Saturday, June 9, 2012

USS Iowa Veterans Information

An interesting post appeared on CorduroyPlanet's Facebook Page Friday.

A veteran named Bill Sandlin asked:
"There are a lot of us veterans that would like to be there for the Grand Opening. I would like to make this a big event for USS Iowa and veterans. Is there anything I can do to make this happen?"

I responded:
"If you're a USS Iowa vet, the USS Iowa Veterans Association is holding their 2012 Reunion in San Pedro for the Grand Opening July 2-6"

"Veterans who served on other ships or in other services could pose their questions to The Pacific Battleship Center or on their Facebook Page":

Mr Sandlin replied:
"Thanks, I will pass this information on to other veterans. I am sure some served on the USS Iowa"

"Thanks for your service Bill! God bless you and all Allied Veterans". I replied.

That happened twelve hours ago. I've spent a little time since then looking at the USS Iowa Veterans Association website, and it's a little gold mine.

History comes a-knockin':
It occurs to me that another WWII milestone needs marking. The Battle of Midway, June 4-7, 1942 was fought seventy years ago this week. This naval battle was the turning point in the Pacific Naval War, and though the USS Iowa wasn't launched until August 27, 1942, Iowa would play her part in Imperial Japan's surrender, the surrender that became a fait accompli as the result of the Battle of Midway.

Perhaps ironically, the Battle of Midway also foretold the end of the Battleship Era. Though 49 ships fought in the battle, only two were battleships, the real business end of both navies were the aircraft carriers. Japan brought four carriers to bear on Midway Atoll, the American Navy fielded three flat tops.

The USS Enterprise, USS Hornet and USS Yorktown and their combined Air Wings sank all four Japanese carriers, Kaga, Akagi, Hiryū, and Sōryū, four of the five fleet carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor just seven months earlier. The Yorktown sank after twice suffering devastating direct torpedo strikes. Japan lost 248 aircraft and 3057 men. The Americans lost around 150 aircraft and 307 men. American air crews suffered near total losses while devastating the Japanese carriers.

Japan stubbornly fought another three years and three months across the Pacific before the surrender was signed on the Iowa Class battleship USS Missouri while much of Missouri's crew was temporarily billeted aboard the USS Iowa on Tokyo Bay.

There's lots of these anniversaries coming down the pike. We all pray that there will never be a Total War like WWII again. Those of us who came after the war, and those that didn't serve can never repay our veterans for the sacrifices they made on our behalf.

If you know a veteran, thank them for their service to our country, and tip them to the upcoming Grand Opening of the USS Iowa as a floating museum on Independence Day weekend in Los Angeles Harbor. Talk up the USS Iowa Veterans Association as well, and point them to the Pacific Battleship Center's Facebook Page.

If you're going to be in LA before the 4th of July weekend, the LA Times has a guide to getting a closer look until Iowa opens for business.

USS Iowa On the Move Today:
The Pacific Battleship Center: "USS Iowa is expected to transit from Berth 51/52 to Berth 87 on Saturday, June 9.  Invited guests on a pre-approved manifest will be the only people permitted onboard USS Iowa and within the secure zone established at both berths.
The transit will begin at approximately 1430, with arrival at Berth 87 at approximately 1530/1545.  Access to Berth 87 prior to transit will currently be limited to those on the pre-approved manifest.
It is expected that there will be a lot of traffic within the San Pedro area.  The Pacific Battleship Center Outreach Center is located at 437 6th Street for further details on USS Iowa and for purchase of hats, t-shirts, tickets, and membership."

USS Iowa veterans salute the Big Stick.

It would be awesome to volunteer on the USS Iowa don'tcha think?

1 comment:

  1. How about the Bon Homme Richard or the "Tricky Dick", wonder where it was. That's the my father did his flights from for aerial reconnaisance missions. Solo.

    The vessel is still in service.