In The News

Battleship USS Iowa's 'Living Museum'

Joe Bensuoa / Contributing Writer
Orange County Register
July 4, 2016

They call her “The Big Stick.”

It’s a nickname aptly earned.

She’s the battleship USS Iowa, still bristling with firepower after being decommissioned and harbored as a floating museum in the Port of Los Angeles’ Berth 87 since July 4, 2012.

Four years later, in time for another Fourth of July weekend, the Iowa will unveil its revamped “museum within a museum,” which relates the history of this fighting ship from its inception in 1943 to its last decommissioning in 1990. Its ribbon-cutting ceremony, which is open to all visitors who purchase a tour ticket, is set for Thursday.

“We are constantly evolving in our efforts to show what life was like on this battleship,” said Andrew Bossenmeyer of Anaheim, spokesman for the Pacific Battleship Center, which oversees the USS Iowa and its more than 1,200 volunteers.

An interactive tour app is included in the price of admission. According to Bossenmeyer, it allows the visitor to get a sense of day-to-day life on the ship, including what it was like to fire the 16-inch guns.

The revamped museum features a 360-degree panorama of images detailing the ship’s compartments, particularly areas closed off to the public for safety. Click on a photo and you can see it from every angle as it rotates.

Arguably the most important addition to the museum is a station dedicated to one incredibly tragic day in the life of the Iowa.


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Cool Off on a Hot Battleship: The Battleship Iowa in Long Beach

volunteer talks with boy

Franklin D. Roosevelt's flagship for trip to Tehran to meet Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin in 1943

Battleships, once thought to be the ultimate weapon, are now a relic of the past. For a chance to visit this past - and enjoy 360-degree breeze-swept views of Los Angeles Harbor, the USS Iowa at Berth 87, is a great place to go.

A self-guided tour takes one in and out of sailors' quarters, mess halls and up and down ladders leading to almost all levels of the ship's significant superstructure and winding around the impressive armaments. It's easy to get distracted by views of yachts sailing in and out of the channel and the work of the giant cranes unloading ships from China.

The USS Iowa, Battleship 61, was constructed beginning in 1939 and completed in 1942. She's the only battleship of her class to have served in the Atlantic during World War II. Her biggest claim to fame is possibly the special quarters created for Franklin D. Roosevelt for his trip to Tehran to meet with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin in 1943. A bathtub - the only one in the entire navy - was installed in his quarters as well as an elevator to transport him between decks. Roosevelt had suffered polio and was paralyzed from the waist down.

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Noel MassieL.A. WATERFRONT, CA (February 11, 2016) – Pacific Battleship Center (PBC) has selected Noel Massieto be this year’s recipient of the Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Leadership & Service Award. The award celebration will take place on board Battleship IOWA during a brief ceremony on Thursday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m.

Massie is President for United Parcel Service’s (UPS) Southern California District, where he is responsible for a $190 million budget and oversees every aspect of the district’s operation, including sales and customer relationships. The Southern California District services the Southland, Hawaii, as well as the southern tip of Nevada and currently has over 20,000 employees and services more than 144,000 customers. Noel lives in Yorba Linda with his wife, Amanda and have two sons, Brayden and Pierce.

“Noel Massie’s life and career bear all the hallmarks of Vice Admiral Gravely’s legacy. His path has been one of commitments kept, opportunities seized, potential realized, and humbly accepting the rewards of his education and work ethic,” said Jonathan Williams, President and CEO of PBC.  “His dedication and leadership is an example of the ideals and values that Vice Admiral Gravely displayed during his nearly four decades of pioneering naval service.”

The Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Leadership & Service Award, which is conferred annually, recognizes African American leaders in Southern California who exemplify the trailblazing, courageous service of the late U.S. Navy Vice Admiral.

This event is part of a month long celebration of Black History aboard Battleship IOWA. A display entitled “Celebrating the American Spirit – Battleship IOWA Salutes Black History Month,” is currently part of the historic ship’s tour through February 29 and features artifacts, news clippings, and photography focusing on pioneering black servicemen including Samuel L. Gravely (1922-2004).

