World War II

World War II:

Launched on August 27, 1940, the USS IOWA battleship would head for Newfoundland and the North Atlantic just three years later for her first war patrol during World War II.

1940
Jun 27

Keel Laid Down

Keel Laid Down

Keel laid down at New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, New York.

1942
Aug 27

Launched

Launched at New York Naval Yard. Sponsored by Mrs. Henry A. Wallace, wife of the Vice President. Her sleek lines and raked bow foretells her high speed.

1943
Feb 22

USS IOWA Commissioned

USS IOWA Commissioned

Commissioned (On Washington’s Birthday), Commanding Officer Captain John L. McCrea USN.

Feb 24

Start of Shakedown Cruise

To Sea for shakedown in Chesapeake Bay and along Atlantic Coast.

Jul 09

Post Shakedown Overhaul Complete

Post Shakedown Overhaul Complete

USS IOWA completed her post shakedown overhaul.

Aug 27

Heading to North Atlantic

Heading to North Atlantic

En Route to Newfoundland and the North Atlantic for her first war patrol. The assignment called the “Tirpitz Watch” (a German battleship) contributed to the neutralization of the threat presented by that warship then poised in Norwegian waters.

Oct 25

Waiting in Norfolk Navy Yard

Waiting in Norfolk Navy Yard

To Norfolk Navy Yard for two weeks of maintenance in preparation for taking President Roosevelt to North Africa for Tehran Conference.

Nov 12

The Tehran Conference

The Tehran Conference

En route to Mediterranean with FDR and other high-ranking members of American delegation to Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria and then Tehran. The Tehran Conference was with Stalin and Churchill.

Nov 27

First Equator Crossing

First Equator Crossing

King Neptune makes his appearance at Iowa’s (BB-61) first equator crossing

Dec 16

FDR Heads Back to the USA

FDR Heads Back to the USA

Completion of mission with return of FDR to United States.

The bathtub on the battleship Iowa is the only bathtub on a United States Navy warship. It was installed as a convenience for President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he crossed the Atlantic Ocean to meet with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Secretary General Joseph Stalin at Casablanca, Morocco on the first leg of the journey to the Teheran Conference in November 1943. After the conference she returned the President to the United States.

1944
Jan 02

En Route to the Pacific

En Route to the Pacific

En Route to Pacific as Flagship of Battleship Division 7, in company with USS NEW JERSEY. The USS IOWA became a charter member of the famous Pacific Fleet Task Force 58.

Jan 07

Transit the Panama Canal

Transit the Panama Canal
Jan 23

First Pacific Campaign

First Pacific campaign in support of carrier air strikes against Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atolls.

Feb 16

First Firing of Weapons in Combat

First firing of weapons in combat in attack on Japanese naval base at Truk in Caroline Islands. In action off Truk, the USS IOWA sank light cruiser Katori.

Mar 18

First Shore Bombardment Against Mili Atoll

First shore bombardment against Mili Atoll in Marshall Islands. The USS IOWA received her first hit when she was struck by two Japanese projectiles (5 inch and 6 inch). The 6 inch projectile hit Turret 2 and the 5 inch projectile hit the hull plating, neither of which caused significant damage.

Mar 30

Task Group 58 Support

In support of Task group 58, air strikes against Palau and Woleai islands, followed by further strikes against Hollandia, Aitape and Wake Islands.

Apr 22

Aitape

Supporting Army landing at Aitape, Tanahmerah and Humbolt Bays.

May 01

Ponape

Bombardment of airfield, bombs wharf and other enemy facilities at Ponape.

Jun 13

Shelling of Saipan and Tinian

Shelled Saipan and Tinian and blew up an ammunition dump.

Jun 19

Battle of Philippine Sea

Battle of Philippine Sea

In action throughout battle of the Philippine Sea. Downed at least three attacking planes.

Aug 01

Captain Allan R. McCann is Commanding Officer from Aug – Nov

Captain Allan R. McCann is Commanding Officer from Aug – Nov

In 1941-44, Captain McCann led two submarine squadrons, served in important positions at the Navy Department and was commanding officer of the battleship Iowa (BB-61) from August – November 1944. After promotion to the rank of Rear Admiral, he was Chief of Staff to Commander, Tenth Fleet, served with the Atlantic Fleet and Commanded Task Force 68, which escorted President Harry S. Truman to and from the Potsdam Conference.

Sep 01

Part of Admiral Halsey’s 3rd Fleet

A unit of Fleet Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey’s third Fleet in support of carrier strikes against Philippine and Caroline Islands.

Oct 10

Air Strikes

Participating in air strikes against Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan and Luzon.

