USS IOWA follows sister ship USS MISSOURI into Tokyo Bay, 29 Aug 1945
We continue to follow USS Iowa through 1945, moving toward the 75th commemoration of the signing of the instrument of surrender and the official end of World War II. Curator Dave Way is constantly updating and refining a timeline of the ship’s life. Here are its entries for 27-30 August 1945.
August 27 – An eventful day for Iowa. 0930 Commences entry into Sagami Wan, (an open bay 30 miles southwest of Tokyo), after Japanese emissaries, pilots, and interpreters have been transferred to Missouri from the IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) destroyer Hatuzukura. As a unit of Task Group 30.1, Iowa is among the first ships of the fleet to enter Sagami Wan to commence the occupation of Japan.
It is three years since Iowa’s launch and the pit log reads 190,313 steaming miles. With battle victory flags flying, and all battle stations manned, she steams passed O’Shima, into Sagami Wan, and following the movements of Missouri, proceeds to the northern end of the bay to anchor off the shores of Japan’s Eno Shima.
At 1335 she is anchored in 36 fathoms of water. By sundown, many other ships of the Third Fleet have joined her, including HMS Duke of York (BB), USS South Dakota, Boston, Quincy, St. Paul, Chicago, West Virginia, Mississippi, Colorado and Idaho.
August 28 – At anchor in Sagami Wan, Japan.
August 29 – 0502 Iowa, as a unit of Task Force 30.1, gets underway for Tokyo Bay. Ships are preceded by minesweepers and other escorts. 0929 Anchored in berth Fox 72, Tokyo Bay. CTF 31 (Rear Admiral Badger) had entered the day before with minesweeping units. Soon after Iowa‘s arrival, other units including South Dakota and HMS Duke of York arrive.
Shortly after 1400, Fleet Admiral Nimitz (CINPAC) arrives by a PB2Y “Coronado” seaplane from Naval Air Base Tanapag, Saipan. Nimitz breaks his flag in the South Dakota.
August 30 – At anchor in Tokyo Bay, Honshu. “How” hour for landings at Yokosuka Naval Base is at 0930 for CTF 31. The force consists of the 4th Marines (Reinforced), 6th Marine Division, selected naval personnel from various ships of the 3rd Fleet. and a contingent of Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
Earlier in the day, Marines have landed at Futtsu Saki, on the eastern shore of Tokyo Bay and the 11th Airborne Army Division has landed at Atsugi Airfield. All landings have been unopposed and successfully carried out.
Combined forces of Marines and Sailors from various ships, including Iowa’s, assist securing Yokosuka Naval Base. (Landing groups from nine aircraft carriers, three battleships, two cruisers, and six destroyers from the Third Fleet are formed and transferred ashore on the USS Ozark LSV 02).
In the morning CTF 31 Flagship San Diego docks at Yokosuka. CTF 31 (including some of Iowa’s detached Marines) board Japanese battleship IJN Nagato to accept her surrender and capture.
(This certificate was presented to every Sailor and Marine present that day.)
Reading about history is impactful, but there’s nothing like standing where it happened to make an indelible impression on one’s consciousness. Please help us preserve Battleship IOWA so she can continue to connect us to the enduring stories of our past that still shape our present and future.