USS IOWA Off Los Angeles

USS IOWA leaving San Francisco Bay May 26, heading through the Golden Gate. Photo © Chris Willson 2012

The retired battleship USS IOWA, which served the United States during six decades at sea, continues its final voyage towards Los Angeles to become a museum. The IOWA was decommissioned in 1990 and sold to the nonprofit Pacific Battleship Center in May 2010.

The Navy insisted that the vessel should not proceed under her own power to Los Angeles, the contract forbade it, as the Navy did not want a ship of this power to be operational outside of its control. The Los Angeles Harbor Commission voted unanimously on May 17 to create a permanent home for the ship at the city’s port in San Pedro, where it will open to the public on July 7.

The ocean-going tug WARRIOR in the lead bringing the ship to an anchorage outside the harbor breakwater for hull cleaning, for two to four days.

At this writing the ship is about 55 miles due west* of the Port of Los Angeles.

See live tracking website:

The preservation goal was to restore the 887-foot ship to its appearance when armed with contemporary weapons for its second commission in 1984,  after spending some 26 years in mothballs in Suisun Bay’s “Ghost Fleet”.

Following the hull cleaning, the ship will be towed to a temporary berth in Port’s outer harbor before it is towed to Berth 87 on June 9th where it will be moored year-round between the Los Angeles Cruise terminal and the Los Angeles Maritime Museum


*an earlier version of the article incorrectly said “East of Los Angeles” which would have put the ship way inland!


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