Clio Logo

Battleship USS Iowa is an iconic warship and a symbol of American military might and freedom. It was launched on August 27, 1942 and was the first of a new fleet of "fast" battleships. It served from WWII until 2011 with periods of deactivation. It is now a museum.

  • The USS Iowa served in the Navy from 1942 until 2011, with periods of deactivation and placement in reserve fleets.
  • USS iowa Warship poster
  • "USS Iowa (BB-61): The Story of The Big Stick from 1940 to the Present," by David Doyle (see link below)
The USS Iowa was the fourth ship in the US Navy to be named after the 29th state and was the only ship of her class to serve in the Atlantic Ocean during WWII. Another distinction is that President Franklin D. Roosevelt sailed on the Iowa across the Atlantic to Algeria to reach a very important meeting with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin. FDR ordered a hot tub to be installed (it was not possible for him to stand) for the journey. An elevator was also installed so he could easily move around the ship.

The USS Iowa served a distinguished career in the American military from WWII until 1958. It participated in the bombardment of Japan in preparation for a possible U.S. invasion (the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima soon ended the war) and remained active during the post-Korean War period. It was sent to the Atlantic reserve fleet where it remained until it was reactivated in 1982 to strengthen the U.S. Navy against the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, the American government started to make cuts to the military and the Iowa was sent to the reserve fleet once again until 2011, when it finally became a museum.  

Morrison, Geoffrey. "The Big Stick: A photo tour of the battleship USS Iowa." CNET. January 12, 2016.

"Our Story
." Pacific Battleship Center. Accessed May 27, 2015.