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Iowa Class Battleships
Model featured: BB-63 USS Missouri
- circa "as commissioned" 1944 -
The first two Iowa Class battleships (BB-61USS Iowa and BB-62 USS New Jersey) were completed early in 1943, and served for the remainder of WWII in the Pacific where they screened fast carrier task forces against air and surface threats, did occasional shore bombardment and provided flagships for tactical commanders. The second pair (BB-63 USS Missouri and BB-64 USS Wisconsin), whose construction had been somewhat delayed, came to the Pacific during the war's last year.
WWII formally ended with the Japanese signing the surrender documents on September 2nd, 1945 aboard "USS Missouri" while anchored in Tokyo Bay.
Construction of the last pair of the Iowa Class battleships (BB-65 USS Illinois and BB-66 USS Kentucky) stopped soon after the war's end, and they were scrapped; while orders for the next class of battleships - the even larger Montana class - were cancelled.
After the war, three of the four Iowa Class battleships were mothballed. In the early 1950s they were re-activated and, then, all four battleships - in their WWII configuration - employed their 16-inch guns during the Korean War. All four ships were decommissioned after that.
USS New Jersey was briefly re-activated again for bombardment duty during the Vietnam War and then placed back into reserve.
During the 1980's the entire class was extensively upgraded and re-commissioned as part of Ronald Reagan's 1980's defense buildup. Missouri and Wisconsin provided gunfire support for the Iraq War in 1991, and thereafter rejoined their sisters in the reserve fleet.
At present, all four battleships are either serving as museums or probably soon will be.
|Iowa Class Battleships|
|WWII 1939-45||Korean War 1950-53||Vietnam 1959-75||Iraq War 1991|
|Feb 1943||Mar 1949||Aug 1951||Feb 1958||Apr 1984||Oct 1990||Moved to temporary site in San Pedro, CA in 2012 for possible museum.|
USS New Jersey
|May 1943||Jun 1948||Nov 1950||Aug 1957||Apr 1968||Dec 1969||Dec 1982||Sep 1991||Floating Museum in Camden, New Jersey.|
|Jun 1944||active||active||Feb 1955||May 1986||Mar 1992||Preserved as a museum at Ford Is, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 1998.|
|Apr 1944||Jul 1948||Mar 1951||Mar 1958||Oct 1988||Sep 1991||Berthed at Norfolk VA and listed a "Historic Place" on March 28, 2012.|
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