Battleship USS Iowa Museum

USS Iowa History - Korean Conflict

1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958


August - Commanding Officer Captain William R. Smedberg III, USN

August 25 - Recommissioned due to the escalating level of hostilities in Korea.


USS IowaApril 1 - Underway for Far East to relieve USS WISCONSIN and become flagship of Vice Admiral Robert T. Briscoe, Commander, Seventh Fleet, operating in support of United Nations Forces in Korea.

April 8 - Conducted gun strikes against enemy supply routes in Wonson-Songjin area.

April 9 - Joined bomb line to strike enemy troop concentrations, supply areas and suspected gun positions in vicinity of Suwon Dan and Kojo.

April 13 - Bombardment in support of I ROK Corps, killing 100 enemy troops, destroying six gun emplacements and seriously damaging divisional headquarters.

April 14 - In Wonsan Harbor to bomb warehouses, observation posts and railroad marshaling yards and then back to the bomb line to support UN forces in Kosong area.

April 20 - Operating north of 38th Parallel, the USS IOWA closed four railroad tunnels near Tanchon.

April 25-26 - Bombardment of Chindong and Kosong.

May 25 - In action against North Korean industrial and rail transportation center at Chongjin. Not since the USS MISSOURI bombarded Chongjin in November 1950, had a battleship operated that far north, just forty-eight miles from the Russian border. The USS IOWA effectively destroyed Chongjin's industrial center.

May 27 - Bombardment of Songjin, closing railroad tunnels and seriously damaging area bridges.

USS Iowa Korea

May 28 - Again on bomb line in support of X Corps, followed by gun strikes on islands in Wonsan harbor.

June 1 - Underway for Sasebo and replenishment.

June - Gun strikes against Mayang-do, Tanchon, Chongjin, Chodo-Sokto and ports of Hungnam and Wonsan.

June 9 - USS IOWA'S helicopter rescued downed pilot from USS PRINCETON. Second USS PRINCETON pilot is rescued by USS IOWA's helicopter.

July - Commanding Officer Captain Joshua W. Cooper, USN

August 20 - Went to aid of destroyer USS THOMPSON off Songjin, taking aboard her casualties and covering her escape to safer waters.

September 23 - Gun strikes in Wonsan area observed by General Mark Clark, USA, Commander-In-chief of United Nations Forces who was aboard. IOWA's gunfire destroyed a major ammunition dump.

September 25 - Gun Strikes against railroad and thirty-car train.

October 14 - Participated in Operation Decoy, an attempt to draw enemy troops under fire at Kojo.

October 16 - Provided anti-aircraft support for the USS MOUNT MCKINLEY during Kojo action.  During her Korean tour, the USS IOWA steamed more than 40,000 miles.

October 17 - En route to Norfolk, Virginia for overhaul, followed by training operations in the Caribbean.


July - Commanding Officer Captain Wayne R. Loud, USN

July - Serving as flagship of Second Fleet, USS IOWA was a participant in Operation Mariner, a major NATO exercise in Northern Europe.


June - On Midshipmen training cruise, rendezvous with three other USS IOWA class battleships in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

September - Commanding Officer Captain William C. Bryson, USN


January - Visited Mediterranean, becoming first battleship in the Mediterranean since the war ended. Ports visited Gibraltar; Mers El Kebir, Oran; Genoa & Naples, Italy; Instanbul, Turkey; Athens, Greece; and Cannes, France.

June - Midshipmen Cruise. Visited Barcelonia, Spain and Portsmouth, England. 

August - Norfolk, Virginia for a four-month overhaul , followed by training cruises and operational exercises.

November - Commanding Officer Captain John W. Ailes III, USN

December - Regunned for the first time.


April 13-15 - Visited Havana Cuba.

April 15 - USS IOWA's baseball team played the University of Havana in Havana.

June - Midshipmen Cruise Able 1956. Visited Guantanamo Bay, Bermuda, Portsmouth, England, and Copenhagen, Denmark.

December - Commanding Officer Captain F. Julian Becton USN


January - Returned to Mediterranean for duty with the Sixth Fleet.

June 13 - Participated in International Naval Review off Hampton roads, Virginia.

September - Participate in NATO's Operation strike Back in North Atlantic.


February 24 - Decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard.

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