USS IOWA in San Pedro (Los Angeles) – Grand Opening as a Floating Museum on July 7
LOS ANGELES – June 2012 – Known as the Battleship of Presidents, the USS IOWA becomes the Los Angeles area’s newest museum attraction this summer. The World War II battleship, which has hosted Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, will hold its public grand opening on Saturday, July 7, at the Port of Los Angeles, Berth 87, 250 South Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA.
The grand opening will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Starting July 7, the ship will be open daily for tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT, although no tickets will be sold after 4 p.m. The only days the ship will be closed are Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Pacific Battleship Center, a nonprofit organization established in 2009, was awarded ownership of the USS IOWA by the U.S. Navy for display as an interactive naval museum. The museum will highlight the contributions of the battleship and its crew at critical moments in American history. The IOWA, which served in World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War, is 14 stories high, 887 feet long and displaces more than 45,000 tons.
“We are honored and privileged to be entrusted by the United States Navy to bring USS IOWA back to life,” says Robert Kent, president of the Pacific Battleship Center. “Our mission is simple: Honor the world’s best and last available battleship and those who served aboard her for the educational benefits of those who visit it.
To purchase tickets online, visit http://www.pacificbattleship.com/ and click on “Buy Tickets & Memberships Now.” Ticket information also is available at 877-446-9261.
General admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and retired military personnel with valid ID, and $10 for youth (ages 6-17). Active duty military and reservists should ask about discounted tickets. Admission is free for children under 6 and residents of the state of Iowa with valid state-issued ID.
Visitors will see many highlights of the battleship on the tour. After entering the ship on the starboard forward gangway, they will go to the wardroom where officers would spend their spare time. Next, visitors will walk to the bow section, where they will have the best view of Iowa’s 16-inch main gun battery Turrets 1 and 2.
The captain’s cabin will be the next stop. Visitors will see where world dignitaries were entertained and view the only bathtub ever installed for a president on a U.S. Navy warship. The bathtub was put in for President Roosevelt, who traveled aboard the USS IOWA to a major conference in Tehran to meet with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in 1943.
The tour also includes a five-inch-gun mount, signal flag locations and the armored bridge. Reinforced with 17.3 inches of steel, the USS IOWA bridge provided the most secure location for the captain during battle. Visitors also will see a variety of defense mechanisms and weapons, including Tomahawk cruise missile launchers and Harpoon cruise missile canisters.
On the second deck, visitors will tour the crew’s gallery and mess area. Several short videos reflecting USS IOWA’s history, the recent refurbishment efforts and the tow from Northern California to Los Angeles will be shown. Lastly, visitors will go through the gift shop, tour the large helicopter landing deck and exit on the starboard side via the aft gangway.
For more information about the USS IOWA, visit http://www.pacificbattleship.com/.