USS Iowa’s Big Guns

ia-bigguns-pacific-drill-1-copy

(Iowa’s 16” guns at work during a drill in the Pacific.)

Another BIG feature of USS Iowa is the 16” guns. There are 9 of them, 3 in each of 3 turrets. Two of the turrets are forward of the bridge. The third is to the stern. When the guns were operational, they could fire a shell of approximately 2,700 lbs.–roughly the weight of a Mini Cooper car–a distance of 23 miles.

mc-speaking-under-guns

(Captain John McCrea speaking under the guns of the aft turret.)

When I was 12 or 13, I had occasion to have lunch on board the USS Missouri, one of Iowa’s sister ships, as a guest of the ship’s commanding officer. After lunch I had a tour of the ship, including one of the 16” gun turrets. I was able to get my head and shoulders into a gun barrel. (They wouldn’t let me go in any further.)

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