Oct 23

Battle of Leyte Gulf

Headed for Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Nov 01

Captain James Lemuel Holloway, Jr. Assumes Command

Captain James Lemuel Holloway, Jr. Assumes Command

Captain James Lemuel Holloway, Jr. assumed command of the battleship Iowa (BB-61), flagship of Battleship Division 7, in November 1944.

Nov 25

Kamikaze Attack

Kamikaze Attack

Kamikaze attack on Third Fleet. USS IOWA claimed two Jills and a Judy.

Dec 17

In Drydock in Ulithi

In Drydock in Ulithi

At Ulithi for replenishment and maintenance in drydock ABSD-2. Lost plane – washed over the side during typhoon.

As one crew member recounts, “It was a very scary night, the Iowa rolled to about a 45 degree angle at one point and we all held our breaths that it wouldn’t happen again. As our luck went, it happened at meal time so you can imagine the condition of the deck in the mess hall.”

There were 24 ships damaged, plus the destroyers Monoghan, Hull, and Spence which were sunk with a loss of 765 sailors. Damage to shaft caused by storm required USS IOWA to return to the United States for overhaul at Hunters Point Shipyard, San Francisco in the following month.

1945
Jan 15

First Major Overhaul

First Major Overhaul

In drydock until March 19, 1945. This was the first major overhaul since leaving the East Coast. Bridge area was enclosed. New search and fire control radar installed.

Apr 15

Okinawa

Arrives off Okinawa to relieve USS NEW JERSEY.

May 25

Kyushu

Supported air strikes against Kyushu.

Jul 01

En Route to Northern Honshu and Hokkaido

En Route to Northern Honshu and Hokkaido
Jul 01

Captain Charles Wellborn Jr. Becomes Commanding Officer

Captain Charles Wellborn Jr. Becomes Commanding Officer
Jul 15

Attack on Hokkaido

USS IOWA, USS MISSOURI and USS WISCONSIN attacked Muroran on Hokkaido inflicting significant damage on Nihon Steel Company and Wanishi Ironworks.

Jul 17

Bombardment of Hitachi Miro

The three battleships bombard industrial city of Hitachi Miro. During this action, USS IOWA served as flagship for Rear Admiral Oscar Badger.

Jul 29

Bombarded island of Kahoolawe

July 29 – 30, 1945

Aug 27

With the USS Missouri

With the USS Missouri

In company with USS MISSOURI, USS IOWA put into Sagami Bay to effect the surrender of Yokosuka naval district.

Aug 29

Tokyo Bay

Tokyo Bay

USS IOWA and USS MISSOURI entered Tokyo Bay in support of landing of occupation forces to take place next day.

Aug 30

Secured the Japanese Battleship Nagato

Secured the Japanese Battleship Nagato

Sailors from the USS Iowa, Underwater Demolition Team 18, and the high-speed transport USS Horace A. Bass secured the Japanese battleship Nagato. Captain Cornelius Flynn, executive officer of the Iowa, assumed command.

Sep 02

V-J Day

V-J Day

Cover of the V-J Day Booklet issued for the Iowa (BB-61) on 2 September 1945.

Sep 20

Underway for the United States

Oct 15

Arrival in Seattle WA

Arrival in Seattle WA

Arrived in Seattle, Washington and from there went on to Long Beach where she engaged in training operations along the West Coast.

Nov 01

Captain Frederick I. Entwistle USN Takes Over as Commanding Officer

Captain Frederick I. Entwistle USN Takes Over as Commanding Officer
Dec 16

Drydock in Los Angeles CA

In Morrell Drydock at Terminal Island Shipyard, Los Angeles, California.

1946
Jan 27

Arrival in Tokyo Bay

Arrived in Tokyo Bay to serve as flagship of Fifth Fleet until March.

Mar 25

Returned to America

Returned to Long Beach to operate along West Coast conducting drills, maneuvers and Naval Reserve and midshipmen training cruises.

Jul 01

Captain Raymond D. Tarbuck USN Becomes Commanding Officer

Captain Raymond D. Tarbuck USN Becomes Commanding Officer
Oct 01

Overhauled in Puget Sound Navy Yard

Overhauled in Puget Sound Navy Yard

USS IOWA again overhauled. This time it was at Puget Sound Navy Yard. She received SK-2 radar and had many 20mm and 40mm mounts removed. Then was painted haze gray on all vertical surfaces.

1947
Apr 01

Captain Thomas M. Stokes USN Becomes Commanding Officer

Captain Thomas M. Stokes USN Becomes Commanding Officer
1948
Mar 08

Captain Edward A. Solomons, USN Becomes Commanding Officer

Captain Edward A. Solomons, USN Becomes Commanding Officer
Aug 01

Captain William F. Jennings, USN Becomes Commanding Officer

Captain William F. Jennings, USN Becomes Commanding Officer