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An Evening on Battleship IOWA: Tales of the GLOMAR EXPLORER

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An Evening on Battleship IOWA: Tales of the GLOMAR EXPLORER

March 18, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


It’s 1968 – the height of the Cold War. The Soviet submarine K-129 disappears in the Pacific 1,500 miles northwest of Hawaii.

The Soviets cannot find the sub’s wreckage.

The United States does.

The CIA is champing at the bit over the opportunity to study a Soviet sub, but any overt attempt to raise the vessel will create an international incident.

The spy agency turns to eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, who lends his name and reputation for secretive business dealings to the creation of a special ship. Cloaked in the guise of deep sea mining, Glomar Explorer provides the perfect cover for an illicit recovery mission…

Sound like fiction or a 007 movie? It’s not, and Charlie Canby was there.


On March 18th at 6pm, enjoy an evening aboard Battleship IOWA as Canby shares his first-hand account of this still-notorious mission.

Canby, a naval architect and marine engineer, worked on the design of the ship and served as a crew member and naval architect during the actual mission. Including a hundred photos, Canby’s presentation delves into the design of the recovery ship – the Hughes Glomar Explorer, finding the submarine, the CIA cover-up, and raising the Soviet submarine from 16,800 feet of water.

Canby’s presentation will be followed by a brief question and answer period.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase throughout the event.

The event will take place on the fantail of historic Battleship IOWA. Guests will check in for the event at the aft gangway.


Please park in the Port of LA lot adjacent to Battleship IOWA. Parking is free for the first hour, then $2.00 for every subsequent hour.

Note: we are expecting cruise traffic that may reduce the number of spots available. If the POLA lot is full, alternative parking locations include:

  • Maritime Museum lot (6th & Harbor)
  • 5th & Mesa St.
  • Topaz Building (between 5th & 6th St, paid)


Battleship IOWA
250 S. Harbor Blvd.
San Pedro, CA 90731 United States
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Other photos - US Navy Archives and National Archives

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