Skip to comments.USS Iowa on way to new home in Southern California
Posted on 05/27/2012 4:49:26 PM PDT by iowamark
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The USS Iowa the iconic World War II-era battleship that once served as transport to President Franklin D. Roosevelt left San Francisco Bay on Saturday on its way to its new home in Southern California.
Surrounded by pleasure boats and other vessels, the 887-foot long, 58,000-ton battlewagon was towed through the bay and passed under the Golden Gate Bridge at about 2:30 p.m.
Crowds watched from both sides of the bridge as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye provided an official escort and the San Francisco fireboat Phoenix led the way...
The center's future plans include an interactive tour experience that will allow the visitor to experience what life at sea was like during active duty. Among the highlights will be viewing the inside of one of the main gun turrets, seeing the 17.5-inch armored conning station on the bridge and viewing Roosevelt's stateroom.
The ship was recently moved to the Port of Richmond, not far from where "Rosie the Riveters" built ships in the 1940s. Workers scrubbed and painted the ship's exterior, replaced the teak deck and reattached the mast in preparation for the museum commissioning in July.
The Iowa was scheduled to leave on May 20 but was delayed because of a storm system. As it turned out, its departure came on the same day as weekend celebrations were under way marking the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th anniversary.
The trip down the coast is expected to take about four days.
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
Possibly the most gorgeous ship class ever built..........
Seeing these two great works of mid-20th Century American engineering genius and manufacturing power together for the last time.....makes me think. Do we still have the men that can not only design such things....but more importantly dream of them to begin with, then with fire, hammer and tong....build the bastards.
Or, more likely we would now send the CAD file to Japan for optimization with final fabrication and assembly in Shanghai.
Still. They are beautiful. Thank you for the post.
I agree, they are beautiful ships.
I always wondered what the Yamato could have done if it had been brought to Guadalcanal early in that conflict.
I think most Americans are ‘genetically coded’ with the ability to do it. They have just been stripped of the desire and use of that ability thanks to liberal social fantasies. Whether the pollution that would result or the aggressive image it would pose, we cannot risk offending someone.
They are indeed things of beauty and we’ll likely never see their like built anew.
It would have fought alone. It would have eaten up the fuel for the rest of the fleet.
But...Yamato versus South Dakota and North Carolina in a slugfest? Might be pretty interesting.
I don’t think the Japanese were that short on fuel in early 1942.
I could see her cruising down the slot at night shelling Henderson Field then returning closer to New Guinea to be under the air umbrella of the Lae Squadron in the daytime.
I just watched this TV movie on Netflix called “Too Young the Hero” about....
USS South Dakota (BB-57) was a battleship in the United States Navy from 1942 until 1947...The ship carried the man who is believed to be the youngest serviceman to have fought in World War II, Calvin Graham. He participated in the Battles of Santa Cruz and Guadalcanal before he admitted his true age to Sargent Shriver, the gunnery officer; Graham spent three months in the brig, had his veteran’s benefits taken away, and received a dishonorable discharge. He then returned to the seventh grade soon after celebrating his thirteenth birthday.
Very poorly. Yamato initially had only 24 antiaircraft guns, 25mm and mounted mostly amidships. She would have been easy meat for Marine and Army Air Force aviation, let alone the Navy’s bombers. Lacking serious air defense, she would have been sent to the bottom in short order by whoever’s air power found her first. Especially after American air power expressed their extreme displeasure with the IJN and sank 4 carriers plus destroyed 332 of their aircraft at Midway.
The Japanese eventually figured out this was a problem and updated the AA armaments to a total of 162 25mm guns, but that wasn’t done until the big overhaul of 44-45. She also didn’t get aircraft search radar or gunnery control radar until this overhaul - without which, again, she would have been easy prey for aircraft and could not engage beyond visual range or at night without extreme difficulty, something American battleships like the South Dakotas could do from day one of the war.
The only way that Yamato would have had a decisive advantage is in a pure daylight, visual range gunfight with low cloud cover preventing air power from coming by to say hello. She wouldn’t have been good at shore bombardment either because someone forgot to make sufficient quantities of rounds suitable for shore bombardment, which is why she spent most of the war at Truk. Well, that and the fact that she drank more fuel than all her escorts combined plus a nice margin over that and the Japanese weren’t flush with fuel even before Pearl Harbor.
Thanks iowamark. I’m gonna go see this when they open up down here.
It's not the same SF my father knew. They just renamed a street in GG Park after Pelosi. She and the libs have trashed almost everything having to do with the military. Back in the 1950s my dad would take me to the National Guard Armory in the Mission District, where I could admire all the military vehicles. Likewise many trips to Hunters Point where ships were serviced, the Presidio, Treasure Island naval base and Alameda base where he worked. All gone now, no military presence in SF. Back then, no big deal for him to drive a jeep and park in front of our home, in full uniform and gear. You don't see that in SF any more. It used to be conservative and a nice place to live - before the mid-1960s.