The Battleship IOWA Museum is open to the public daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Consider taking the new Silver Line Express from Downtown LA to Battleship IOWA. For information on these events and more, please visit


About Battleship IOWA

Owned and operated by the nonprofit PBC, Battleship IOWA has become a popular destination at the L.A. Waterfront.  PBC’s goal is to share the devotion and sacrifices of American patriots and to engage visitors in unique and exciting ways that bring the ship to life by connecting the past with the future.  Battleship IOWA is regularly open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For more information about this series and Battleship IOWA, please visit and for live streaming

About Admiral Samuel L. Gravely

Gravely’s naval career lasted 38 years and included many unique milestones for him and the U.S. Navy.  In 1952, he reported aboard USS Iowa for duty as a radio communications officer.  His later accomplishments served as watershed events for today’s Navy. Gravely was the first African American to command a warship (USS Theodore E. Chandler (DD 717)); command a major warship (USS Jouett (DLG 29)); to achieve flag rank and eventually vice admiral; and to command a numbered fleet (U.S. 3rd).  Throughout his career, Gravely received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal.  The destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), commissioned in 2010, was named in his honor. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 82 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

About Noel Massie

Massie began his career at UPS in 1977 as a part-time truck loader in Oakland, California. At the same time, he was studying electrical engineering at San Jose State. His bosses noticed his work ethic and within three months had promoted him to supervisor. Three years later, and a semester before graduation, he was offered a full-time position as manager. Massie continued to thrive within UPS and his talents for motivation and leadership were noticed and rewarded. From starting in operations, he has spent time within engineering, learning and development, and was relocated to Atlanta to work in UPS’s corporate headquarters. Noel’s various assignments have afforded him the opportunity to work in the eastern, western, northern, and southern parts of the U.S. Prior to his current assignment, Noel served as President for UPS’s Chicago, Virginia, Southeast California and Central California districts.

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'Man, this is not a drill,' survivor remembers Pearl Harbor attack

Seventy-four years ago, Howard Bender, 93, was aboard the USS Maryland in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, when he heard the sounds of war.

“I remember it all,” the Laguna Woods resident said. “I was in my office getting ready to do all my reports when I heard something go off.”

Bender went to the porthole window of his office and saw chaos outside.

(Click for full story)

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October 2015 News Round Up

October 2015 News Round Up

Battleship IOWA news

"Millennials give more than most, a survey of charity travel finds"

LA Times: American travelers care about the communities they visit and want to give back when they're on the road. It's especially true of millennials, those in the 18- to 35-year-old age group who give more of their time and money than the average traveler.

The findings come from recently released survey results by Tourism Cares called "Good Travels: The Philanthropic Profile of the American Traveler."

The good news: More than half of American travelers have volunteered or made a monetary donation to a place they visited in the last two years.

[Click to Read More] 

"USS Iowa celebrates Hispanic Heritage Day."

Examiner: Battleship Iowa in San Pedro celebrated Hispanic Heritage Day Saturday afternoon to honor the contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans that served in the United States Armed Forces.

The five hour cultural event was free to the general public complete with Mexican cuisine provided by My Steelo Catering and entertainment performed by Folklorico Del Mar and the Mariachi Academy of Carson.

David Canfield, Vice-President of the Pacific Battleship Center began opening ceremonies by paying tribute to the American spirit and by presenting the US Marine Corp Color Guards of Bell California — followed with a prayer by Pastor Douglas (Gunny) Williams and the National Anthem.

District representative Herman Castillo from the office of Congresswoman Janice Hahn and Senator Isadore Hall III made brief statements in honor of Hispanic Heritage Day and the Battleship IOWA before presenting certificates of recognition honoring five local Hispanic American veterans; Louis Ybarra, Charles (Charlie) Valle, Louis Dominguez, and Manuel Torres who was unable to attend Saturday's event — Louis Ybarra accepted the certificate on Mr. Torres' behalf.

