CEO Update: March 1, 2023

Dear Friends,

As we weather the ongoing storm conditions here in California, I want to update you on the latest developments at the Battleship IOWA / Surface Navy Museum.

Unfortunately, the most recent storms have caused more damage to the ship. Our fantail event tent requires repairs, numerous awnings have been up, and we had some pier-side vehicle damage.

Fortunately, the mooring line situation has remained solid, as our dedicated operations team has been working tirelessly to watch and adjust the lines – no small feat given the size and number involved.

Message from the CEO - Feb 2023
Food At Vicky's Doghouse

Despite the challenging weather, we have had some exciting developments over the past few weeks. David Canfield and I had the pleasure of traveling to Iowa for the premiere of the Iowa PBS documentary on the USS IOWA. We were delighted to see the wonderful job the documentary producers did in capturing the ship’s history and transition to a museum.

During our visit, we had the opportunity to catch up with several supporters and share updates on the Surface Navy Museum and the ship. We were thrilled with the outpouring of support from the residents of Iowa.  During our visit, we met with the commissioning committee of USS Iowa SSN-797 to discuss their efforts in the coming months and years.

Message from the CEO - Feb 2023
Food At Vicky's Doghouse

We are excited to announce that we have started the next stages of museum development with our highly-experienced design team. These professionals have a wealth of expertise in designing immersive experiences, including projects with Disney, Universal, and even the Navy.

We have also retained pro-bono philanthropic support from a major architecture firm to prepare more detailed imagery and budgets of both the museum and pier-side programming. Our passionate museum design advisor, Ray Spencer, is working on a conceptual image of the inside of the building, donor wall, and pier-side park. Stay tuned for further updates on these fantastic developments.

LA Fleet Week 2023 promises to be an incredible event. This year, we will be working with five communities throughout the area to host block-parties with activities, community volunteering, executive programs, and more. Your support and sponsorship of LA Fleet Week goes towards supporting the planning and activities during the event, which is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our community to visiting service members, provide a unique opportunity for disaster response and planning exercises, and strengthen relationships of mutual interest.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to our entire team for their patience and commitment during the past several weeks of storm watch to keep the ship safe and secure. I also want to express my gratitude to our supporters for continuing to donate and spread the word on the importance of the National Museum of the Surface Navy. We couldn’t do it without you.

As always, your support is essential, and we appreciate any donation you can make to help us continue our mission. To donate, visit, or learn more about our variety of programs, please check out our website.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and I hope you have an amazing and blessed week.

Best regards,

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO


P.S.  Please join me in congratulating Marann Fengler in her title change to Communications Specialist. Marann continues to be an important member of the team in her production of YouTube videos, e-blasts, social media, web updates, and more.


We have two incredible public events back-to-back this month. 

Unforgotten: The Art of JD Smith

Saturday, March 11, from 5 – 8 PM


Navy veteran JD Smith has no formal training as an artist, yet has created incredible drawings of warships that fought in the Pacific Theater in World War II. These drawings, some up to ten feet long, contain painstaking details, including hidden messages and codes.


JD has been waiting since just before the lockdowns for the opening of this show, so this evening will be extra special. Join us Saturday, March 11 from 5-8 PM for a reception and snacks from Vicky’s.

This event is FREE, but please RSVP by clicking the button below.

Tales of the Glomar Explorer with Charlie Canby

Saturday, March 18, 6 – 9 PM


At the height of the Cold War, a Soviet submarine sank in the Pacific 1,500 miles northwest of Hawaii. The Soviets couldn’t find it. The United States did.

Like something out of a spy novel, this stranger-than-fiction story is full of danger, cover-ups, and controversy, and Charlie Canby was there.

On Saturday, March 18 from 6 – 9 PM, Charlie will give a presentation about this still-notorious espionage mission. His presentation, which includes a hundred photos, will have you riveted.

Click below to sign up.

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

Thank you to our 2021 donors for their generosity and support. Want to know how your donations are making a difference? Check out our ANNUAL REPORT here.

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Other photos - US Navy Archives and National Archives

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