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Those Who Served

Those Who Served:

The USS IOWA “Those Who Served” collection provides snapshots and stories from USS IOWA veterans who proudly served throughout its storied service history. This will be a continuously growing Registry of USS IOWA Service where you can search for shipmates or enter information about your own service or that of a loved one.

William Sowell
Hails from: Sardis, Mississippi
Division: Boiler mech
Rate/Rank: PO3
Date of Birth: 04/13/1933
Years in Service: 4
I'm adding this because my grandfather served on the USS Iowa(61) from 1952 to 1956 during the Korean War. He is 87 and still alive residing in Mississippi. I will add more as I get more information from him about his time in the service aboard the USS Iowa. If anyone is still alive that served with him during that time and knew him and would like to talk to him can email me at and I will pass your contact info on to him so he can contact you.
Samuel Fields
Hails from: Michigantown, Indiana
Division: M division Engine #4
Rate/Rank: Machinist Mate Second Class
Date of Birth: 01/01/1935
Years in Service: 3
I served on the IOWA from March,1953 to 1955 in Engine room #4. Stops included Cuba, Gibraltar, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Nice, France, Algiers, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Portugal. I started training at the age of 17 on a kiddy cruise and was honorably discharged the day before turning 21. At the age of 80, our family got to visit when The Big Stick was turned into a museum.
Scott Barnes
Hails from: Savannah, Georgia
Division: OI
Rate/Rank: OS1/OSC
Date of Birth: 11/08/1947
Years in Service: 20
Was on her for five years (84/89). Mostly in OI div.
Ronal Foster
Hails from: Washington, DC
Division: Musician
Rate/Rank: Msgt.
Date of Birth: 07/30/1948
Years in Service: 1986
In July of 1986, the Iowa participated in Liberty Weekend in NY to rededicate the Statue of Liberty. I was a musician in the US Marine Band which played a concert for President Reagan and guests under the forward main gun turret as the Iowa sailed down the Hudson River toward the Harbor. This was certainly one of the highlights of my career in the President's Own US Marine Band and something I will never forget.
Thomas Kmucha
Hails from: Galena, Illinois
Division: B
Rate/Rank: BT 1
Date of Birth: 01/07/1932
Years in Service: 1951-1955
I served on the IOWA from 1951 to 1955 during the Korean War in Baker Division, Number 1 Fire room. As a midwestern farm boy, I had never seen the ocean or a battleship. I wondered how a hunk of iron that large could float. I enjoyed my four years aboard and after discharge I returned to Illinois and reclaimed my job. I became a state policeman, spent 20 years in business, spent a total of 25 years in law enforcement and retired as an Illinois prison administrator and have enjoyed a long retirement.
James Reid
Hails from: Hialeah, FL
Division: NAVY
Rate/Rank: Unknown
Date of Birth: 02/14/1922
Years in Service: 26
Kevin Benoit
Hails from: Brooksville, FL
Division: S-5
Rate/Rank: MS-3 Plankowner
Date of Birth: 12/28/1964
Years in Service: 6
It was an HONOR to serve on her, Precom to 2wks before 6mon deploy. I've seen it all, from serving in the wardroom President Reagan's Cabinet , King Olef VI , what an honor. Cleaning Iowa's silver, Seeing the xo come out of his stateroom with a Darth Vader mask on.
Rodney Simmons
Hails from: Torrance, CA
Division: 5th & X-3/PAO
Rate/Rank: JO2
Date of Birth: 04/02/1955
Years in Service: 10
The Iowa was the first ship I was assigned to back in 1984 after boot camp! I was an undesignated SN. First assigned to 5th division, where we were responsible for the Captain's Gig and the liberty boats. I also got some on-the-job training in the ships Public Affairs Office and SITE-TV station. After a few months I transferred to X-3/PAO permanently. Being part of the '84 comminssioning crew was quite an experience. For me the first time even out of the USA! I will never forget all the wonderful places in the Caribbean we went to, the many full 16 gun broadsides that were demonstrated to many heads of states. Rumor has it that after one demonstration, the President of El Salvador was heard to say, "It's a shame we can't put the guns to the use they were designed for" to which (it's rumored, mind you) that the then XO said, "Just give me the word, sir." Never did verify that one, though. I also remember Fleet Week in NYC in 1984. After a second cruise in the Caribbean, I then was transferred to the JO 'A' School and DINFOS at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana. I had always wanted to come back to the Iowa, but another billet never opened up. I am proud of my entire 10 years in the Navy, but I will always treasure my time and memories of "the big stick" USS Iowa!
Michael Murphy
Hails from: Marietta, GA
Division: PAO
Rate/Rank: LI2
Date of Birth: 11/14/1962
Years in Service: 4
Served in the Battleship Print Shop and Repair One Alfa. Wrote stories for and printed The Iowan. Was responsible for the majority of the graphic design from the Public Affairs Office from 1987-1990. Designed and produced the FamilyGrams, Holiday Menus, and Port Visit Guides. Served for 19 more years in the US Navy Reserve and retired as a Command Master Chief (CMDCM) in 2009.
Robert Seals
Hails from: Cripple Creek, CO
Division: MARDET
Rate/Rank: Cpl
Date of Birth: 11/01/1964
Years in Service: 4
I was on board the Iowa from shortly after commission until '86 as a member of the MARDET. I knew a lot of good men aboard that ship and I hope someday to make it out to visit her again.
Randy Stephens
Hails from: Pasadena, Maryland
Division: B EB03
Rate/Rank: BT1(SW)
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 1987 through Decom
Was #3 Fire Work Center Supervisor. then later made work center supervisor for EB14 also. Was one of the very last people to walk off her after we laid her up for decom in 1991. She was a great ship and had some of the best men I have ever served with in my 20 years in the Navy.
Claude Stovall
Hails from: Knotts City, TX
Division: 4
Rate/Rank: Sargent
Date of Birth: 11/04/1911
Years in Service: 4
My dad, Claude J. Stovall served during WWII . He was a US Marine who achieved Sargent status but didn't like talking about his service experiences. I read some of his diary he kept in an old chest and he narrated a fire/attack on the ship . Perhaps on this ship? He was a proud veteran and became a Baptist preacher/missionary in New Mexico. He passed away in 1997 at the age of 86. I still have his uniform, tags and a victory medal.
Michael Nichols
Hails from: Lexington, Kentucky
Division: Ops
Rate/Rank: Pn3
Date of Birth: 06/06/1959
Years in Service: 4
Proudly served during the late 80s when we reflagged the Kuwaiti tankers. We did this for there safe passage thru hostel waters. Also pitched for our championship softball team. Nick name biscuit
Laroy Robert Owen Jr.
Hails from: Luxora, AR
Division: Radar
Rate/Rank: Radarman Third, USN
Date of Birth: 12/13/1927
Years in Service: 3
My dad proudly served aboard the USS Iowa from December 1945 to March 1946. He then went on to serve on the USS Columbus and the USS Springfield for the remainder of his three years in the Navy. After the Navy he spent a few years in "civilian life", and then he enlisted into the Air Force. He was a military guy through and through. He passed away in September of 2007. He always said that his time in the Navy was the happiest in his life.
Edward Snyder
Hails from: Cohocton, NY
Division: B
Rate/Rank: BT2 (SW)
Date of Birth: 10/10/1963
Years in Service: 9
Keary Holm
Hails from: Lake City, Iowa
Division: Canibus
Rate/Rank: E3
Date of Birth: 11/08/1961
Years in Service: 3
I was honored to go eastpack with the crew from 1986 to 1988.
Michael Williams
Hails from: South Shore, KY
Division: Not Sure
Rate/Rank: BM2
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 4
Among the 47 on turret 2, Michael "Mike" Williams was a friend to many. I graduated high school with Mike in 1985. Shortly after graduation, Mike set sail for a naval career and most of our classmates did not see Mike again. We all remember him as fun loving and caring. An all around American guy. Mike was raised by his grandparents, so manners were engrained. Hopeful that someone on the ship may remember Mike and possibly just share a story of him with me.
Fredrick Harper
Hails from: lut, FL
Division: wepons
Rate/Rank: ftg3
Date of Birth: 03/28/1963
Years in Service: 6
as a ftg on this ship it was awsome i was one of the orig 14 in the yard in miss and we had to learn the system and write the pms for it thank god for the old guys they brought back that were up into there 70s and made them active duty love you masterchief skelly and tommy eperson from Mo will alwaays miss you Joseph Harper
Bill Humienny
Hails from: Brooklyn, SD
Division: FM
Rate/Rank: YN2
Date of Birth: 01/21/1936
Years in Service: 6
Being transferred from a Destroyer Escort to a Battleship was a big change. At first I was in the 1st Division, a rangefinder in Turret 1. There was an opening in the Gunnery Office which I was a yeoman striker was transferred to the FM Division. Great duty.
Kenneth Colby
Hails from: Boston, MA
Division: G2
Rate/Rank: LT
Date of Birth: 06/15/1953
Years in Service: 12
I was Turret 2 Officer for the Commissioning in 1984. Served with the PreCommissioning Team in Norfolk from August 1983, and left the ship in Panama in August 1984.
Ron Bingle
Hails from: Rogers City, MI
Division: 3rd Deck
Rate/Rank: SN
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 8
Reported for duty December 1988, departed August 1990. Hightlight of my time aboard - 18 years old and hands on the helm of the world's most powerful ship! Remember the IOWA 47.
Edward Kennedy
Hails from: Auburn, CA
Division: 2nd Division
Rate/Rank: Gunner's Mate 3C
Date of Birth: 06/23/1928
Years in Service: 3
My Dad, Ed Kennedy served on board the USS Iowa from 1945 to 1947. He was just 17 went he entered the Navy. He was in the 2nd Division and a gun sticker (in Turret 2); eventually he was a Gunner's Mate 3C. A lot of the men he served with on the USS Iowa also served with him on the Columbus. He was discharged on August 24, 1948 and received the WWII Victory Medal. He was an avid member of the USS Iowa Organization and attended every reunion his health would allow. He passed away on December 1, 2002, but was able to attend a ceremony with his fellow Veterans in June 2002 and stand on the barge next to the Iowa and remove a chip of paint from her side. He was so proud to serve on this battleship and would spend hours sharing his stories.
