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Museum Update: August 23, 2023


It was all over the news last week: a hurricane headed for SoCal. Though we were fortunate that the storm’s intensity dissipated considerably by the time it reached us (we only encountered all-day rain and some strong gusts of wind), we still prepared for the worst.

We had a group of Navy chief selects aboard just in time to help with some crucial tasks. IOWA volunteers Jim Ohr and Scott Lake directed teams of our crew and the chiefs in tightening up mooring lines and stowing awnings.


But we didn’t stop there.

We fired up an anchor windlass for the first time in ten years and deployed IOWA’s port anchor.

This event highlights our imperative to secure the ship to our maximum ability. As a resident of the busiest port in the nation, we have a responsibility to ensure unusual conditions don’t pull us off our dock and set the ship adrift in LA main channel. Blocking shipping, as we saw with EVER GIVEN in the Suez Canal, could impact trade and commerce not only across the nation, but across the world.

Our continuing efforts to facilitate communication and relationships within the disaster response community fall into this category as well. Had the storm not weakened, Battleship IOWA would have been prepared to work closely with first responders and the military to bring aid and relief to those affected.

This work is a passion of ours that we intend develop even further. Missions like these can be considered IOWA’s fourth commissioning: they are how she continues to serve, even in retirement.

IOWA Engineering Manager Dave Moser accepts a load of projectiles given to us by our friends at Nauticus in Norfolk, VA – home of our sister ship Battleship WISCONSIN (BB-64). These inert rounds were shipped through generous donations from UPS and K&D Trucking.

Anchoring during a storm, turning Turret 3 to load projectiles and re-ballast the ship… These innovative and cool ways of looking at and activating maintenance efforts are what will keep Battleship IOWA in the game for years to come.

Want to help? There are many ways. Investing in our operations and maintenance efforts generates a long-term return that saves and generates hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for the organization. Donate, volunteer, spread the word – every bit of it makes this possible.


Ever wanted to try your hand at painting? Yes, an actual picture with brushes and everything. Come give it a shot with us!

Please join us for a paint and sip class aboard Battleship IOWA. We paint, we sip, we have a great time!

No experience necessary. We will provide everything you need to create a painting you can be proud of while enjoying beverage service in our Wardroom.


child on educational field trip to Battleship Iowa in San Pedro CA



Labor Day is nearly upon us, and you know what that means: it’s time to CONQUER THE BRIDGE!

This 5.3 mile run over the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro kicks off at 7:00 AM on Monday, September 4.



But wait, there’s more! When you finish your run, head over to Vicky’s Doghouse and grab some grub! 


We’ve had many people inquire about the John Paul Jones Legacy Society membership. Many want to learn how they can leave a legacy gift to the battleship now and have it start generating revenue to benefit our biggest needs sooner than later. We refer to this type of gifting as a LIVING LEGACY.


Simply stated, a living legacy allows our donors to not only make a legacy gift now through their estate plan, will, or retirement account, but they will be able to see the impact their gift will have on our youth, veterans, and/or community. We will be able to share the positive impact their gift has made and the difference it will continue to make in the lives of many children, veterans, and the local community that we serve.

And we encourage living legacy members to visit the Battleship IOWA for a tour with their families, be our guest at some of our annual events, and meet the exceptional people that make up the IOWA crew.

This is what a living legacy is all about…seeing and experiencing the impact of one’s charitable giving…while we still can.


“I became a Legacy Society member for several reasons. I’m an Army Veteran and patriot, and my dad enlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the South Pacific before becoming an officer in the fifties and retired as a commander after 32 years.


“I joined the Battleship IOWA crew as a volunteer over 10 years ago and recognized early on how important it is to educate Americans about our nation’s history and what the Surface Navy does for trade, commerce, disaster relief, and protecting our freedoms. Many people don’t understand the sacrifices previous generations made to protect the liberties we enjoy today.

“By providing a Legacy Gift to the National Museum of the Surface Navy at the Battleship IOWA, I will be helping to maintain the history of our Surface Navy’s past, present, and future. It just seems the right thing to do.”

– Doug Dowds, IOWA volunteer

Join Doug and many like him who believe it is important to generate respect for the past and vision for the future in all generations. Click the button below to contact our development team and find out how to leave your legacy.


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

Thank you to our 2022 donors for their generosity and support. Want to know how your donations are making a difference? Check out our ANNUAL REPORT here.

plank owner button

Join the over 10,000 individuals who have registered as Plank Owners of the National Museum of the Surface Navy. Your donations to the campaign and advocacy of Freedom of the Seas are helping educate, honor, and inspire future generations.

From now until September 30, 2023, use the promo code NMSN23 and get an EXTRA 3 MONTHS added to your membership! Click below to learn more and join.

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