USS Iowa - Final Voyage
Permanently Docked in San Pedro
By Marianne Schwab | Best Travel Deals Tips Blog
Remembering and honoring our American history is one of the ways to appreciate the price paid for our freedom in this country. The USS Iowa is one of the most historic battleships of World War II and on June 9, 2012, she made her final voyage and I was on so blessed to be on board this historic trip.
The USS Iowa has had a permanent home in San Pedro since that date and has become a very popular tourist attraction on the West Coast where you'll also find the USS Midway aircraft carrier permanently docked in San Diego -- about one hundred miles south of San Pedro. For military history buffs, both of these ships are must see attractions along with the Queen Mary, permanently docked in Long Beach, since it transported thousands of soldiers home to America from Europe after the war.
Since you couldn't be on the final voyage of the USS Iowa, I'd like to share my recollections of being a part of the special event that began at Berth 52 at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California.
After six tug boats towed the USS Iowa into the main channel, we then traveled a short distance of about four miles but took the long way to the ship's new permanent home by first passing Berth 87 to stretch out its last journey.
There were about 800 invited guests on board the 887-foot-long and 175-foot-tall battleship to participate in the historic ride including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and U.S. Navy veterans who served on the USS Iowa.
The Port of Los Angeles fire boat put on quite a show for the duration of the voyage through the main channel.
Commissioned in 1943, The USS Iowa carried President Franklin Roosevelt across the Atlantic during World War II to a meeting with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
A sailor signaled to shore with flags as the USS Iowa was underway through the main channel at the Port of Los Angeles.
Thousands of people gathered along the channel and cheered as the USS Iowa battleship glided by, It was a thrill to wave at the people on shore from on board the USS Iowa where the view was spectacular.
We then traveled under the Vincent Thomas Bridge, a huge suspension bridge farther up the channel before the USS Iowa circled back to dock at the final destination where the ship will open as a naval museum on July 7th.
As the sun set over San Pedro, California, the USS Iowa was permanently docked at her new home at Berth 87.
You can find out more about visiting the USS Iowa and exploring it for yourself at its permanent home at pacificbattleship.com.
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