IOWA Is Big

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(This photo shows Iowa’s commissioning ceremony at the NY Navy Yard on February 22, 1943. The ceremony took place on the stern of the ship under the 16-inch guns of the ship’s third big gun turret)

As I selected photographs for my talk on December 7th at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, I was struck once again by the enormous size of USS Iowa. She is the first of the Iowa class battleships, the largest battleships ever built by the United States. Her length is 887 feet, about the size of 3 football fields laid end to end. Her beam (width) is 108 feet. She was designed to be able to pass through the Panama Canal with a mere 22 inches of clearance, 11 inches on either side.

However, statistics fail to capture the size of the ship. This shot shows Iowa’s bow with 2 of her three 16-inch gun turrets. The photo was taken from sky patrol, where men with binoculars surveyed the ship’s surroundings.

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(In this photo, taken at Iowa’s christening and launch on August 2, 1942, her hull dwarfs the onlookers on the side of the launching ramp)

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(This shot shows a portion of Iowa’s superstructure)

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