Reblogged from Among The Joshua Trees:
Iowa, BB61 arrives off of San Pedro
She arrived after a four day tow from Richmond CA. She is bound for the Port of Los Angeles and life as a museum. This is a very good thing.
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I agree, it is a very good thing. I’ve visited the New Jersey and the North Carolina. they are fascinating museums and marvels of technology. I still have trouble believing they built and operated and fought them without computers through WWII.
The building of fighting ships is an art form.
Well, I wouldn’t say they were fought without computers in WW2. I seem to recall reading that the fire control systems had basic mechanical computers for some things. That is about all I remember though.
I still think we should have kept one or two active, but then I read a headline today saying “79 year old Iowa” and I sadly realized that their time is past in many ways such as engineering/mechanical, electronics, and crewing, basically everything except for the big guns.
That’s spurred me to clear out the barn after our move. I’ve some pics of “Iowa” as she entered Portsmouth harbour (a very tight squeeze) in the late 80`s. Will scan and post.
That would be cool!
This had to have easily been 20 years ago but i remember in a visit to San Francisco the Missouri was docked and I thought what an impressive ship – all the more amazing that it was 60 years old.
My other Missouri memory – was in 1967 – before she was recommissioned – stopping on a family trip from Canada in Bremerton (I think) a cold and rainy afternoon – and seeing a little brass plaque where the surrender took place.
I am looking forward to being able to visit the Iowa when the museum opens.
As an aside I think originally the Navy wanted it to go to San Francisco – wouldn’t that have been a tourist attraction near Pier 39? But the usual infighting among the local politicos stopped that.
My comments towards the Missouri were because, of course, the Missouri is a sister ship to the Iowa.
Interesting tidbit: The company I work for – Travelers – provided the insurance on the Iowa for the towing process. We have done this before for the Missouri and Jeremiah O’Brien.
I saw that in the News Digest- fellow Travelers Employee in Hunt Valley
Jeff – and the world just got a little smaller, again. I work in the Hartford office in the Claim Division.
Kris – occasionally the Jeremiah O’Brian will give people rides around the Bay – I guess they have to “reinsure” each time they go out or is it like a classic car – as long as they don’t “drive” over x Miles/year?
The submarine – USS Pampanito – used in filming the Kelsey Grammer film Down Periscope (which I thought hilarious) is there too.
BTW we had an interesting tour some years ago in Sausalito – you would never guess it today but Kaiser had a HUGE shipyard there cranking out Liberty Ships – if you saw the picture you wouldn’t believe it today – all that is left is a concrete launching ramp.
My old ship has a Cameo in “Down Periscope”. As Kelsey and the Admiral come around the pier and up to the “USS Rustoleum” (LOL), there is a line of old decommed ships in the background of several shots. These ships are all of the Leahy and Belknap class CG’s. USS Halsey (CG-23) was facing stern towards the cam, right beside USS England (CG-22)
The filming took place at the Suisen Bay Mothball fleet.
The best possible end to an old warrior is to be turned into a museum ship.
Second best is to be used in a sink-ex. Giving her life so that we can learn of the effectiveness of our weapons as well as learn lessons in what to prepare for in the way of damage control.
What it takes to sink one of these ships even sans DC parties fighting to save them is pretty impressive.
USS Guam took 2 HARM missiles, 2 Hellfire Missile, 2 Penguin Missiles, 4 Maverick Missiles, CBU-99 Cluster Bombs, about 40 Laser Guided Bombs (LGB) using the MK-82 500lb warhead, 1 air-launched Harpoon Missile, 9 surface-launched Harpoons, Naval gunfire, and finally a MK-48 ADCAP torpedo…. before sinking. And this was a stripped, gutted ship with no crew trying to perform damage control and trying to save her.
The worst possible fate is what befell mine.
These are two identical sister ships, USS Gridley and USS England (CG’s 24 and 22 respectively.) My ship was already gone by this point…
A late friend of mine was in the Navy just towards the end of WW2 – and was at the tests at Bikini Atoll.
I think they put some old ships in the area by the atomic blasts.
i think one – and old carrier? was lifted dozens of feet out of the water.
Wonder what it would take to sink something like the Iowa.
I’ll bet it would be impressive.
Several Battleships, Our own as well as captured Japanese and German ships were used at Bikini. Just recently we were discussing HMS Hood and the Battleship Bismark. Bismark was accompanied by Prinz Eugen. Prinz Eugen now lies capsized at Bikini.
Shot Baker of Operation Crossroads had the US Battleship Arkansas and the Japanese Battleship Nagato along with many other ships including the carriers Saratoga and Independence.
Arkansas (BB-33) was a Wyoming class Battleship. She was anchored 250 yds from ground zero. Baker was an underwater shot and the shockwave transmitted directly through the water into the hull crushed the armored ship as though made of paper mache. The whole vessel was flipped end for end and capsized. The descending water column then hammers the ship into the lagoon floor.
The dark mark on the side of the rising water column in this pic is the Arkansas flipping on her ends.
Battleships & computers…these ships had mechanical fire control computers which were remarkably sophisticated, being able to calculate lead based on speeds/courses of both own ship and target, elevation, correction for wind and rotation of earth, etc. Some of them could also maintain a track on the target if it was temporarily obscured by smoke, etc.
Mechanical analog computation is pretty much a lost art now, but there are some professors and students at Marshall University (W Va) who believe it has real educational usefulness in teaching calculus and have been building machines for that purpose.
I think – at least for the Army in WW2 – they had an “army” of female math whizzes who created the charts for artillery. I remember reading about it somewhere.
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