Charles Sintef
Hails from: New York City, NY
Division: 1st Division - NAV
Rate/Rank: Seaman 1st Class
Date of Birth: 04/02/1926
Years in Service: 4
Enterd Navy on July 8, 1943. After basic training was assighned to the then new battleship U.S.S. IOWA and served aboard her till the end of the war in 1945. After the war was assighned to the heavy crusier U.S.S. OAKLAHOMA CITY and was dicharged from the Navy on April 1, 1947.
Merritt Stevens Decker Jr.
Hails from: Salt Lake City, UT
Division: Navy
Rate/Rank: Machinist Mate 3rd Class
Date of Birth: 07/26/1921
Years in Service: 2
My Father served on the USS Iowa from December 11th 1943 to December 30th 1945. He crossed the Equator on Dec. 25th 1944 in route to a secret destination. He died July 16th 2003 at his home in Bluffdale Utah. At the time of his death He had been Married to Brigita Nordgran Decker for 63 years. She died in August of 2009. Dad kept his five kids childhoods alive with stories from his time spent on the Iowa, from being hit by torpedoes, fighting planes in the sky to being stationed at Pearl Harbor. He told us he was among the first crew to take the Iowa into battle. At his death he would still put can milk on cereal something he grew accustom to while serving on the USS Iowa.
Darrel Cahail
Hails from: Wichita, KS
Division: Navy
Rate/Rank: Unknown
Date of Birth: 05/04/1933
Years in Service: 5
My grandfather served in the Korean War on the U.S.S. Iowa. He loved that ship. I remember hearing many stories about his time and friends from there. He passed away on July 8th, 2011 after living with ALS for 6 long years.
Shannon Allen
Hails from: Christiansburg, VA
Division: OI
Rate/Rank: E-5
Date of Birth: 12/20/1968
Years in Service: 4
The Iowa was a Fantastic Ship to serve on. Though we experienced a Tragedy, I will always remember all good times we had as well. We visited many countries, met a lot of phenomenal people, and have many Great friends from my venture aboard the Iowa. Shannon J. Allen OS2 OI Division 1986-1990. Awards: Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Battle E
Stephen Kettler
Hails from: St Marys, OH
Division: S-2
Rate/Rank: MSSN
Date of Birth: 10/01/1966
Years in Service: 4
Served on board from early 1987 to decom was there for all the great moments and some of the really bad that will live with me forever so many shipmates lost that day that I knew from mess cranking, working jod together, or helping on load ammo, etc. I won't go into details about April 19th, but it's a day I live in my head over and over everyday. God bless all who served on board the greatest ship in the Navy
Eric Hope
Hails from: Spencer, MA
Division: OS
Rate/Rank: SM2
Date of Birth: 02/19/1963
Years in Service: 5
Graduated Signalman "A" school & asked to be assigned to Iowa. Assisted in overhaul of ship for recommissioning in April of 1984. Sailed the Carribean for first "show the flag" cruise. Traveled the Panama Canal & visited the West Central American coast. It was during the time of the Contra Rebels in Costa Rica & I remember hearing the shooting as we hung out in a bay nearby. Next we went with U.S.S. Halyburton to the North Atlantic as part of the Ocean Safari exercise in 1985. Got Bluenosed, stopped in France, Denmark, twice, Germany & Norway. I have wonderful memories of my tour and will never forget the sound of those massive guns going off!
Haywood Truxillo
Hails from: Port Allen, LA
Division: Unknown
Rate/Rank: 2nd Class Petty Officer
Date of Birth: 08/15/1923
Years in Service: 3
Haywood served on the Iowa during World War II. He was a machinist mate in one of the engine rooms. He served on the Iowa after boot camp until he was discharged in 1946. He enlisted in the navy on November 15, 1942 and was discharged on February 15, 1946. He was very proud of his service on the Iowa and attended many reunions. Haywood passed away on February 26, 2002.
Leo Levien
Hails from: Fort Dodge, IA
Division: radiomen
Rate/Rank: RM1C div. petty officerM
Date of Birth: 12/04/1920
Years in Service: 3
My father, Leo Levien, was assigned to the USS Iowa after completing his training as a radioman. He wanted to serve in the Pacific where his triplet brothers, all Navy men, were serving and joined the ship at the Brooklyn Naval Yard in 1943. He traveled every mile with the Iowa, except for its trip from Seattle to Long Beach in 1945, when he was on leave finding my mother and proposing to her. He boarded the Iowa as a seaman, and left the USS Iowa on December 1, 1945 a radioman first class, division petty officer. Those years on the Iowa were a major part of his life, and when he wrote his life story in the 1990s, he shared many of his experiences aboard the ship. The one part that surprised me the most was of taking care of the POWs on the ship, following the surrender of Japan. When the Iowa was at risk of being scrapped he worked with groups to save the Iowa, made more in that he was born, raised and died in Iowa. I was sorry he did not live long enough to see his beloved ship settled permanently in San Pedro.
Roy Kotoff
Hails from: Los Angeles, CA
Division: USN
Rate/Rank: MM 2/C
Date of Birth: 03/25/1924
Years in Service: 6
My dad, Roy Alex Kotoff, served on the USS Iowa during her voyage carrying President Roosevelt to the Casablanca Conference and back. He received his Shellback certificate on that voyage; I still have it. During his time in the Navy, he also served at the Naval Air Station, Midway Island; USS Sierra, and finally at the Naval Operations Base in Shanghai. I am so very proud of my father and his part in the amazing history of the USS Iowa!
Doug Rhoads
Hails from: West Plains, MO
Division: Deck Dept 1st/2nd/4th
Rate/Rank: BM1
Date of Birth: 02/19/1964
Years in Service: 29
I reported aboard IOWA in July of 1983 and departed in the spring of 1986. Returned for a second tour in Jan of 1988 and departed in 1991 after we towed IOWA to Philadelphia.
Larry Dickerson
Hails from: Fort Worth, TX
Division: Unknown
Rate/Rank: LCDR
Date of Birth: 11/20/1940
Years in Service: 29
My dad served on the USS Iowa from 2/86 to his retirement in 8/87. Growing up all I ever knew was that my daddy was a weatherman, though I'm sure there was a lot more to his job than that. The story he always told me was that he wanted to be a photographer when he enlisted and ended up as an aerographer because it sounded similar. He passed away in 2005 and if anyone knew him or has any pictures I'd love hear from you.
Richard Hundley
Hails from: Kingwood, Texas
Division: 5
Rate/Rank: BM2
Date of Birth: 12/05/1931
Years in Service: 9
Served on Iowa when she was put back in commission. Went aboard as SN and left as BM2
James T Morris
Hails from: Holly Hill, Florida
Division: S-3
Rate/Rank: Sh3
Date of Birth: 09/18/1963
Years in Service: 2
One of the best times I had in the navy and one day was the the worst day I had too Wish all my shipmates and there family best wishes and I think of them every day Anyone from S-3 division that’s out there from 87-89 can reach me at I’d love to reconnect
Wilbert C. Manke
Hails from: Carmel, CA
Division: Dental Corps
Rate/Rank: Captain
Date of Birth: 07/05/1918
Years in Service: 23
Dr. Manke served as a dental officer from the time the ship was commissioned in early 1943 through September 1944, logging by his account about 120,000 miles on the ship he was so proud to serve on. A plastic model of the Iowa assembled by his young son had a prominent position on his desk for decades, until his death in 2005 at 86. He felt honored to have been involved in ferrying President Roosevelt across the Atlantic to meet with Churchill and Stalin, and kept a copy of the President's appreciative farewell address to the crew.
John “Ike” McKee
Hails from: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Division: US Navy
Rate/Rank: Seaman 1st Class
Date of Birth: 05/25/1923
Years in Service: 3?
My Dad, John Anthony McKee, better known as Ike McKee, proudly served on the Battleship Iowa during WWII. He lied about his age & dropped out of West Catholic Boys High School in Philadelphia to enlist in the US Navy. He didn’t talk Much about the war, but he did tell the story of going thru the Panama Canal & I have a certificate he was given then! He was extremely proud that the Iowa carried President F. D. Roosevelt to overseas conferences! FDR was his hero & I am named after Eleanor Rosevelt. Unfortunately he died suddenly of a heart attack on 03/30/69.
Robert (Bob) Marion
Hails from: Cantonment, FL
Division: S1
Rate/Rank: SK1
Date of Birth: 05/13/1948
Years in Service: 23
Reported onboard for pre-commissioning in Mississippi. I was the reviving Storekeeper. I re-enlisted on top of turret #1 in lock #1of the Panama Canal.
Edward Stack
Hails from: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Division: Legal
Rate/Rank: MA1
Date of Birth: 03/17/1952
Years in Service: 22
I spent the first ten years of my military career as a U.S. Marine, having enlisted at age 17, in 1969. I have to say, however, that my years in the U.S. Navy afforded me far more opportunities for world travel than I ever would have realized in the Marine Corps (at least to desirable locations). USS IOWA was my last sea duty assignment before my retirement, in 1992. In 1988, I made a special trip to Washington, D.C. to negotiate my last sea duty assignment with my Detailer. It was well worth the effort as, after meeting with him, I was offered a Master-at-Arms billet aboard USS IOWA. I was thrilled, and jumped at the opportunity! I was truly privileged to have been a member of her crew, from 1988 until she was decommissioned, in 1990. USS IOWA was the 'Queen of the Seas'. Her profile was sleek and awe-inspiring, and she bristled with authority. Whenever she dropped anchor in a foreign port, she elicited the respect of the local population. I can recall several occasions, overseas, when throngs of people were lined up on the pier, waiting for a chance to come aboard and tour one of the most powerful warships on the planet. I can't tell you how proud I am to have served with so many fine shipmates, aboard the finest ship in the Fleet. My memories of USS IOWA will last a lifetime!
James H Conroy Jr.