The Japanese captured the Dutch East Indies with their huge oil supplies, early in the war. Fuel only became a problem when they had lost all or nearly all their tankers late in the war.
I agree the Yamato was not supplied with enough anti-aircraft but it was probably not even possible to put enough. The Musashi added a large number of anti-aircraft guns and even they were not enough.
That is why I mentioned she would have to return to the safety of the Lae air defenses. The Lae squadron was the best in the entire Japanese Navy. We would not have risked our few aircraft carriers in their coverage area. The zero had a greater range than our planes too.
I had no idea the Japanese were short on ammo. If so the Yamato could have been an escort for the smaller and older battleships which got beaten eventually by the North Carolina and, I think South Dakota. Night fighting was what the Japanese were best at early in the war.
I miss that ship. I spent most of the winter of ‘84 on the forcastle after work listening to Van Halen while watching dolphins swim a foot in front of the ship.
The Iowa was good duty.... :)
The problem was that they were constrained in the amount of fuel they could get to the fleet at any one time. They didn’t have a pipeline and they were constrained to their tankers. This meant that for any given volume of fuel, they could have run the Yamato by itself on one mission - or run the entire rest of the fleet on more than one mission. Bang for the buck wasn’t there with the Yamato, and that was the fuel problem. They couldn’t get enough fuel to the front fast enough to get the Yamato to run on regular missions as well as the rest of the fleet.
Musashi didn’t get her AA armament upgrade until late in the war as well, and her end was also late enough in the war that US forces had more than rebounded from Pearl Harbor (1944), so yes, by that point it was irrelevant - but during the Guadalcanal campaign, it would have been critical as at that point we didn’t have the forces in the area to simply throw at an objective until it went away, as we could later in the war.
The Japanese had thought the war was going to be one of battleship duels and had concentrated all of their 18” shell production on AP, star, marker, etc., etc., and had pretty much ignored HE and frag. They had a huge mountain of shells for the Yamato and Musashi... of the completely wrong kind to actually do anything effective for shore bombardment. Even the secondary armament didn’t have much useful and they were not dual-purpose guns.
Also, the Japanese ‘advantages’ at night fighting consisted largely of the fact that their torpedoes worked and ours didn’t. The other advantage was that the US radar at that time was basically useless close in against cluttered island chains and such and therefore was negated - and the Japanese had superior optical rangefinders.
“They couldnt get enough fuel to the front fast enough to get the Yamato to run on regular missions as well as the rest of the fleet.”
Not quite true...
The Japanese solved this problem for most of the war by stationing the battlewagons at Brunei, close to both the oil, and the refineries.
It was only after the fall of the Phillipines that this became untenable, and the surving big ships returned to Japan.
Also, Yamato was heavily damaged in 1943 by a torpedo hit that almost sunk it. It made her captain and crew aware of how important Damage Control was to modern fighting, and they trained heavily for it, one of the few IJN ships to take it seriously.
Except the Yamato was never at Brunei. It spent most of the war at Truk, about
Yamato’s officers and crew may have been aware of damage control issues and trained for it - but the problem is the vessel was not constructed with advanced damage control in mind. A hit that a South Dakota could take and keep fighting due to the damage control technology built into the ship would have (and eventually did) gut Yamato. Same reason why when our carriers took the same kinds of hits that sunk the major IJN carriers, they didn’t. For example, using your aviation fuel tanks as structural elements of the hull is generally a BAD idea, yet the Japanese did exactly that with their carriers.
A good example of just how important damage control was, look at USS Gambier Bay during the Battle off Samar. Yamato closed to point blank range and pounded the crap out of Gambier Bay, a tiny escort carrier. Despite relentless fire from Yamato and the rest of the IJN fleet, the carrier held together long enough for almost 800 of her compliment of 860 to get off - she stayed afloat for almost an hour after Yamato finally got her range, and 17 minutes after the abandon ship order was finally given. The reverse scenario, a Japanese carrier caught by a surface force, usually ended up being over very quickly with few survivors.
Er, Yamato spent the war more than 4100km/2100 miles away from Brunei. Fuel had to be tankered out to her, and by the time it got there, the local command had to decide whether they’d fuel Yamato or the rest of the fleet that was there.
Did they ever replace the center turret that exploded?
From this article, it indicates that the damaged turret was never repaired, although the parts necessary to do so were procured before the ship was retired in 1990.
Go to (Combined Fleet)
for an interesting analysis of WW-II battleships.
Tabular record of Yamato’s movements
Thanks, that was interesting reading.
Sometimes there is no doubt who is running this show.