Battleship Iowa finds welcome home in San Pedro
Biggest U.S. battleship, Iowa known as the 'battleship of presidents'
The battleship Iowa, the largest ship ever built in the United States
has sailed into its new permanent home on the San Pedro waterfront this
past weekend. The 45,000-ton Iowa is known as the "battleship of
presidents," and was warmly greeted by a throng of newcomers - and
sailors who sailed the battleship in its prime.
The battleship Iowa, the largest ship ever built in the United States is known as the 'battleship of presidents.'
Wearing the cap he had bought at the ship's store more than six decades ago, Dedic remembered the rough storms, including one typhoon in which he feared the vessel would capsize. Dedic also recalled sunnier times, when his fellow sailors would jump into the ocean for a swim as other sailors would shoot at sharks to keep them away from those frolicking in the water.
Every day that he was on board, Dedic recalled, "I wrote my sweetheart," eventually marrying her. His wife of 66 years, Eleanor Dedic was with him along with their two daughters and a granddaughter.
Another former sailor, 85-year-old Joseph Aguilar of East Los Angeles showed off a still-crooked finger, the result, he said, of an accident on board in 1946. He also remembered how he spent his first night on the Iowa: "In the stern, feeding the fish. I was so sick. This thing pitches and rolls."
Among many vitally important missions, the Iowa carried President Franklin Roosevelt to a historic meeting with Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Chiang Kai-shek in Tehran in November of 1943. The bathtub with rails that was installed for FDR's use will be on display when the museum is opened.
In another historic instance, then-President Ronald Reagan boarded the Iowa July 4, 1986, for Liberty Weekend, the celebration of the restoration and centenary of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.
President George H.W. Bush joined the crew and families of the Iowa at a memorial service in 1989 for 47 crew members killed in the ship's greatest tragedy, a gun turret explosion in the Caribbean.
The ship had been docked temporarily at Berths 51-52 since arriving from San Francisco Bay but will make its permanent home at Berth 87. The 45,000-ton warship is the biggest U.S. battleship ever built.
The ship was decommissioned for the final time in 1990 and spent the past decade in the Suisun Bay mothball fleet. The Pacific Battleship Center plans to recommission the ship July 4 and begin public tours three days later.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Battleship Iowa, Navy, battleship, presidents, sailors
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