Hails from: Wayne, New Jersey
Division: Division 7
Rate/Rank: Seaman 1st Class
Date of Birth: 08/22/1923
Years in Service: 1942-1946
My father, James H Conroy Jr was an IOWA Plank Owner. A Seaman 1st Class, he served from 1942-1946. The first time he saw her in the Brooklyn NAVY Yard he said that he was never prouder, to know that he would soon be up on her deck. He was on board when she was launched, when she squeezed through the Panama Canal, for her first Equator crossing, as she carried President Roosevelt to the Tehran Conference (and back), when she tangled with Typon Cobra, when she was missed by a Kamikaze plane, as she earned her Battle Stars and for the surrender in Tokyo Bay. Whether he was swabbing the deck, setting gun sights, or acting as the Captain's Talker, he was honored to serve in the United States NAVY. Sometimes he would man the ship's bell when the fog drifted in, covering her massive hull, her 16 inch guns, the silhouette of the mighty Big Stick. Ringing out six bells, then one, six bells, then one. My father lived long enough to see the IOWA in her new role as a museum, and he rested easier knowing that she was not moth balled, but instead being revered in the manor which she so deserved. Margaret Conroy
Frank Kalas
Hails from: Jacksonville, Florida
Division: Supply Department
Rate/Rank: CAPTAIN
Date of Birth: 12/31/1943
Years in Service: 28.5
Served in IOWA from 1985 to 1987. Supply Officer. Project Officer for visit of President Reagan at New York for the International Naval Review in 1986. Many great memories. See some old shipmates often. Retired aboard IOWA in 1993 after she was decommissioned and awaiting layup at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard; post-retirement reception was in the Wardroom. Happiest days in the Navy were in IOWA, without a doubt. Visited the ship in LA and was ready to go back to sea in her right then. I have a 1944 metal model of IOWA used in submarine periscope training on my bookcase. Picture of original launch and commemorative postal cover is framed on my wall. IOWA and my shipmates are always in my thoughts.
Morris Eugene "MO" Bewley
Hails from: South Pasadena, CA
Division: ?
Rate/Rank: Seaman
Date of Birth: 09/15/1927
Years in Service: 9
My Papa served on the USS Iowa during the Korean Conflict. He boarded in December 1945 in the Long Beach Harbor, where the "Big Stick" was in dry-dock for repairs. Papa was part of the crew that went underneath it. He said it looked like a city down there with all of the work lights and people. At the end of January, they headed for Japan. They went to relieve the New Jersey in Tokyo Bay as part of the "occupation force." After about a week and a half at sea, they ran into a tidal wave. Covering the ship, it bent the bow two feet to the port side. It destroyed the small guns, ammunition storage, and radar equipment that was on the port side of the ship. It also knocked one of the seaplanes off its catapult. Papa said this was "the most awesome thing he had ever seen." We lost Papa Mo on December 27, 2011. He would have loved to walk the decks of the ship he once served on. We are all so proud of his service and we know how proud he is to be a part of the history of the country he loved.
David Coen
Hails from: Pensacola, FL
Division: E
Rate/Rank: IC1(SW)
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 20
Reported to Pre-Comm Iowa in Norfolk as a ICFA, September 1983, moved down to Pascagoula for the outfitting and commisioning. I must say 2nd most impressive thing about the Iowa, first being a "Broadside", was actually walking underneath the ship when she was in drydock. Enjoyed showing the flag throughout the Caribbean Islands during our first shakedown cruise. St. Thomas, Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras to name a few... Needless to say we did alot of field daying!
James Baron
Hails from: Fredericksburg, VA
Division: PAO
Rate/Rank: JOCS(SW)
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 23
Served as Leading Chief of Public Affairs Office that included shipboard television station, the print shop and the photo lab. Served with exceptional shipmates.
David Hewett
Hails from: Hope Mills, NC
Division: FA
Rate/Rank: FC3 (SW)
Date of Birth: 07/30/1967
Years in Service: 24
Was onboard from just prior to explosion until final Decom...Can't wait to walk her decks again!
Vaughn Joy
Hails from: Detroit, MI
Division: ?
Rate/Rank: GM2
Date of Birth: 07/24/1924
Years in Service: 5
Dennis Unger
Hails from: Wetumpka, AL
Division: G-3
Rate/Rank: GMG2
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 1986-1991
I served aboad the USS Iowa in Turret 3 from June of 1987 until September of 1990. The funny story behind my service on the Iowa goes back to 1984. That Summer I stayed aboard the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile Bay as a Boy Scout. My Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster were both former Navy and as we were touring the ship, we went into the Number 3 Turret. At the time I was gung ho Air Force and was not really not interested in a Naval Career, but as I entered the Turret for the first time and saw how incredible and overwhelmingly massive it was, I stated to both that "I could do this". 2 years later, I'm in Naval Bootcamp Naval Gun School to follow. I had the chance of Frigates, Destroyers even follow on schools to go to after completing Gun chool, but I chose the Iowa upon seeing her put on the black board. In June of 87 I arrived aboard the Iowa and was pleasantly surprised with the knowledge that I was 1) going to be a Turret Gunner and 2) would serve in Turret 3. My time aboard the Iowa was one of the greatest times in my life.
Donald Wilson
Hails from: Hemet, CA
Division: R
Rate/Rank: FP3
Date of Birth: 11/14/1937
Years in Service: 4
I joined the navy after high schoolin1955 left for boot camp.After boot camp went to pipefitters school in Norfork Va. Then I got assigned to the U.S.S. Iowa on December 31 1955 and served on her utill we put her in mothballs in 1958. During that time I learned alot and meet so many great shipmates that I still have contact with. Looking forward to walking her decks again. Don Wilson
Troy Baisch
Hails from: Oceanside, CA
Division: GM
Rate/Rank: FC2
Date of Birth: 06/07/1963
Years in Service: 26
I was a Tomahawk FC aboard Iowa from 1987-1989. They say you never forget your first love. So true. I've been to a lot of great commands over my 26 years of service, but Iowa will always be the most special to me. I've always said I'd go back there in a heartbeat, and if I could,I really would. I'm glad she'll be in L.A. so she'll be so close, but it is kind of bittersweet. I'm happy she's been saved and will be well cared for, but sad that I'll never get to go to sea aboard her again. No one who has never been a BATTLESHIP SAILOR will ever understand, and those who have know exactly what I'm talking about.
Rafael Echeandia
Hails from: New Bern, North Carolina
Division: EX
Rate/Rank: SN2
Date of Birth: 01/09/1934
Years in Service: 3
Jack Perkins
Hails from: Aberdeen, SD
Division: 1st
Rate/Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Date of Birth: 04/29/1922
Years in Service: 23
When my grandfather graduated high school in June 1940, he joined the US Navy intending to become a pilot. He completed basic training at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois. During this time, the rules changed, only to allow college graduates to become pilots. Once he finished boot camp in 1941, he joined the USS Pennsylvania at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was a rangefinder operator and practiced shooting land or towed vessel targets. After six months, he had the opportunity to be tested for acceptance into Naval Prep School, a first step toward attending the Naval Academy, where he could complete his dream of becoming a pilot! He qualified and attended Naval Prep School in Norfolk, Virginia, missing the attack on Pearl Harbor by three months. From there, my grandfather attended the Naval Academy for three years (accelerated during the War). His first assignment upon graduating in 1945 was to the USS Iowa. He was assigned to be a Turret One officer for a year. When he joined the USS Iowa in Hawaii, their first assignment was to accompany the USS Missouri for Japan's surrender. The Iowa and Missouri steamed into Sagami Bay for the Japanese Naval surrender, and then on to Tokyo Bay, to receive the Japanese Emperor's surrender. He watched the surrender proceedings from the deck of the Iowa as it transpired aboard the Missouri. He was among the very early waves of service members to step foot in Japan. Their first job was to help ship out US POWs. Once he completed one year's deployment aboard the USS Iowa, he went to Pensacola, FL to attend Flight Training. There he became a Naval Aviator, his lifelong dream! Over the course of his career, he flew the following aircraft: SNJ (flight training), R4D, R5D, F2H, F3D, AD4, AD5, AD6, Grumman HU-16, P2V. He flew planes from 1949 when he earned his wings till he retired in 1963. To this day, my grandfather talks about how incredible his time was aboard the USS Iowa! He is 98 years old as of this writing, June 7, 2020.
Ellsworth Knutson
Hails from: West Covina, CA
Division: Signal
Rate/Rank: SM 3/C
Date of Birth: 09/27/1926
Years in Service: 2
After serving in the US Navy Armed Guard the South Pacific I was at Ulithi at the end of WW2.. after arriving back in the states I was assigned to the Iowa in January 1946. She was the flagship of the 5th Fleet while in Tokyo Bay. We were in a storm for 3 days enroute to Japan. It buckled the false bow and wrecked one of the observation planes. Other than that it was a rather quiet trip for the Iowa. What a great ship .I am anxious to board her once again after 66 years.
Rodney Williams
Hails from: Chapin, SC
Division: Unk
Rate/Rank: Unk
Date of Birth: 03/31/1937
Years in Service: 4
Served on the IOWA in 1956 and 1957 and was on board when they took it to Philadelphia to take it out of commission in 1957. During his time on board they toured the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and the North Sea. He vividly remembers one night when they call for General Quarter because a fleet of Russian ships were refueling in the wrong area. He enjoyed playing on the Iowa's basketball team when they were in port.
Robert Qualls
Hails from: Knoxville, TN
Division: B
Rate/Rank: BT3 (SW)
Date of Birth: 12/28/1962
Years in Service: 4
I served on the IOWA from May 1987 to October 26, 1990. I worked in the Fuel/Water Lab my entire time on the IOWA except for a brief stint on the mess decks. I was there on the day of the explosion, and my GQ station was in Main Control. We lost too many good men that dreadful day. The life lessons that I learned on the IOWA have served me well. God Bless the fallen 47.
Charles Nix
Hails from: Culver, Indiana
Division: FA
Rate/Rank: Seaman 1st class
Date of Birth: 12/23/1930
Years in Service: 4
I enlisted in the Navy in September of 1948 and completed boot camp in San Diego in December. After a short Christmas leave I reported back to San Diego and was transferred for duty at Pearl Harbor. I remained stationed in the shipyard there for 26 months. By then I had accumulated 60 days leave and went home to Florida. After that leave I reported back to San Diego. While there I went through extensive training for sea duty, in the classroom as well as on other ships. I was assigned to the U.S.S. Iowa in August of 1951 when it was recommissioned. After much training and trial runs off our West Coast, we departed for the Far East. We relieved our sister ship U.S.S. Wisconsin off the coast of North Korea in March of 1951 with the Task Force 77. My tour of duty was completed in August of that year and I was transferred back to Treasure Island near San Francisco. I have always been proud that I could serve my country and especially enjoyed my tour of duty aboard that magnificent battleship.
Rick Robinson
Hails from: River Vale, NJ
Division: R
Rate/Rank: 2nd Class E-5
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 4
I served aboard the Iowa from 1986-1989 in "R" Div. I was On scene leader 1 Foxtrot directly behind Turret Two during the Explosion and I lost several friends that day. I miss the guys from R division and the great times we had abroad.