[Click to Read More]

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Families Gather Aboard Battleship IOWA in honor of 9/11 Victims

People gathered on the Battleship Iowa Friday to honor victims of 9/11 as part of the 14th anniversary of the terror attacks, including a mother and father who lost their son on that fateful day.

Mike and Barbara Newton attended the memorial in San Pedro which honored 40 first responders killed in New York, but they say they are not alone as they stand for their son Christopher Newton who died when his flight was hijacked by terrorists crashing into the Pentagon that day.

"After 9/11, we always traveled back to the Pentagon," said Mike Newton.

Christopher Newton left two children, including one son who graduated two years ago from the Naval Academy, and while their family is closer than ever, they say forgiveness is a process.

"You either let it destroy you or you try to concentrate on what is good, what is left, not just what you've lost," said Barbara Newton.

The Newton family says they will never forget Christopher's many great accomplishments as a father, Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster, and say he would have done much more.

"The world lost a good person; it lost many good people that day. We're not alone in that," said Barbara Newton.

(Click to view KABC7 Video)

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Patriot Day 2015: Honoring the Fallen First Responders of 9/11 on the Battleship Iowa

The bell aboard the USS Iowa in San Pedro chimed after the names of 40 first responders who died during 911 were read during as special ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the terror attacks in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

(Click to view Mini-Documentary video)

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Los Angeles Navy Days Concludes

America's Navy: LOS ANGELES (NNS) -- The 18th annual Navy Days Los Angeles concluded Aug. 10 when visiting U.S. Navy ships, the guided-missile cruisers USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and USS Cape St. George (CG 71), the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) and nearly 1,000 Sailors departed from the Port of Los Angeles.

Navy Days

The six day fleet week, allowed visitors to tour the ships and meet Sailors, becoming informed about how U.S. Navy ships and crews function.

"This was a great opportunity for Sailors of the visiting ships to showcase the quality of its personnel to local citizens," said Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Vice Adm. Nora W. Tyson. "I want to thank the citizens of Los Angeles for being such gracious hosts and giving us the opportunity to showcase what the Navy has to offer."

The Navy's participation in L.A. Navy Days demonstrated to area leaders and the general public that the Navy remains an essential tool of national defense and a viable career opportunity for young men and women.

The event welcomed thousands of people this weekend for reserved ship tours and a free barbeque pierside in front of the Battleship USS Iowa Museum, as the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple Band played patriotic favorites from the deck of Iowa.

"It's very humbling to get the opportunity to step foot on a Navy ship," said Zina Beshara, a native of Los Angeles. "After receiving a tour of the ship and seeing everything these Sailors do, it gives me a whole new perspective of what these brave men and women sacrifice for our freedom."

In addition to the ship tours, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) expo was held, which was hosted at the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Terminal.

STEM is an initiative and educational program designed to provide students with opportunities to be successful in the various career fields associated with STEM. Its purpose within schools is to help impassion students to pursue careers in these disciplines.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit

[Original Link]



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Visit our youtube channel for footage from Navy Days LA 2015!

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Welcome to Los Angeles!

US Navy active duty ships arrive at the Port of Los Angeles for Navy Days LA 2015! Here are some highlights:

Navy Days LA 2015

Active-duty ships arrive in San Pedro for Navy Days L.A.

With cameras and binoculars primed, a group of spectators waited Tuesday at the edge of a Port of Los Angeles wharf for the last of three active-duty Navy ships sailing in for Navy Days L.A.

“There it is,” some of them said, pointing to a gray, shadowy silhouette just beyond the breakwater.

As the USS Cape St. George, a guided missile cruiser, glided by — with a spray escort from Los Angeles Fire Boat No. 2 and crew members standing at the rails in their summer whites — scattered applause broke out.

Earlier in the day, the USS Bunker Hill, also a guided missile cruiser, and the USS Halsey, a guided missile destroyer, arrived in port and parked in front of the Battleship Iowa. All three ships will welcome thousands of people on board this weekend for reserved free ship tours.

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Navy Days LA 2015

KTLA: Navy Days LA 2015

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Navy Days LA 2015


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