(USS Iowa’s anti-aircraft guns in the Pacific 1944)
I have been honored with an invitation to give a talk about my stepfather’s WWII memoir, Captain McCrea’s War, on board the battleship USS Iowa on September 23, 2017 at 3pm. My stepfather was Vice Admiral John L. McCrea, the first commanding officer of Iowa, commissioned on Washington’s birthday in 1943. Under McCrea’s command, she carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the US Joint Chiefs of Staff across the Atlantic to North Africa and then fought with the Fast Carrier Task Force in the Pacific. The ship is now a museum in San Pedro, CA, the harbor of Los Angeles. Iowa is the first of the four largest battleships ever built by the United States. It was on Iowa’s sister ship, USS Missouri, that the Japanese surrendered on September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay.
I am excited by the opportunity to tour the ship that I have heard so much about. I am eager to see the massive superstructure; the huge 16” guns capable of essentially hurling a VW bug for 20 miles; the special bathtub installed for President Roosevelt in the captain’s cabin; the bridge where my stepfather’s favorite portrait was photographed; and the decks where Iowa’s mascot, Vickie the dog, played fetch with the bluejackets. In this blog [https://captainmccreaswar.com/blog/] during the next few weeks I will be posting photos of the ship taken in 1943 and -44.