James Tully
Hails from: Fairfax, VA
Division: Marine Detachment
Rate/Rank: Corporal
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 6
To short of a duty on so historical a ship. Great times great stories! There are a bunch of us MARDET types on Facebook.!/groups/137578086320835/
John B. Shideler
Hails from: Mesa, AZ
Division: E
Rate/Rank: EMPC
Date of Birth: 08/08/1922
Years in Service: 9
New Chief 02/25/1952 aboard USS Rochester. Transferred to Hunters Point Shipyard for preconditioning the USS Iowa. Onboard for commissioning May 25,1952. Discharged Nov. 5, 1952
Daniel Burdette
Hails from: GULFPORT, Mississippi
Division: R
Rate/Rank: DC2
Date of Birth: 11/06/1968
Years in Service: 5
At age 17, completed boot camp RTC San Diego Company 194 Aug.-Oct.1986.Completed HT "A" school Feb.1987 and reported aboard Iowa early March 1987 as an HTFN. Made HT3 before I was to mess crank,thus relieving me of that duty. After rating split in 1988, was redesignated DC3 and made DC2 on the next rotation. I was a young 20 year old DC2 on 4/19/1989, and was working on an armored hatch on 3rd deck, port side outside of New Chem Warfare space by turret one's barbett when we lost turret two. Left the Navy Nov.1991 after fighting to stay in, was released honorably under medical conditions. I wanted to life out. Now I volunteer aboard the battleship USS Alabama BB-60 in Mobile, Alabama as a member of the Living History Crew, serving as the crew's chaplain. I have always loved battleships and was blessed to have served with the best shipmates aboard Iowa.
Robert Roche
Hails from: Mohnnton, Pennsylvania
Division: E
Rate/Rank: EM3
Date of Birth: 02/14/1934
Years in Service: 1952-1956
Was part of E Division in the 50's Played on the softball team. Always found wearing his USS Iowa jacket and ball cap
David Miller
Hails from: Hardinsburg, KY
Division: Easy
Rate/Rank: Chief Petty Officer
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 32
My father, who passed away in 2012, served on board the Iowa during the Korean War. He told us that those years were some of the best of his life. He started out as an E3 IC, then later an EM. He reached the rank of CPO just before he retired.
Darin Calhoun
Hails from: Los Angeles, CA
Division: 2nd Division & Turret 3
Rate/Rank: E-4
Date of Birth: 08/10/1967
Years in Service: 4
I came onto the Iowa in 1985 as a boatswain's mate and served in 2nd Division. I then trained to be a gunners mate and joined the turret 3 crew as a damage control officer and projectile decks captain. I was there during the good times: Bob Hope's Christmas tour, and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders for New Years. I was there during the bad times: the loss of my crew mates during the explosion on April 19th. I will always remember them and do my best to honor them.
Miller Dean Hayden
Hails from: St. George, UT
Division: Unknown
Rate/Rank: Seaman
Date of Birth: 07/02/1924
Years in Service: 1941-1945
My dad was a "plankholder" on the Iowa. He served from its commission through the end of the war. He was a gunner's mate. His job was to shoot down kamikazes or anything else that got in the Big Stick's way. He passed away 02-17-2012. I wish that I could have toured the Iowa with him. He is center front in the photo. Bradley Hayden
Ed Weiss
Hails from: North Brook, IL
Division: E
Rate/Rank: Electrician's Mate PO3
Date of Birth: 12/22/1932
Years in Service: 1952-1956
Served aboard the USS Albany from 52 - 54, then went to electrician school then served on the USS Iowa from 54 to 56. I felt and still do that the Iowa was one of the finest ships ever built.
Stephen Rodriguez
Hails from: Staunton, VA
Division: R
Rate/Rank: DCC(SW)
Date of Birth: 01/12/1966
Years in Service: 20
I was assigned to the Iowa as punishment for getting kicked out of "BT" A school. By the grace of God I was put in Repair Division. The Iowa made me. It is a sailors dream ship. I kid from East Los Angeles that had only gone to Disneyland now saw the world. My heart will always be there. Battle Ship Sailor! Awards: Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Navy Achievement Medal Good Conduct Medal (6) Navy Unit Commendation Meritorious Unit Commendation (2) Navy "E" (3) Southwest Asia Service Medal w/1 Bronze Star Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War On Terrorism Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2) Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4) National Defense Medal (2) Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist
Roy Durham
Hails from: Los Angeles, CA
Division: OPS
Rate/Rank: OS2
Date of Birth: 01/08/1967
Years in Service: 9
Served on Battleship Iowa from 1986-1991. Served as operations specialist and Tomahawk Cruise Missile DBMS. Also worked on Naval Gunfire Support Team aboard USS Iowa.
James Cheatham
Hails from: Clarkston, GA
Division: Unknown
Rate/Rank: ETN3
Date of Birth: 04/12/1934
Years in Service: 1952
My father, James Robert Cheatham (1934-1997), served as an ETN3 on the Battleship USS Iowa during the Korean Conflict. He would have been 18 or 19 then so just a kid. I need to go visit the USS Iowa in the Port of Los Angeles to learn more of his tour. - James R. Cheatham II
Wesley Newby
Hails from: Cathedral City, CA
Division: S-2
Rate/Rank: MS
Date of Birth: 07/11/1969
Years in Service: 4
I reported on board Iowa in April 1989 just days after the explosion. It was a somber moment but I could tell that this was a very special place to be. Iowa was a family!! and even though they had been hit by a tragic event they couldnt be broken. To be able to serve as a Battleship Sailor was a Proud experience. I was there when they fired her 16 inch guns for the first time and what a moment in History that was, and to be on board for her final Med Cruise was priceless. Not many sailors can call there self Battleship Sailors, but I am proud to say that I was!!!!
Donald Ellenburg
Hails from: Bostic, NC
Division: R
Rate/Rank: DC2
Date of Birth: 02/11/1956
Years in Service: 4
Served in the persain gulf,was PO in charge of duty section 6 also in charge of chemical warfare lockers
Donald V. Cardwell
Hails from: Lakeland, FL
Division: X
Rate/Rank: TDC (AC)
Date of Birth: 03/05/1937
Years in Service: 24
IOWA: My First and Only ship as Ships company. I Walked up the gangway as an Airman with three (3) GREEN stripes. The JOD says you're on the wrong ship with those Green Stripes, the Carrier is across the way. We only have seaman And firemen. I was a TDAN assigned to the "X" div. I&E office as a Training Device Tech. The Green stripes were a magnet for out of uniform charges. I finally was promoted to TD3 on top of Turret 1 by Capt. Becton. I became a Shell Back and a Blue Nose in the same year. One of my GQ stations was a 40mm Quad loader. We visited eight (8) countries during three deployments. Awards: 6 Good Conducts, 3 Unit Meritorious
Hugh Yoho
Hails from: Sunland, CA
Division: Engineering
Rate/Rank: Midshipman 1/C
Date of Birth: 02/11/1936
Years in Service: 8
In 1956 I was the Midshipman Engineering Officer on the USS Iowa (U. of South Carolina NROTC), when the ship visited England, Denmark and Cuba. Although I was aboard the Iowa for just a few months, I still have wonderful memories of that cruise. I later served on the USS Gainard (DD-706) and then transferred to the Navy Civil Engineering Corps. The picture shows me (with a check mark over my head) on the Gainard.
R. David Jones
Hails from: Milton, PA
Division: 3rd
Rate/Rank: HM3
Date of Birth: 06/05/1970
Years in Service: 12
I served on the Iowa from 88-90 as a non-rated Seaman. I loved being on "The Big Stick"! She was my only ship and therefore very special. My friend Ron Bingle and I did everything together. I remember that fateful day of April 19, 1989. I had breakfast that morning with several of those who were killed. I spent that evening on the body-recovery team. My mom, dad, and sisters (Polly, Gary, Kim, and Teresa) met me on the ship when we returned to port. What a special time. My girlfriend at the time, (now wife Dottie) visited me on the ship. In July of 2012 my kids (Meg and JJ) will finally get to see this wonderful haze gray lady.
Bryan Moss
Hails from: Glendale, CA
Division: CR
Rate/Rank: RM-1
Date of Birth: 08/27/1933
Years in Service: 8
Joined the Navy at age 18. It was great to have served on Iowa 52-53.
William D Carroll
Hails from: Alexander CIty, Alabama
Division: E Division
Rate/Rank: EM3
Date of Birth: 09/05/1931
Years in Service: 1950-1954
My father served aboard the USS Iowa as EM3 from 1951-1952.
David E. Marsh
Hails from: Perryville, NY
Division: USN
Rate/Rank: MM3C
Date of Birth: 06/28/1924
Years in Service: 3
My grandfather served aboard the Iowa during WW2 (43-45) He told of events such as traveling the Panama Canal on the way to the Pacific, the Liberation of The Philippines, and encountering a typhoon which inflicted damage on the ship. The Iowa was in dry-dock for repairs: Dec 44-March 45. She then returned to the fighting near Japan. On 8/29/45, the Iowa entered Tokyo Bay in support of the occupation forces to arrive the next day. My grandfather was very proud of his time on the Iowa and wore his Former Crew Member cap until he passed away in Jan 2008.
Clifford Charles Smith
Hails from: Brentwood, CA
Division: MM
Rate/Rank: 3rd Class
Date of Birth: 07/05/1937
Years in Service: 3
was on Iowa from 55-58. worked engine room. helped yo decommissioning the Iowa twice.
John Russelman
Hails from: Gulfport, MS
Division: Marine Detachment
Rate/Rank: Cpl.
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 9
I've forgotten so many great stories, Bob Hope, Lee Greenwood, Captain Seaquist, Colonel Paul Schreiber, Ted Kennedy, Walter Croncite, the Princesses of Monaco, Beach boys, ZZ Top MTV Barge...Losing all power with the Captain of the ship and atleast 25 others in a whale boat in the Gulf with high seas, at night drifting everyone unarmed except Martze and his .45 and the way back from the USS Midway...The "incident" in St. Thomas was a great story also!!!
Glenwood Rose
Hails from: Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
Division: 7
Rate/Rank: GM SN
Date of Birth: 11/29/1934
Years in Service: 1952-1955
Entered Navy at 17 years of age. It was a pleasure to serve on the Iowa for full enlistment. My battle station was a 40 mm gun mount, but also on 5” and 16” guns!
