Last weekend, we were pleased to meet up with a friend from New Zealand, Phil Rickerby. Phil attends our church back home, and he had spent the previous month back-packing around Canada, before spending a week in California. We invited Phil to spend the weekend with us, so we drove down to LA to pick him up. Before we headed back home, we went to San Pedro to tour around the USS Iowa battleship.
The USS Iowa, known as the “Battleship of Presidents,” since it has hosted more US presidents than any other battleship, including Roosevelt, Reagan and George H. W. Bush, opened as a museum in July, 2012. The tour on the battleship is essentially self-guided, which takes approximately 90 minutes. While the museum is still being completed, there are several guides stationed around the battleship to answer any questions, and an interesting gift store. Of particular interest is the bathtub that was installed specifically for President Roosevelt.
Built in 1940, the USS Iowa saw four decades of action through World War 2, the Korean War and the Cold War. In 1989, an explosion occurred in the Number Two 16-inch gun turret during a firing exercise, in which 47 crew members were killed and over a dozen injured. This proved to blight, an otherwise impeccable record of the battleship during it’s time in action. After finally being decommissioned in 1990, the battleship was used as a training vessel, until it’s arrival in the Port of Los Angeles.