USS Iowa BB-61 (1943-1990)

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The USS Iowa was built in New York in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She spent most of years in battle as most battle ships do and served her country doing other tasks such as transporting President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She has been in several wars, though she was damaged by an internal fire that killed many crew members. Battle ships are built not only for offence, they also to protect their crew members and country they are fighting for. They come equipped with impressive gun power and technology. The USS Iowa is a 90,000,000 pound battleship with enormous fire power. Its 16 inch guns have a “kick” that pushes the ship about 16 feet each time it is fired. It also produces a concussion effect in the water due to its enormous power.

Action in World War II and Korea

This beautiful ship not only transported presidents and protected countries; it is part of American history. The USS Iowa was involved in the Marshall Islands Campaign; she participated in the battles at the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf. She participated in the Second World War and was there when Japan officially surrendered on September 2, 1945. She was actively involved in the Korean War from April to October 1952 as the seventh fleet flagship. The USS Iowa was also present for the International Naval Review in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in June 1957.

After the War

She spent 30 years “resting” before being rebuilt and put to use again. She was recommissioned in April of 1984. She sailed European waters, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea in the 1980s. On April 19, 1989, an onboard fire killed 47 crewmen. The fire was from a 16 inch Turret gun on board the ship. She sailed the Mediterranean Sea that year anyway.

The decommissioning of a United States Navy Ship is no small matter. The USS Iowa has had several decommissions. This process carries many traditions. Each part of the ceremony has a great deal of meaning. This ship was decommissioned in 1949 after being present for the formal surrender of Japan; she was decommissioned again in 1958; and she was decommissioned for the last time in 1990. Like a good soldier this beautiful ship served the United States of America honorably. She is now part of a reserve fleet.

Asbestos in Navy Ships

Although an essential component of the naval fleet throughout conflicts during the last century, battleships also posed a lasting health risk to soldiers who served on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common on these ships because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.


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