George Delamotte
Hails from: VA Beach, VA
Division: 3rd Div
Rate/Rank: BMCM
Date of Birth: 02/24/1961
I always look back to my days onboard my first duty station. No doubt the best and most rewarding time in the Navy. As part of Pre-Com crew, bring her back to life in Pascagoula, Mississippi, was the highlight of my 30 year career.
Vito Cangialosi
Hails from: Lake Mary, Florida
Division: OS
Rate/Rank: SMS2 SW
Date of Birth: 10/03/1966
Years in Service: 4
Served onboard from 1985 - 1989 Started on deck dept. became signalman. Left from Med cruise late 89. Was on signal bridge for turret 2 explosion. RIP to my fallen shipmates. Anyone from the signal bridge from that time can freely contact me thru email
Travis Camp
Hails from: Bakersfield, CA
Division: K
Rate/Rank: RD2
Date of Birth: 09/29/1930
Years in Service: 22
I was aboard the USS Iowa for 2 yrs. Capt Smedberg was the best Commander I ever served under. My Battle Station was Flag Plot, There I also worked with Vice Admiral JJ Clark Commander 7th Fleet.My opion is Capt Smedberg made The Iowa the great Ship she is. I was also on the USS New Jersey. I served 6yrs Navy 16 yrs USAF But the Iowa holds the most fondest memories
Jack Perkins
Hails from: Aberdeen, South Dakota
Division: 1st
Rate/Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Date of Birth: 04/29/1922
Years in Service: 23
When my grandfather graduated high school in June 1940, he joined the US Navy intending to become a pilot. He completed basic training at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois. During this time, the rules changed, only to allow college graduates to become pilots. Once he finished boot camp in 1941, he joined the USS Pennsylvania at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was a rangefinder operator and practiced shooting land or towed vessel targets. After six months, he had the opportunity to be tested for acceptance into Naval Prep School, a first step toward attending the Naval Academy, where he could complete his dream of becoming a pilot! He qualified and attended Naval Prep School in Norfolk, Virginia, missing the attack on Pearl Harbor by three months. From there, my grandfather attended the Naval Academy for three years (accelerated during the War). His first assignment upon graduating in 1945 was to the USS Iowa. He was assigned to be a Turret One officer for a year. When he joined the USS Iowa in Hawaii, their first assignment was to accompany the USS Missouri for Japan's surrender. The Iowa and Missouri steamed into Sagami Bay for the Japanese Naval surrender, and then on to Tokyo Bay, to receive the Japanese Emperor's surrender. He watched the surrender proceedings from the deck of the Iowa as it transpired aboard the Missouri. He was among the very early waves of service members to step foot in Japan. Their first job was to help ship out US POWs. Once he completed one year's deployment aboard the USS Iowa, he went to Pensacola, FL to attend Flight Training.There he became a Naval Aviator, his lifelong dream! Over the course of his career, he flew the following aircraft: SNJ (flight training), R4D, R5D, F2H, F3D, AD4, AD5, AD6, Grumman HU-16, P2V. He flew planes from 1949 when he earned his wings till he retired in 1963. To the time of his death on May 26, 2021 at the age of 99, my grandfather would talk about how incredible his time was aboard the USS Iowa. In his last few months he reminded us to count our blessings and told us that he's a "great believer in luck" and that he's been "very lucky." He is survived by his loving family who celebrates his life with gin martinis, chocolate, and good beer.
Ruben Ingram
Hails from: Long Beach, CA
Division: US Navy
Rate/Rank: CWO2
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 30
My father, Ruben L. Ingram, Senior, was assigned to the USS Iowa when it was commissioned Feb 22, 1943. My mother (who is still living at 101 years old) and I attended the commissioning in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was a rainy day and at the age of nine I watched Admiral Forrestal christen the ship as it was launched on it's first shakedown run. We then went to Boston while the ship was repaired before it joined the war effort first in the Atlantic and then taking the President to the Teheran conference with Stalin and Churchill. My father was the supply officer responsible for obtaining the water from Warm Springs, GA for the first and only bathtub installed on a battleship. He spent many an evening chatting with President Roosevelt when he requested a sandwich at night when he was restless.
Doug Rhoads
Hails from: Moyock, North Carolina
Division: 1st; 2nd; and 4th Division in Deck Department
Rate/Rank: BM1(SW)
Date of Birth: 02/19/1964
Years in Service: Served aboard 1983-1986 and 1988 to 1991
There were many from my boot camp division (CO 125; RTC Great Lakes) and other recruit divisions chosen in 1983 to help commission and subsequently serve onboard IOWA. My assignment was within Second Division which was upkeep of the ceremonial Quarterdeck area and adjacent weather decks. My General Quarters station was Turret 2. There's no question that being a Battleship Sailor was hard work, the cleaning, shining and other physical work like holy-stoning seemed endless, but it was worth every drop of sweat to be a part of such a historic time in our Navy. As many do, I chose to get out of the Navy after my initial enlistment to pursue a career within our family business, which for about a year was satisfying, but having remained active reserves I was still associated with the Navy. It was the summer of 1987 during required active duty for training that I decided to reenlist and go back to what I truly loved -- being at sea. Hailing from Missouri my desire was to serve aboard USS MISSOURI (BB-63), but the crew was already established so my detailer offered the IOWA again, which I didn't hesitate taking. I returned to the ship in January 1988 while she was deployed to the Persian Gulf -- it was as if I'd never left -- I was assigned to First Division which was responsible for the ships Forecastle area, as well as paint locker, etc. My initial General Quarters station was Turret One, followed by assignment as special detail Boatswain's Mate of the Watch on the ships bridge. In early 1989 I was assigned to Fourth Division and ran the ships Sail Locker. I've got so many great IOWA memories, she was a majestic and powerful dreadnought with a devoted and faithful crew. If I had to choose but one period of time it would be our 1985 participation in Northern Wedding where we operated and conducted war games with many of our cold war allies. It was not all work without play though, as we visited ports in Germany, Norway, Denmark, and France, all of which were extremely fun times. I'm so very appreciative of the leadership and many other organizations participation in finally establishing our great ship as a vibrant museum in San Pedro. As I approach my retirement this spring (2019), it’s satisfying to know that walking IOWA’s teak decks will assuredly be more frequent for this old Battleship Sailor!
Ken Armstrong
Hails from: Albany, OR
Division: B
Rate/Rank: BT3
Date of Birth: 05/07/1967
Years in Service: 1987-1988
When I first got my orders in 1986, I had no idea what a BB was till I asked my "A" school teacher, all he said was damn I wish I had those orders. After getting to the ship I instantly knew why. Such an awsome feeling to step across that gangplank for the first time. Now Im allways lookin for an excuse to talk about her.
Rodney Rippeth
Hails from: Coalton, Ohio
Division: E3
Rate/Rank: Gunner
Date of Birth: 05/30/1937
Years in Service: 1952-1956
I'm adding my fathers information as I get it from him. He is 82 now and he proudly served on the USS Iowa. He talks about it almost daily.
Roger Pomeroy
Hails from: Westlake Village, CA
Division: CS
Rate/Rank: SN
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 1947-1954
I spent 5 years in the Navy Reserve, and was called to active duty in 1952. I went aboard in April, 1952 and served on the Iowa until February of 1954.
Charles Stegner
Hails from: Eugene, Oregon
Division: G-4
Rate/Rank: GMG2
Date of Birth: 01/14/1968
Years in Service: 13
I joined the Navy in 1986 right after graduating from high school. I had never left Eugene Oregon. I went to boot camp in San Diego, California. I graduated from boot camp in July of 1986. Immediately afterward I went to gunner A school in Great Lakes Illinois. Passed B.E.E and gunner school with grades high enough to pick where I wanted to be stationed. I chose the USS Iowa BB 61 Because it was a gunner's dream. I reported aboard May 1987, and immediately we set out to see the world. From 1987 to 1989 I saw more of the world than my dad did in all of his 20 years of service. On board the IOWA I was in gun mount 53 and 51. I ran the armory from 1988 to 1990. April 19, 1989 is a day that will always be etched in my memory. I was standing topside on the O2 level watching the gun turret shoot. I remember them shooting flashless powder. I got bored turn my back and was walking away when I heard the explosion behind me. I remember running to General quarters. My gentle quarter station was magazine about 52. I can remember seeing smoke, smelling smoke, and being scared out of my mind. I only had a set of sound powered phones. Everyone was evacuated from magazines and we were all told to go to the flight deck area on the fantail. Listening to the one MC the captain, the devastation. I know it’s a day that I will never forget.
Richard Brown
Hails from: Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Division: Unknown
Rate/Rank: Fireman First
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 1945 to 1947
My father served in the Navy from 1945 to 1947: 1945 he served in sub base, Pearl Harbor and he received a World War II Victory Medal. 1946 he served on the USS Fallon (APA-81) and participated in Operation Crossroads. 1947 he served on the USS Iowa (BB-61) as a Fireman First class in 1947. He is very proud to have served on the Iowa and loves to tell stories from his time on this battleship. We are amazed whenever we hear a new story as there is always something new to learn.
Steve Hawes
Hails from: Toledo, OH
Division: 1st & 2nd
Rate/Rank: BM2
Date of Birth: 10/21/1964
Years in Service: 4
Served onboard Iowa from 85-89. I am proud to say that I served onboard the greatest ship ever made along with the greatest Shipmates. My memories of both shall always remain some of the best of my life.
Rafael Echeandia
Hails from: NEW BERN, North Carolina
Division: Executive
Rate/Rank: SN
Date of Birth: 01/09/1934
Years in Service: 2
I was drafted in 1954 and discharged in 1956. I was assigned to the Chaplain's office for the duration.
Eric Warthen
Hails from: Rosedale, Maryland
Division: 3rd
Rate/Rank: BM3/E4
Date of Birth: 05/21/1968
Years in Service: 4
I joined in 1986 and went to RTC Great Lakes, and was there until February 1987 when I went to my first ship, the USS Mt. Baker (AE-34) out of Charleston, SC. It was a nice ship and I can remember doing an un-rep with the Wisconsin and I thought that it was cool riding alongside those big guns. It was an impressive sight, and I never thought I would have a chance to serve on a battleship. In October of 1987 I was diagnosed with bunions and sent in November for surgery and another in April of 1988. I was set to be released to full duty at the end of August and I was offered a billet on the Iowa out of Norfolk. I reported onboard September 1, 1988 and from the beginning, this ship seemed different. The guys seemed to really get along and they knew how to have fun. My time on the Big Stick had ups and downs, but it has helped me become a better person. I cherish the good and the bad memories. It might sound cliche, but we were all brothers, not just shipmates. Our time on the Med cruise was awesome, getting paid to go halfway around the world.
