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Museum Update: March 27, 2024

In Today’s Update…

    • Crew Highlight
    • Gravely Student Essay Contest
    • Upcoming Events

IE&T Team

Welcome behind the scenes. We’re pulling back the curtain to introduce you to the volunteers who are rejuvenating the ship’s abilities to talk – our Innovation, Engineering, and Technology Team!

The gents pictured above (and more) are on a mission to restore IOWA’s communications equipment and spaces to their full 1980s glory. Their work helps guests experience the ship as closely as possible to what she would have been like in her active days.

“We’re proud to have reactivated systems that were cold and dead,” says team leader Gary Lopes. He adds that most of those systems can’t be seen or heard on any other battleship, as their gear was removed during their decommissionings.

A collection of engineers and tech and electronic industry retirees, this group can draw on decades of experience to make IOWA an active, vibrant ship again, and drive innovations that move us toward being the most immersive ship museum on the planet.

What have they done so far?

  • Reactivated the ship’s radios (they are the only original radios still being used on the air by a battleship anywhere in the world)
  • Re-installed the fan antenna system for those radios
  • Restored the ship’s 1-MC public address system and created ship’s announcements and bells that play over the 1-MC daily
  • Reconnected the Dimension 2000 phone system from the 1980s (yes, we’ve gleefully made calls to ensure refrigerators are running)
  • Produced engineering plant noises that stream up through uptakes and are loud enough to cause vibrations in the bulkheads of main deck passageways

What’s next for these guys? We can’t wait to see!


Not pictured:
Joe Fuller, who has been responsible for restoring all of the teletype equipment.
Andy Woolsey, who drove the fan antenna installation.


Attention 11th grade students!

You are eligible to participate in our annual Gravely Experience Essay Contest. Scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 will be awarded.

Click on the flyer below for details, including contest rules, requirements, and deadline.


55 Days and Counting!

We are just under two months from the start of LA’s premiere summer kick-off event: LA FLEET WEEK.

This year’s festival will be bigger and more fun than ever. We’ve got some surprises in store, but all your favorites will be back as well.

Fun bands, games for the whole family, our Dodgeball tournament, Galley Wars, new hit Military Has Talent, cool military equipment displays and ship tours, a chance to get to know members of our armed services who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, and more – LA Fleet Week offers something for everyone.


child on educational field trip to Battleship Iowa in San Pedro CA
Join us from May 22-27 for events in San Pedro and all over the Southland. More details coming soon!

Upcoming Events

Latest events on and around the ship.

American Legion Post 283 will host a screening of the 1987 action classic “Predator” tonight – Thursday, March 28 at 7:30 PM.

The event will feature a Q&A with Richard Chaves, one of the actors in the film.

Hit the button below for details and tickets.

Every year, we hold a special ceremony to remember the 47 sailors who lost their lives in Turret 2 on April 19, 1989. Please join us on the foredeck at 9:30 AM, Friday April 19th for this year’s remembrance.

We’ll also be live streaming the event for those who can’t attend in person. (Link coming soon.)

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 2023 donors for their generosity and support. Want to know how your donations are making a difference? Check out our ANNUAL REPORT here.

Want to see your name on the 2024 donor list? There’s still time to make a tax-deductible contribution to our organization.

plank owner button

Fun Fact: Did you know… on average every one of our plank owners has contributed $150 to the National Museum of the Surface Navy?

Click below to learn more and join.

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Other photos - US Navy Archives and National Archives

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