World War II:
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.
To Sea for shakedown in Chesapeake Bay and along Atlantic Coast.
Completion of mission with return of FDR to the United States.
Perhaps the only bathtub installed for a President on an American warship, the tub 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 Tehran Conference in November 1943. After the conference she returned the President to the United States.
First Pacific campaign in support of carrier air strikes against Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atolls.
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.
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.
In support of Task group 58, air strikes against Palau and Woleai islands, followed by further strikes against Hollandia, Aitape and Wake Islands.
Supporting Army landing at Aitape, Tanahmerah and Humbolt Bays.
Bombardment of airfield, bombs wharf and other enemy facilities at Ponape.
Shelled Saipan and Tinian and blew up an ammunition dump.
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.
A unit of Fleet Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey’s third Fleet in support of carrier strikes against Philippine and Caroline Islands.
Participating in air strikes against Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan and Luzon.
Headed for Battle of Leyte Gulf.
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.
Arrives off Okinawa to relieve USS NEW JERSEY.
Supported air strikes against Kyushu.
USS IOWA, USS MISSOURI and USS WISCONSIN attacked Muroran on Hokkaido inflicting significant damage on Nihon Steel Company and Wanishi Ironworks.
The three battleships bombard industrial city of Hitachi Miro. During this action, USS IOWA served as flagship for Rear Admiral Oscar Badger.
July 29 – 30, 1945
In Morrell Drydock at Terminal Island Shipyard, Los Angeles, California.
Arrived in Tokyo Bay to serve as flagship of Fifth Fleet until March.
Returned to Long Beach to operate along West Coast conducting drills, maneuvers and Naval Reserve and midshipmen training cruises.