IOWA class gallery 4

(USS New Jersey image). In May 1984 the ship received another overhaul in which the central 406mm gun of the Turret II was replaced, the propulsion plant was fine-tuned and improvements were made in habitability and communications. During 1985 she conducted a training cruise and various gunnery training exercises. In December she was the first surface ship to successfully launch a Tomahawk cruise missile. During 1986 she carried out a multitude of naval exercises such as “Computex 86-2” and “Transitex 86-3” as well as participating in others with Australian and Thai Navy ships.
(USS New Jersey image). In February 1987 she went into dry dock again to solve painting problems on the bottom of the hull that caused corrosion of her hull in the area of her propellers. These jobs lasted until February 1988. The rest of the year she spent doing some naval exercises such as “Readex 88” or “Westpac / 10” and attending Australia’s bicentennial celebrations. In the summer of 1989, together with the battleship USS Missouri, and the carriers USS Carl Vison and USS Enterprise, she conducted the largest joint maneuvers with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force to that date.
(USS New Jersey image). In 1989 she made his last cruise and participated in the “Pacific Exercise 89” before leaving for the Persian Gulf, where he remained until February 1990. Afterwards he returned to the United States where he was inactive until February 8, 1991, date on that it was decided to deactivate him again. This order prevented her from participating in Operation Desert Storm alongside her sister ships Missouri and Wisconsin and re-proving her worth as a combat ship despite her years of service. During her last reactivation the ship fired a total of 1,752 406mm shells. The BB-62 she was in the reserve fleet until January 1995 when she was retired from the Naval Vessel Register. She, however, was included on this list again in 1996 replacing the USS Iowa and remained on it until 1999 when she was finally authorized to be transferred to an organization that would exhibit it as a museum.
(USS New Jersey image). Two organizations applied to release the BB-62 for museum use, the “Home Port Alliance of Camden”, New Jersey and the “USS New Jersey Battleship Commission of Bayonne”, New Jersey. Finally the Navy selected the Home Port Alliance of Camden and since October 15, 2000 the ship is a floating museum called “Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial”. The New Jersey is anchored in Camden Waterfront, New Jersey and since 2004 is part of the National Register of Historic Places.
USS Missouri BB-63 (on the image) was launched on January 29, 1944 and commissioned on June 11, 1944. She was the last ship of the class to be completed and barely arrived in time to participate in WWII. She arrived in the Ulithi area on January 6, 1945 and in February she managed to shoot down her first Japanese aircraft near Iwo Jima. On April 11 she was hit by a kamikaze that caused only superficial damage and on the 16th she was also hit by another plane that damaged the stern crane. On September 2, the ship would become known worldwide by being chosen to sign the Japanese surrender on its deck, ending WWII. The Missouri fired 1,084 406mm shells during her brief participation in WWII.
Missouri continued her service after WWII, mainly carrying out representation tasks or showing the flag in different parts of the Globe as well as carrying out naval exercises and training midshipmen. On January 17, 1950, the ship ran hard aground at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay during a routine training operation. She was going at 12 knots and it was estimated that the Missouri had a ground loading of about 11,700 tons. After two weeks of hard work, 11,758 tons of ammunition, fuel and supplies were landed to reduce the ground loading to 1,000 tons. The rescue work was very complicated, even draining a deep channel to facilitate its movement to the main channel. On February 1, with the help of 13 tugboats and various support vessels (on the image), the ship was freed. This operation cost $225,000, plus the cost of necessary repairs to the bottom.
(USS Missouri image). It was the first battleship to arrive in Korea and carried out its first firing mission on September 15, 1950, within the operations included during the Incheon landings. She served in Korea for three different periods between September 1950 and April 1953, adding up to almost a year in the war. She flew carrier escort, gunfire support and shore bombardment missions, firing a total of 6,979 406mm shells. The Missouri carried out training missions for midshipmen until the end of August 1954 when it was decided to deactivate her. She was finally decommissioned on February 26, 1955, staying in Bremerton with the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
USS Missouri (on the image) became the main tourist attraction in Bremerton, Washington for almost 30 years, receiving some 250,000 visits a year. However, in January 1984, and despite the resistance of the city authorities, the Navy decided to reactivate the ship within its program called the “600-ship Navy”. In May 1984 the ship departed for the Long Beach Naval Yard to receive an extensive modernization, (similar to that of her sister ships), which made her ready for action again. On May 10, 1986, the Missouri, or “Mighty Mo” as she was affectionately nicknamed, was recommissioned in San Francisco.