Billy Don Ford
Hails from: North Kansas City, Missouri
Division: Navy
Rate/Rank: Seaman First Class
Date of Birth: 03/20/1932
Years in Service: 2
Seaman First Class Billy Don Ford was a proud Navy service man. He served during the Korean War. He married his soulmate, Betty Ann, before shipping out on July 5, 1952. After returning home with a honorable discharge in 1954, he became a pressman at printing company. It was always a privilege for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to get to listen to his war stories about the time he spent on the USS Iowa. Unfortunately, he passed away on 5/21/18. He will always be loved and never forgotten. Thank you to him and all of the other service men and women who protect our freedoms.
Edward Joseph Schaefer
Hails from: New York, New York
Division: Unknown
Rate/Rank: Unknown
Date of Birth: 12/12/1924
Years in Service: 10 Mar 1944 - 9 May 1946
My maternal grandfather, Edward Joseph Schaefer Jr; served in the United States Navy in the Pacific on the USS Iowa during World War Two. He was born on December 12, 1924 in Manhattan, New York, the second child and eldest son of Edward J Schaefer Sr. and Marion Horner Schaefer. He enlisted in the US Navy on March 10, 1944 and was released from duty on May 9, 1946. The story told in our family is that my grandfather loved Christmas so much that his mother kept their Christmas tree up in their apartment until he came home from the war. At that point there weren't any needles left on the tree. He loved his country and was proud to serve. Following the war, he married the love of his life, Angelica Paidoussis Schaefer on January 20, 1952. Together, they raised three children and seven grandchildren. He served in the Fire Department of New York for thirty years.
Robert Stephens
Hails from: McCrory, AR
Division: B
Rate/Rank: BT3
Date of Birth: 08/25/1969
Years in Service: 10
Flew on board the Iowa in January of 1988 by Helo. We circled the ship twice and being 18 and seeing the ship for the first time I was like how can I be this lucky to have orders to this ship. Served on 4 different ships in my 10 years in the Navy and I don't talk about any ship but the Iowa. Served on board until October 30th of 1990 worked in the Fuel Lab most of the time on board. God bless the Iowa 47.
William Sturgeon
Hails from: Los Angeles, CA
Division: Supply
Rate/Rank: SK3C
Date of Birth: 01/27/1928
Years in Service: 2
I served 1946 to 1948. In my short time on the IOWA I saw the "Spruce Goose" fly, I watched an unsuccessful attempt to pickup a scout plane that was launched off the back of the ship and was there when Hollywood star Reginald Denny flew a radio controlled drone plane around the ship for target practice. I also remember gunnery practice on San Clemente island and proudly taking 48 State governors to Hawaii for a conference to discuss Hawaii's statehood. I boarded the IOWA in Bremerton Washington where her bow was being repaired after it was warped by a typhoon off Japan. Repairs were unsuccessful in Bremerton so we moved down toTerminal Island for a year in dry-dock, followed by gunnery practice for new midshipmen and my brush with Howard Hughes. I operated the ships store and clothing and small store. My battle station was gun control for the 5" guns three floors below the waterline under a watertight door (the release handles were not on our side of the door). My wife got to know renowned artist Arthur Beaumont and persuaded him to do a beautiful painting of the IOWA for me.
Kevin Mariani
Hails from: Carleton, Michigan
Division: Operations communications signal bridge
Rate/Rank: Smsn
Date of Birth: 10/29/1968
Years in Service: 3
I am proud to have served aboard the USS Iowa. The ship was amazing, a true Force of its own. I remember the first time I boarded her I was in awe. I served on the signal Bridge. We were a very decorated and proud division. We trained, drilled, and then trained and drilled some more to try and be the best we could at our jobs. I served with a couple of guys who have posted on here. I got into some trouble, stupid stuff that most 20 year old to do. Unfortunately this was too much for the Navy to tolerate and I was ordered to be separated. I had 9 days left when Turret 2 exploded. I fought the fire along with others from the signal bridge and other divisions. I actually went into the turret with an Oba and was in there until my timer alarmed. I will never forget that day or the brave men that were lost. Nor will I forget the brave men who fought that fire and saved the rest of us. I went to the memorial service with George H. W. Bush. 9 days later I was home and working construction. I miss the Brotherhood and camaraderie of the friends I made on board Iowa. I am still married to the same beautiful woman. My wife Denise. Without her I'm not sure how I would have managed to deal with my situation. Godspeed to all my former Shipmates. No matter what time period they served, we are all Brothers.
John Batoha
Hails from: From hanover, Pennsylvania
Division: E
Rate/Rank: IC2 (SW)
Date of Birth: 10/15/1965
Years in Service: 9
I served on Iowa 1987 to 1990. I came aboard a boy, I left the ship a man. My sincere sympathies go out to the young men who died April 19th 1989, and to their families and friends. Any to the crew of Iowa that day, we did our job together with honor, we all suffered in some way and some of us still are. We can't understand the investigation, why they treated us that way. What they did to the family of Clayton Hartwig was vicious and heartless. They didn't deserve such cruelty after the horrific accident. To all the men who served on the the great American battleship, I salute you.
Paul Douglas
Hails from: Aquasco, Maryland
Division: 5th, & OC
Rate/Rank: RM2
Date of Birth: 08/21/1965
Years in Service: 4
Served aboard the Battleship USS Iowa from 1983-1987. First served as a Seaman in 5th division (Boats Division), and then went on to Radioman (RM) school to become a Radioman and assigned to the OC division. As of late, administering the Battleship USS IOWA Facebook group page.
Larry McKern
Hails from: Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Division: PAO
Rate/Rank: PH3
Date of Birth: 12/07/2022
Years in Service: 6
I served as a fireman apprentice in the # 2 engine room during the explosion. I was a mess crank in two forward, struck out into public affairs division as a photographers mate. I am currently a High school psychology teacher.
Emilio Salabarria
Hails from: Tampa, FL
Division: Boiler
Rate/Rank: Sailor
Date of Birth: 07/27/1933
Years in Service: 4
My dad served on board the U. S. S. Iowa during the Korean War from 1950-1954. He is on the end of the middle row on the right side, his head is partly blocked.
Kevin Tunk
Hails from: Dekalb, Illinois
Division: Marine detachment
Rate/Rank: Lance corporal
Date of Birth: 05/28/1966
Years in Service: 1986 1988
Jeff Sumeracki
Hails from: YADKINVILLE, North Carolina
Division: FA
Rate/Rank: FC3
Date of Birth: 02/05/1968
Years in Service: 4
I had lost my orders to the USS King (DDG-41) due to a minor injury with a recovery time > 30 days. Thus in early 1989, I had no idea where I was to be reassigned but eventually was given orders to the USS Iowa (BB-61) and met the ship in New Orleans during Mardi-Gras on Fat Tuesday! While my day of arrival may have been a sailor's dream party, we set sail the next morning and the daily work of sailors at sea began. I served in the FA (Fire Control) Division primarily for 5" weapons control, but cross trained in 16" guns and missile guidance as most of us were required to do. The morning of April 19th was no different than any other except for the fact that the Admiral we were hosting at the time "wanted to see the 16" guns shoot." The schedule was amended on short notice as such and we all know what happened next. I was manning the long-range radar in AFT Gun Control and listening to commands on a sound-powered headset as Turret #1 turned to fire. Soon afterward, Turret #2 turned and fired, but the sound was nothing like that of the preceding shot. It was muffled and the duration was significantly longer. Without getting into details, there was lots of chaos on the line, general quarters seemed never to come and when it finally did, Captain Moosally quickly got on the 1MC and took over; a true leader that day. That day was a huge lesson in teamwork. In less than 2 hours, we had the fires extinguished. If it were not for the design of the turrets and the extreme bravery of the fire crews ("all fire crews to the foc'sle NOW!") I am certain the powder flats would have ignited and the ship exploded and sunk in seconds. As we prepared an emergency hospital in the AFT mess decks, we learned there were no survivors and no injuries. I remember speaking with the last man out of the lower decks of Turret #2... he told me as we sat in the mess hall that he screamed for survivors to follow him, fighting immense smoke and heat and had to make the decision to close the hatch. To this day, I credit him for saving the ship. God bless the 47 shipmates that died on April 19th, 1989. North Carolina native Allen (Leslie) Everhart was not just a shipmate but a friend. Peace...
Daniel Collins
Hails from: Prescott Valley, AZ
Division: FM
Rate/Rank: FC2
Date of Birth: 10/26/1964
Years in Service: 8
USS Iowa was my first duty station after graduating FT "A" school. I was an FTSN with FM division on the commissioning crew in 1983-1984. I flew out of Balboa, Panama before heading back through the Panama canal from Pacific to Atlantic to join the crew of an FF. I will always be a battleship sailor, though.
David Asman
Hails from: San Pedro, California
Division: 1st Inf Div
Rate/Rank: Sgt E5
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 1971-1974
As of July, 2019, I have worked as a volunteer in the Iowa Tour Department for seven years. My service related background was US Army field artillery, so if I report for work have not been given a specific job assignment, I can usually be found just forward of Turret One, preaching the faith on both naval and field artillery topics. This ship changes people's lives, or at least it did for me. In 2012, I had intentions of retiring to New Mexico and had even bought a house out there some years earlier. Then the Iowa came to town. Seven years later, I'm still here in San Pedro with no intentions of leaving.
Mike Justice
Hails from: Matewan, WV
Division: 2nd
Rate/Rank: E-3
Date of Birth: 10/13/1967
Years in Service: 3
My Mike was one of the IOWA 47....He was in the navy for 3 1/2 years and would've been out in Oct. if he didn't reenlist, but wasn't fortunate enough to even decide....He was married to me, Denise and had a 4 month old little boy, Michael Shannon Justice II , at the time of the accident on the ship....He enjoyed life so much , was a happy person, funny, smart, and loved his little boy more then anything in the world and wanted nothing more then to be a great father to him....He wanted so much out of life....He had a lot of friends on the Iowa that he loved like brothers and got to go many places around the world.... He was my hero and always will be.....He will always be in my heart and Michaels heart forever and ever.....
