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CEO Update 19 April 2022

Hull Preservation | Spreading The Word

We’re getting closer to our achieving our goal (we matched the $5K gift!) but we still have a long way to go to hit our campaign goal. You can help by donating and spreading the word.

Speaking of spreading the word… some easy ways you can help us do are by becoming a plank owner of the national museum and by sharing:

  • This weekly e-mail update
  • The link to our learn about our hull preservation efforts
  • This recent article from our friends at The Daily Breeze who interviewed COO & Chief Engineer Mike Getscher about what’s happening at our waterline

CEO Update 19 April 2022

I hope you have had an opportunity to listen to Episode 1 of our podcast. This week’s episode features CIO and IOWA veteran David Canfield speaking about the Turret II accident on April 19th, 1989 and how his story is bigger than his trauma. This touching episode journeys through David’s healing process and we are hopeful that it will help others.

We appreciate your feedback, as we venture down the new road of podcasts. We look forward to highlighting the people and personalities involved in your museum and organization. You can access our podcasts on:

On Tuesday, April 19th, we remember the tragic Turret II accident that occurred 33 years ago. Aboard the ship, we host our annual program with USS Iowa veterans and family members in attendance remembering the 47 sailors and proud Americans who lost their lives on that day.

As we have seen over the years, the tragic events that unfolded that day have been dramatized, recreated, and in some cases fictionalized. Unfortunately, many of these representations have been inaccurate and haven’t paid justice to those present that day. If you haven’t had a chance to view the video that the team assembled to address these inaccuracies, you may do so here.

The 47 sailors who were lost are never far from our thoughts. Our hearts go out to those who continue to struggle with the memories of that loss and to of the thousands of lives altered by this incident. Please remember the USS Iowa 47, families, and veterans this Tuesday, as you go about your activities. If you are able, you can view our remembrance event virtually on our YouTube channel.

Today, the crew members who lost their lives remain an inspiration for all that we do; they are the foundation of our veterans pillar. I am proud of the work our veterans and VPAN team performs, and I am awe-inspired by the number of veterans that they assist regularly with peer support and services.

As we grow our impact within our veterans pillar, we are seeing significant demand for our transitioning military program. The demand is so significant that we are in the process of raising funding to cover the costs for a full-time transition navigator and coach. Without such a person, we will have to say no to several potential veteran participants. We recently finalized a one-page summary and are submitting it to interested parties. If you are interested, please email us at

Last week, a very public incident occurred which affected a fellow historic ship – one named after a well-known Iowa family: USS The Sullivans in Buffalo, NY. I was sad to learn of this incident, as the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park team has committed significant efforts over the past few years to prevent such an occurrence.

Watching incidents such as these play out at fellow museum ships plays a significant role in our innovation and efforts related to our hull preservation efforts. Primarily because the ship was donated in 2011, we have had an opportunity to learn from others’ challenges and experiences. That knowledge has lead us to different decisions.

Our team has been steadfastly focused on innovation, maintenance, cathodic protection, and regular inspections to stay ahead of the curve. Thankfully, we have incredible volunteers such as Stan Sato, and a very generous donor who donates wood, which ultimately allows us to invest in the hull.

Unfortunately, we simply do not have enough operations staff and general funding to support Stan and his efforts with the wood deck AND maintain the hull at the same time. Therefore, much of our wood deck is cosmetically unappealing, and we are hopeful that our supporters understand we are choosing the hull over decks to prevent a major incident.

Our annual hull preservation fundraising campaign is one of the most important we do, as it contributes to the future sustainability of your ship and museum. Please consider donating to this effort.

Our expansion into the National Museum of the Surface Navy will broaden our reach and impact to not only represent the IOWA, but to become a symbol that represents thousands of ships and millions of sailors. The museum is being built and designed as a 21st century experience, with a goal to amplify our efforts via multiple platforms in our service to the public, veterans, first responders, disaster planners, and students throughout the nation.

Since 71% of our planet is covered in water, our sea services are an important component to ensure we continue to enjoy the quality of life that we have come to know as a maritime-reliant nation. We have begun discussions with talented, seasoned designers who are excited about the potential to be involved in creating innovative, next-generation experiences. Some of these gifted individuals are part of our volunteer family, while others are simply passionate about what our sea services do for our nation and the impact the National Museum of the Surface Navy will have on our future.

I passionately believe each of us has a responsibility to raise awareness on the importance of our sea services and the Surface Navy to our family, friends, neighbors, and community. Every single American person and household has been directly impacted by the efforts of our sea services and unfortunately many haven’t made this connection. It is our goal to spread the word, encourage people to become free Plank Owners of the new museum, and invite them to join us on this journey.

With that said, my deepest appreciation to our incredible supporter base that has already shared this word. Special recognition to Together We Served for seeing this vision and inviting their members to join our family and efforts.

Please remember the IOWA 47, families, and veterans.

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

NOTE: If you prefer not to donate electronically, please mail your check to:
Attention: Development Department, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90731
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