In September 1986 BB-63 (on the image) began a circumnavigation of the world, the first by an American battleship since the Great White Fleet’s in 1907-09. Coincidentally, the other battleship USS Missouri (BB-11) also participated in that fleet. From January to May 1987 the ship received an overhaul that included a new Halon 1301 fire-fighting system in the emergency-diesel-generator rooms, improvements to the steering system and general repairs. In September she was sent to the Arabian Sea to escort American tankers through the Strait of Hormuz. In 1988 she successfully fired several Tomahawk missiles during the “Rimpac 88” joint maneuvers with Canadian, Australian and Japanese ships.
In November 1990, the USS Missouri was sent to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Following Saddam Hussein’s refusal to withdraw from Kuwait, Operation Desert Storm began on January 15, 1991. In the early hours of the 17th, the Missouri launched its first Tomahawk missile against Iraqi targets, followed by another 27 missiles until the 22nd. On February 2, it fired 8 406mm shells at a command and control bunker, and on February 5, it launched another 10 against an artillery battery with devastating effect.
From February 6 to 8, she fired 112 406mm shells at bunkers, guns, tanks and armored vehicles as it advanced towards Kuwait City. On the 11th and 12th she sent another 60 “errands” to Khafji before heading towards Faylaka Island. On the 23rd and 24th, it fired 133 406mm shells in four bombing missions over Faylaka Island as part of a diversionary operation on Iraqi defenses, which responded by launching two HY-2 Silkworm anti-ship missiles. One of them fell into the sea shortly after being fired and the other was intercepted by Sea Dart missiles launched by the British destroyer HMS Gloucester. After the end of hostilities on February 28, the “Mighty Mo” returned to the United States on March 21. During the Gulf War the ship fired a total of 783 406mm shells.
In September 1991 the deactivation of the USS Missouri (on the image) was decreed, but it was decided to delay this order so that it could participate in the 50th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Following these acts the vessel departed for Long Beach where she was officially decommissioned on March 31, 1992. She was then transferred to Puget Sound alongside the Reserve Fleet until January 1995, when she was removed from the Naval Vessel Register. During the years of service after her last activation, she fired a total of 2,699 406mm rounds. In May 1998 the ship was donated to the “USS Missouri Memorial Association (MMA)” of Honolulu, Hawaii, for use as a floating museum. On January 29, 1999, the Missouri opened its doors to the public in a place located 460 meters from the USS Arizona Memorial, in Pearl Harbor.
USS Wisconsin BB-64 (on the image) was launched on December 7, 1943 and commissioned on April 16, 1944. On September 24, she sailed for the Pacific and joined the Third Fleet on December 9 and took part in the attacks against Japanese positions in Manila. In January 1945 she participated with Task Force 38 in raids against Formosa, Luzon, the Ryukyu Islands, Saigon, Hong Kong, Canton, Hainan Island and Okinawa. In February she was transferred to the Fifth Fleet and was part of Task Force 58, with which she made successful attacks on Iwo Jima and Tokyo destroying more than 550 Japanese aircraft. In March she carried out attacks against Honshu, Kyushu and Okinawa.
(USS Wisconsin image). The fighting continued with great intensity the following months as they approached the heart of Japan, but in mid-June the USS Wisconsin made a stop in Leyte Gulf to carry out some repairs and resupply. On July 1 she left for Japanese territorial waters and on the 16th she carried out an attack on refineries and steel mills in Muroran, Hokkaido. Finally, on the 18th she shelled an industrial complex in Hitachi Miro northeast of Tokyo. On September 5, she entered Tokyo Bay as part of the occupation force. During her brief involvement in WWII she fired 1,058 406mm shells. After the end of the war, she returned to the United States on October 15, 1945.
In the summer of 1946 the USS Wisconsin (on the image) received some repairs and modifications and then departed for a cruise with stops in Chile, Peru, Panama and Venezuela, returning to Norfolk on December 2. In 1947 the ship was dedicated to carrying out training trips with naval reservists, although in June and July she took midshipmen from the Naval Academy on a cruise through European waters. In January 1948 the ship arrived in Norfolk for her decommissioning and she transferred to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet on July 1.