Lloyd Roosa
Hails from: Chiefland, Florida
Division: G-4 Mount 52
Rate/Rank: GMG2
Date of Birth: 01/12/1971
Years in Service: 4
I went to the recruiter and saw a Jersey model in the window and asked if the Navy still had the battleships. Upon confirmation I asked how I could get on there to fire the guns. After graduating BE/E, GM A school 1&2 as third in my class I was able to pick the Iowa and the 5"-38cal C school. Upon graduation I was off the the Iowa in Mar 1989. I served aboard until decom, what a sad day. I came as a GMGSA kid and left as a GMG3 man. Photo credit to PH3 Sabo.
Robert Allen
Hails from: Rapid City, South Dakota
Division: 3rd
Rate/Rank: Seaman
Date of Birth: 06/18/1964
Years in Service: 83 - 87
I was a member of the "84" Precom Crew and reluctantly departed in "87". I served my entire tour with my awesome shipmates of 3rd Div. This time aboard Iowa inspired me to return and join the Navy Reserve and finally become the Boatswain-mate I was always meant to be. Interestingly, the proudest moment I had occurred years later. While shopping with my wife I overheard a father tell his son to go ask me a question. The boy was too shy so his father brought him over and asked if I had actually been aboard Battleship Iowa as he pointed toward my cover. He said his 7 year old son was infatuated with Battleships. I replied that I was a former crewmember and proceeded to recount some overly embellished of my time aboard IOWA. The boy listened intently eyes opened wide. Afterward, his father shook my hand and thanked me and told I had made his sons day and that I probably inspired a future Navy career.
Glenn Nelson
Hails from: Northwood, IA
Division: Electronics
Rate/Rank: Petty Officer 1st Class
Date of Birth: 10/22/1932
Years in Service: 4
From Iowa farm boy who never saw the ocean, to Iowa sailor who saw nothing but ocean, and amazing story.
Albert Burns
Hails from: Colorado Springs, CO
Division: 1ST
Rate/Rank: GMCS
Date of Birth: 06/24/1930
Years in Service: 21
I served on the Iowa years 1951-1955. I was a Turret Gunners Mate First Class assigned to 1st Division putting the Iowa back in commission at Hunters Ooint San Francisco in 1951. I served on Iowa during Korean War and served on several ships during my navy career. The iowa was at the top of the list. We had a great crew and great skipper, Captain Smedberg.
Mike Carr
Hails from: Virginia Beach, VA
Division: G-3
Rate/Rank: GMG2(SW)
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 1987-1990
reported onboard in late 87 after failing gm a school phase 2, first assigned to T-2 than moved to T-3, was onboard on april 19th ,lost a lot of good friends , stayed onboard until final decom , best ship out of 20 years of service, retired in 2004 as GM1{SW}
Ernest Leroy James
Hails from: Akron, OH
Division: B
Rate/Rank: FCSN
Date of Birth: 08/01/1930
Years in Service: 1947-1952
Ernest Served on the USS Iowa in the Korean war. If anyone knew him...please contact me at I will be adding more stories and awards.
Bill Coffman
Hails from: Citrus Heights, CA
Division: R Div.
Rate/Rank: FM
Date of Birth: 08/05/1933
Years in Service: 4
The Iowa was my first duty station after boot camp and what a grand lady she was setting there in dry dock at Hunter Point in June of 51. I was in the first divison, deck hand and was part of turret 1 when at GQ, powder room down on the fourth deck, and was on the helms watch underway, what a honor. By the time we were underway for Korea I was part of the R Div. pipefitter, and my main job was to keep the fire main in working order. Have a couple of pictures to show.
Eddie Robinson
Hails from: Lexington, KY
Division: Flag
Rate/Rank: QM 3
Date of Birth: 12/28/1935
Years in Service: 2
On Iowa - November 54 to October 56. Stationed on Flag Bridge. Served under Rear Admiral R. E. Libby, ComBatCruLant. Ships Captain William C. Bryson, USN.
Jim Murray
Hails from: Hammonton, NJ
Division: A
Rate/Rank: MMFN
Date of Birth: 08/22/1968
Years in Service: 4
I started out serving aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63) from 86-87 as a yeoman for the Chief Engineer's Office and transferred to the USS Iowa(BB-61) from 87-90 and worked in FWD AMR.
Don Jacobson
Hails from: Somers, NY
Division: OI
Rate/Rank: Lt.
Date of Birth: 01/17/1935
Years in Service: 4
I joined the Iowa, my first ship, as a brand new ensign just out of CIC school in 1957. On my very first watch I reported a radar contact to Conn as "Alpha' due north heading 180 at 6 knots. Conn responded it had a visual on my Alpha. "It is a rock and not traveling 6 knots in any direction". I blame the state of the 1957 radar, but it was all downhill from there. I retired after my next tour on the USS Wasp.
Duane Cole
Hails from: Auburn, IN
Division: M Div
Rate/Rank: MM2nd Class
Date of Birth: 09/28/1930
Years in Service: 4
Duty station # one engine room.I have some neat video's on duty in north Korea ! Shelling with mighty 16 " main battery ! ETC.
Robert Dale Miller
Hails from: El Monte, CA
Division: L
Rate/Rank: BT1
Date of Birth: 05/13/1921
Years in Service: 15
United States Navy from 16 February 1942 to 10 December 1956. Assigned to USS IOWA Commissioning Crew on 22 February 1943. Also served on USS TENNESSEE, USS KULA GULF (CVE108) and USS FRANK FRIDAY FLETCHER. Awards: Victory Medal WWII American Area 1 Bronze Star Asiatic Pacific 3 Bronze Stars
John Thomas
Hails from: York, PA
Division: MarDet
Rate/Rank: Corporal
Date of Birth: 04/15/1965
Years in Service: 1984-1988
I served on the USS Iowa as a memeber of the Marine Detachment (MarDet)from August 1984 thru November 1986. I have always felt very fortuate and privileaged to have served aboard this great ship. Thank you to all involved for bringing her back to life for many generations to enjoy and finding her a fitting home. Semper Fi to all my fellow shipmates, no matter the era you may have served.
Richard Pilkerton
Hails from: Hollywood, MD
Division: M
Rate/Rank: E-6 / MM 1
Date of Birth: 10/18/1963
Years in Service: 8
Great Lakes A and C school, UDT Seal training, , served onboard USS Frank Cable , Nuclear power School,-PRECOM unit for USS Iowa,(Plankowner) served onboard Engineering Spaces (Main Control, engine rooms, fire rooms, shaft alleys, WCS, ...) until 1988. (loss of hearing) reserves 2 years. It was and still is with great pride and honor to have served onboard USS Iowa BB 61. Its history and memories will forever live within me. I am proud to have served my country on this great ship. Awards: Navy Achievement,Battle E's,Good Conduct,14 commendations
Vernon Fulmer
Hails from: Norfolk, VA
Division: Communication Div
Rate/Rank: Radioman
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 8
I was proud to serve on the USS IOWA in 1952-1956. My rank and job was as a Radioman sending and receiving morse code. We went around the world three times with the midshipmen. We traveled to Barcelona Spain, Japan, Korea, Panama, Haiti, Africa, France, Copehagen, Turkey and more. I am now 79 years old. I never thought I would see the USS IOWA again but was very happy to be able to board the ship at the Los Angeles port where it now rests. Thank you for the memories and making an old sailor smile once again.
Andrew Hyatt
Hails from: Palm City, FL
Division: E
Rate/Rank: IC3
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 6
Arrived on Iowa a month before the 1986 100th Birthday of Statue of Liberty Celebration in New York. A blast for sure. President Ronald Regan on board for review, Beach Boys Playing on Turret 3, ZZ Top floating buy on MTV vessel. Too cool. Our money was no good at any bar in New York since we may have been home ported in Staten Island. North Atlantic cruise and Bluenose initiation crossing Arctic Circle. Visiting Portsmouth England and the local folks lining the channel in and out of port. Bremerhaven Germany. In the Caribbean destroying an Island daily then St Thomas by night and then the bad night in St Thomas during Carnival. Columbia!! The photo was taken in front of Turret 1 while we were on our way back from Columbia. I ran the Sound Powered Phone Shop on 02 level and pulled duties all over. Everytime the 16 inch Guns were fired, afterward, I was chasing grounds in the non-essential sound powered circuits for days since the wires were from the 1940 era single stran cotton wound. I departed Iowa and active duty in 1987. It is a great Battleship and I just missed her leaving Bay Ship and Yacht in San Fran on to LA. I will visit her when I am in LA. I am proud to have served on her!! I still have the plaque on my office wall along with this picture and a picture of her full side salvo.
Eric Hathaway
Hails from: Virginia Beach, VA
Division: M
Rate/Rank: 13
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 1970
served in the Shaft Alleys (EMO5) as one of the shaft alley rats
Richard D. Schaefer Jr.
Hails from: San Diego, CA
Division: A
Rate/Rank: EN3
Date of Birth: 04/05/1964
Years in Service: 19
I served on the IOWA from 83-87 and truth be told the most firepower the NAVY ever had. I would proudly serve aboard the IOWA again.
Jeffrey Pierce
Hails from: Lemoore, CA
Division: X-1
Rate/Rank: YN3
Date of Birth: 03/14/1966
Years in Service: 4
Served onboard from 1986 to 1990. Currently still active as a CWO4.
A.J. Coco
Hails from: North Tustin, CA
Division: ET
Rate/Rank: LCDR
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 20
I came aboard Iowa after two years of EE at University of Arizona as an EFSN in the Reserves. Served 1955-1957 in ET Division, left Iowa as ET5 to finish EE degree. Had solo GQ station on 07 level sharing space with Collins Single Sideband receiver and transmitter. Received direct commission in Naval Intelligence, retired as LCDR.
Dale Harrington
Hails from: Norfolk, VA
Division: OC
Rate/Rank: RMCS(SW)
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 30
Served February 1989 - July 1990 as RMCS(SW) OC Division LCPO. I was aboard that fateful day, April 19th 1989. Retired from the USN as ITCM(SW) formerly known as RMCM(SW) on September 1st, 2003 after serving 30 years and 3 days.
