for use as a museum in San Pedro, near Los Angeles.

“This is the final journey for the USS Iowa on open water,” Robert Kent, president of the Pacific Battleship Center, said in a statement on the organization's website. “Upon arrival at Los Angeles Harbor, the USS Iowa will be just days away from opening as an interactive museum experience that honors and illustrates the contributions of this battleship and its Navy and Marine crew at critical moments in American history.”

The 45,000-ton, 887-foot-long Iowa will be towed out of San Francisco Bay, passing under the Golden Gate Bridge between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Pacific time (6:30 and 7 p.m. ET) on Sunday.

A webcan has been mounted on an antenna above the ship's bow and video of the voyage will be streamed live. You can watch here.

The Iowa's journey down the California coast will take four days. Its public opening in San Pedro is set for July 7.

The Iowa is known as the "Battleship of Presidents" as it has hosted more commanders-in-chief than any other of its kind. It has a bathtub installed especially for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1943.

The Iowa has three sister ships: the Missouri, which is a museum in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; the Wisconsin, a museum in Hampton Roads, Virginia; and the New Jersey, a museum on the Delaware River in New Jersey.

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Filed under: California • U.S. • U.S. Navy
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. MADD MAXX

    Not surprising that the battleship was not popular in San Fran.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Someone

      As opposed to the USS Pampanito and the USS Wasp – one in San Francisco and the other in Alameda. As I have said earlier – this kind of comment I would expect from a conservative whose IQ can be measured on the fingers of one hand – minus the thumb of course.

      May 21, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • oldman

      too bad about the USS Pampanito and the USS Wasp, neither one is a battle ship

      May 21, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Globocnik

      The USS Hornet is at Alameda, not the USS Wasp.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Globocnik

      Why is that not surprising to you? The USS Pampanito is on display, along with the Jeremiah OBrien. Alameda was a major Naval Air Station, and now houses the USS Hornet. A major USCG Base is located at Government Island, and the planes that bombed Tokyo were loaded onto the original USS Hornet at Alameda. The Bay area has a long and proud history in hosting the US Navy and in contributing to the defense of our nation.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nick

    I watched the New Jersey being towed up the Delaware. It now resides in Camden, directly across the river from Penns landing in Philadelphia. It was amazing to see the old girl come slowly up the river from my vantage point on shore at my place of business. Its the first, and only time I ever saw The Commodore Barry bridge become a parking lot, as thousands of people stopped on the bridge and got out of their cars to watch the ship pass under. What an awesome sight.

    May 21, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • redspotz

      Right, no longer,

      the any gave up on it's fleet of generally low-mileage Iowa Class Battleships because modern naval warfare cannot defeat the technology?! LMAO. Read up on the Battle of the Coral Sea – the first naval battle in which the combatants never fired directly on one another. Since the end of that battle, battleships have been relegated to shore bombardment, as battleships are totally vulnerable to naval airpower. You do recall from history class that battleships were the victims of the attack on Pearl Harbor and that airpower was the victor? Airpower defeated the battleships Bismarack and Yamamato (the most powerful battleship ever built)?

      May 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. nolongerarepublican

    The battleship is more important than ever in this world of electronics and anti ship missiles.
    None of the current anti ship missiles can sink the Iowa.
    We were told tanks were obsolete years before the first Iraq war, and tanks were the main weapon.
    We were told armored personell carriers were obsolete and our troop carriers should be light an fast, we lost a lot of troops because of that.
    We were told attack helicopters were obsolete years ago, and they are a main weapon in Iraq I, II, and Afghanistan.
    We shouuld have kept one battleship in the Pacific and Atlantic.
    I hope we never learn our mistakes the hard way again like we did at Pearl Harbor.

    May 21, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      There are a number of anti-ship missiles that could to catastrophic damage to a world war II vintage battleship. It's also a big, big, target, which means hitting it's not so much a problem. Worse, those massive guns have considerably less range than modern missiles.

      Finally, you mention the lessons of World War II and Pearl Harbor. You remember that the lesson was "Battleships are obsolete, and Air Power is the future" right?

      May 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Actually, the only reason to have a large ship like the WWII battleships is to carry large 16 inch naval guns. Given that shore bombardment can be effectively accomplished with many 5 inch naval guns just as well as a with a few 16 inch guns, and given that shore bombardment has not been a significant factor in any conflict since Vietnam, it make more sense to build smaller, faster cruisers and destroyers that can be fitted with Tomahawk land attack missles and other sophisticated and precise weapons. You can probably build 3 cruisers for the cost of one battleship.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. John K Cervenka

    I salute the men and women who served the U.S. so proudly on the USS Iowa... we enjoy the freedom we have in part because of their service and courage. They will never be forgotten.
    Los Angeles will be a better place because it is her new home!

    May 21, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jacquesdaspy

    What does a WWII battleship have in common with the history of Mexico?

    May 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Globocnik

      Both have a long and proud history.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
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