(USS Wisconsin image). The rest was short-lived, and on March 3, 1951, she was recommissioned for shipment to Korea. She arrived in the combat zone in November, and from the beginning of December he started with gunfire support missions to the 1st Marine Division and the 1st ROK Corps mainly. The following months continued in the same way for the USS Wisconsin, but on March 15, 1952 she was hit by a North Korean 152mm shell that caused three injuries. Consequently, the North Korean battery was immediately wiped off the map. On March 19, she left Korean waters for Japan, to continue her return to the United States, an objective reached on April 19. In the Korean operations the ship fired a total of 3,200 406mm shells.
(USS Wisconsin image). Since June 1952, the ship continuously carried out training missions, naval exercises and midshipman training except for required overhaul and maintenance periods. In May 1956 she collided with the destroyer USS Eaton, severely damaging it in front of the bridge. The USS Wisconsin also damaged her bow, which was repaired in 16 days with a 21-meter, 120-ton section from the incomplete sister ship USS Kentucky (BB-66). Since then, she began to be affectionately known as “Wistucky”. BB-64 continued her routine missions until November 4, 1957 when she was deactivated. During the deactivation work, an electrical fire occurred that affected the officer’s wardroom on the main deck and the captain’s office on the first level. Subsequently, on March 8, 1958, the ship was decommissioned and transferred to the Reserve Fleet without repairing the damage caused by the fire.
Like her sister ships, the USS Wisconsin (on the image) was chosen for reactivation in August 1986 and received the same upgrades and new armament as the rest of the class, although the work was greater due to the general poor condition of the ship. On October 22, 1988 the ship was ready for service again. In 1989 she began a series of training exercises, but a few months later the ship was transferred to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard to replace 24 forced-draft blowers and 12 main feed pumps, which meant that she spent the rest of 1989 in dry dock. In August 1990, the USS Wisconsin and her battle group are dispatched to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield.
Between January 17 and 18, 1991, at the start of Operation Desert Storm, the Wisconsin (on the image) launched 24 Tomahawk missiles against Iraqi targets. On February 6 she made her first main artillery attack since March 1952, sending 11 shells into an Iraqi artillery battery in southern Kuwait. The following day, she fired a further 50 shells at targets on the Kuwaiti coast and on the 9th she shelled several bunkers and artillery sites near Khafji. From this date, she alternated with the USS Missouri in gunfire support missions and on the 21st she attacked an Iraqi command post. On the night of the 23rd she was going to attack Faylaka Island, but something surprising happened. After the shelling of the Missouri, an RQ-2 Pioneer drone was sent to fly low over the Iraqi troops, who, faced with the threat of another shelling from an American battleship, decided to surrender showing the drone white flags. It is the first case of surrender to a UAV controlled by a ship.
On February 24, the USS Wisconsin (on the image) approached Kuwait City to support the Marine advance. The 406mm took out a couple of Iraqi heavy resistance points, destroying several fortifications and bunkers. On February 28, her huge guns fired the last angry shots fired by a battleship in history. After the end of the war she was in the Persian Gulf until March 6, 1991, when she returned home having fired 319 406mm shells. On May 28th she shot hers last 72 rounds of 406mm off the Virginia Capes. Without a doubt, these were definitely and sadly the last shells fired by a battleship. On September 3, 1991 the ship headed for Philadelphia where she was decommissioned and placed in the Reserve Fleet until January 12, 1995. During her last reactivation the ship fired 1,068 rounds of 406mm.
(USS Wisconsin image). On October 15, 1996, the vessel was transferred to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and on February 12, 1998, it was re-registered in the Naval Vessel Register. In December 2000 she was towed to Portsmouth, Virginia and moored alongside the Nauticus, The National Maritime Center. On April 16, the USS Wisconsin opened its doors to the public as a museum, being an integral part of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. The BB-64 still belongs to the US Navy, which still considers it part of the so-called “moothball fleet”, so it could be put into service again if necessary. Thanks to this provision, the Navy has to maintain the ship in an optimal state, compelled by a direct mandate from the US Congress.



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