Arthur Hussey
Hails from: Mountaindale, NY
Division: FA
Rate/Rank: FC3
Date of Birth: 12/17/1923
Years in Service: 2
Arthur Hussey (now deceased) saw service on the USS Iowa battleship during WWII and was involved in the ship's assigned task in the Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland known as the Tirpitz Watch - preventing German battleships and supplies from raiding equipment and supply convoys providing badly needed supplies to Allied forces in England and Russia. He also served when the USS Iowa shuttled President Roosevelt and other dignitaries to Tehran for a conference w/ Allied leaders. Prior to his departure Roosevelt spoke to the entire crew, who were amassed on the stern. His speech was inspirational. He departed on his yacht, the Potomac. His parting words always stayed with Art. He said, “I will be with you in spirit.” Post shuttling the President the USS Iowa then went back to Norfolk, resupplied, and then went out to the Panama Canal and into the Pacific to the War. They were out there for 18 months before coming back to the states after having one of the ships shafts damaged by the typhoon hit off the Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. Combat included all island invasions in the South Pacific, from the Marshalls to Okinawa. They missed Iwo Jima because they were back in the states getting the ship repaired. Art was always very proud of his service to his Country, and being a part of "The Greatest Generation." Awards: American Campaign Medal Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 2 Silver Campaign Stars Navy Occupation Svc. Medal w/ Asia Clasp WWII Victory Medal Philipinne Liberation Ribbon - Foreign w/ 1 Bronze Campaign Star Philippine Presidential Unit Citation - Foreign Honorable Service Lapel Button
Roger Daniels
Hails from: Detroit, Michigan
Division: Unknown
Rate/Rank: Unknown
Date of Birth: 08/17/2022
Years in Service: 1945-1946
I am entering this for my grandfather. He served from 1945-1946.
Don Bovia
Hails from: Las Vegas, NM
Division: B/Voids
Rate/Rank: BT1
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 20
I was happy as hell when I got orders to the Battleship IOWA, I didn't know until I reported aboard her in Portsmouth, Va that she was to be decommissioned. I served aboard from Jan '90 to Mar '91, a little over a year. I really wish I could have gotten underway on her and to feel those 16" guns fire, but I am very proud to have been one of the lucky few to have served aboard such a fine ship. One of the proudest moments in my 20 years of Naval service was when I was reenlisted in front of #1 gun turret by my father CWO4 Marvin Bovia. I carry a piece of the IOWA with me everyday, I have a pen which was made from a piece of her deck and I have that piece of deck next to my shadow box.
Algie R Maddox
Hails from: Jackson, Georgia
Division: Unk
Rate/Rank: Seaman 1st coass
Date of Birth: 12/23/1929
Years in Service: 23
Ken O'Neill
Hails from: Hudson, OH
Division: Admin
Rate/Rank: PN3
Date of Birth: 06/29/1970
Years in Service: 5
Proudly served onboard (1988 -1990) as a Seaman in 2nd division (a division that suffered many casualties on April 19, 1989) --and as a Personnelman Third class.. I wish not to dwell too much on the accident/explosion --except to say that Freedom isn't free------ the cost of life (47 of my brothers perished..) took place on that fateful day so that freedom for Americans (something that is taken for granted at times..) could stay on course.. US Citizens should know (even during what seems like "peace" time) that someone in the military is always "on watch" (thus at risk) so that evil stays away from our lives and families.. The USS IOWA was a strong--proud symbol of the freedom i speak of.. I'll forever honor that boat ---and our country---and all that have ever served and stood up for what is "right." Awards: Navy Achievement Medal, Time at Sea Medal, .45 caliber pistol
James Baron
Hails from: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Division: PAO
Rate/Rank: JOCS
Date of Birth: 07/20/2022
Years in Service: Already posted
My short story is already posted. Can you add my photo? Thanks - Jim
Bennett Allen
Hails from: Gorham, Maine
Division: 3rd division
Rate/Rank: SN
Date of Birth:
Years in Service: 6
I served on the Iowa from August of 1985 to January of 1987 in 3rd deck division. I saw two trips to Europe and one to Central America with a pass through the Panama Canal. I received my bluenose when we went inside the Arctic circle to take some target shots at ice burgs with blue dye rounds. My work on board constituted of maintaining fire equipment, chipping and painting, holy stoning the deck and shining brass of course. My GQ station was the turret three powder mag. My most memorable time aboard was at the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty after it was refinished in 1986. I helped set The Beach Boys up on top of turret 3 and got to meet the band. It was also the only time we were allowed to drink keg beer on board! ZZ Top was playing on the JFK nearby. The fireworks were phenomenal. Great duty and I’m glad I did it to this day.
John Bultman
Hails from: Cocoa, FL
Division: 6th
Rate/Rank: BMC (SW) RET
Date of Birth: 06/16/1945
Years in Service: 32
Went Aboard the Iowa in 1984 served till 1986. The time aboard was the fulfillment of my dream of serving aboard a battleship. The Officers & crew I knew enjoyed the time aboard,the liberty & ports we visited. Glad she became a museum instead of a pile of razor blades. While I served on many ships and bases in my 32 years of service, my time on board the Iowa was the best and favorite time for me. Awards: Battle "E", Plank Owner and 17 Ribbons
Alvin R. Brooks
Hails from: Santee, CA
Division: 3rd Division
Rate/Rank: GMGC
Date of Birth: 06/20/1920
Years in Service: 26
Served on USS Iowa from 43-46, he was a turret captain in turret 3 in the 3rd division. He left the Navy in 46 after WW11 but stayed in reserves,reinlisted and served in Korean and Vietnam wars.He was so proud of the USS Iowa (BB61) so I know he would be happy to know she is in San Pedro,Ca.and will be taken care of. Alvin was also recognized by the Secretary of the Navy for his service on the USSNorthhampton and participating in Task Force 16.
Jeff Goodman
Hails from: Huntersville, NC
Division: G-4
Rate/Rank: GMG 2
Date of Birth: 08/21/1969
Years in Service: 4
Mount Captain #55 - 1989 USS Iowa
W. Scott Howard
Hails from: Carmichael, CA
Division: S-1
Rate/Rank: SKC(SW)
Date of Birth: 10/05/2013
Years in Service: 25
Served in S-1 Division and Repair Department from 1986 to 1990. Made some great friends and lots of memories.She is the best ship I had the honor to serve on. God bless her and all who served.
Boyd Shelton
Hails from: Lawrenceville, IL
Division: M
Rate/Rank: MM2 (SW)
Date of Birth: 09/23/1964
Years in Service: 8
I was on board Iowa for her final Med cruise and decommissioning...
Larry McKern
Hails from: Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Division: PAO
Rate/Rank: PH3
Date of Birth: 12/07/2022
Years in Service: 6
I served as a fireman apprentice in the # 2 engine room during the explosion. I was a mess crank in two forward, struck out into public affairs division as a photographers mate. I am currently a High school psychology teacher.
Cristopher Crozier
Hails from: Carlsbad, California
Division: FM
Rate/Rank: E5
Date of Birth: 07/16/1969
Years in Service: 10
I was stationed on board during turret explosion.
David Lockwood
Hails from: Zuni, VA
Division: FA/FM
Rate/Rank: FCCS(SW) Ret.
Date of Birth: 04/11/1959
Years in Service: 22
Crew member 1987-1990. 2 years in FA division, 2 years in FM division. Made Chief and earned my Surface Warfare pin on IOWA. Deployments in 1987 and 1989.
Gene Rowell
Hails from: Nichols, SC
Division: E
Rate/Rank: EM2
Date of Birth: 10/05/1964
Years in Service: 6
Served aboard 1984-1988. Saw Bob Hope in the Persian Gulf, stood atop the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. Awoke in a Norwegian fjord. Saw the Northern Lights above the Arctic, Haley's Comet in the Pacific and most of the Caribbean Islands. Met some of the finest Americans there are and would not hesitate to do it again. Anchors Aweigh! ) Awards: Good Conduct Medal National Defense Medal Meritorious Unit Commendation Battle Efficiency Ribbon Sea Service Ribbon
Kevin Lemon
Hails from: Milwaukee, WI
Division: B
Rate/Rank: BT3
Date of Birth: 05/16/1961
Years in Service: 4
Reported to USS Iowa on Sept. 83, Norfolk precom unit, B Division use to muster in exchange parking lot with BTC Hill, damage control, fuel, butter cup training in Norrfolk. Reported to Pascagoula, Ms. Nov. 83. Assign to number three fireroom served as boiler water, feed checkman most of my time and later part was in the oil lab. I was the first checkman to operate number one boiler, with CWO (forgot his name) and I learn my very fast, I still remember when that Safety valve lifted, I was headed to Broadway and BT1 Lafevers said get your ass back here. Well all I can say is I'm very glad I made the decision to join the Best Navy in the world and by far the Best Ship in the Navy fleet, I owe all the the gratitude to USS Iowa as she afforded me all I have today as far as experince and growth in my Life, Thank you, USS Iowa BB-61.
Michael Bassett
Hails from: Sharpsburg, GA
Division: GM
Rate/Rank: FC2
Date of Birth: 11/20/1965
Years in Service: 6
As I grow older and my sense of history grows, I am more and more appreciative of the time I spent on the Iowa. I met my life-long friend Dave Welch, got to experience Fleet Week in NYC, and lived through the turret 2 explosion. The accident has been a major influence on my life. I have tried to serve people in a significant way ever since as a repayment for all of the kindness shown to me by the great people who never knew me.
William Steinebach
Hails from: Eugene, OR
Division: B
Rate/Rank: BTCS-SW
Date of Birth: 12/15/1934
Years in Service: 26
Served on Iowa 1953-1954 in B=Division. I was assigned to #3 Fireroom. My Battle Station was as the Smoke Watch on the 011 Level forward.
Moe Benghiat
Hails from: Los Angeles, CA
Division: R
Rate/Rank: ME3
Date of Birth: 05/01/1930
Years in Service: 4
Shore duty Japan 2.5 yrs. Duty on Iowa March '51 to June 52 as a shipfitter. Took the ship out of mothballs - Hunters Point, SF. The Iowa was good duty. The tour to Korea was quite memorable.
Allan Miller
Hails from: Wrightwood, California
Division: 4TH and D
Rate/Rank: Seaman on Iowa / DTC/HMC (retired)
Date of Birth: 04/11/1965
Years in Service: 1yr. 2 mo. On Iowa / 23 total years
I reported to the USS Iowa precommisioning unit in February 1984 and was assigned to 4th Division. Later, I was accepted to Dental Technician A School and served the reminder of my tour on Iowa in D Division. As a USS Iowa plank owner, I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have been part of something so special.
Jackie Graves
Hails from: Conyers, Georgia
Division: B
Rate/Rank: E2
Date of Birth: 02/07/1935
Years in Service: 4
My grandfather served on the USS Iowa during the Korean War.
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