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Operation Crush COVID Week 8: Meet Tanya Acker

Ask any sailor: a ship is a community. Battleship IOWA has been creating her own community since the 1940s, so it was only natural that “community” should be one of our three core pillars.

This ship has become a centerpiece of a thriving community in the Port of Los Angeles, and there are many ways in which she contributes to this one. We’ll let our board trustee Tanya Acker talk about a couple to lead off today.




Gravely Award

Do you know the name Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Jr? If not, let us have the pleasure of introducing you.

Admiral Gravely was an incredible trailblazer. He enlisted in the US Navy reserve and after spending time in the early 1950s as a junior radio officer aboard Battleship IOWA, went on to become the first African-American to command a United States warship (USS Theodore E. Chandler).

Each year during Black History Month (February), Battleship IOWA Museum honors his legacy by recognizing African-American leaders in SoCal who have shown outstanding leadership in their communities. Check out our exceptional list of past winners here.

VADM Samuel Gravely

The Gravely Celebration is more than just an award presentation. It’s a chance for young people to interact with role models and each other at a luncheon aboard the historic Battleship IOWA.

There’s also an essay contest in which youth ages 15-18 can win cash prizes, awards, and trips to the ship to be recognized on stage along with celebrities and honorees.

All in all, the Gravely event adds up to a day filled with inspiration worthy of its namesake, and it’s possible because of supporters like you.


But Wait – There’s More!

Battleship IOWA plays host to a number of free events throughout the year. We honor our veterans and service personnel with celebrations on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Rentable spaces are available throughout the ship (when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic) for parties, celebrations, military promotion and retirement services, and more.

LA Fleet Week has developed into a local tradition, with Battleship IOWA and active navy ships acting as the backdrops for concerts, fireworks shows, games, great food, and all sorts of fun.

LA Fleet Week 2018

During warmer months, our Movies Under The Guns series brings fun family films to the community free of charge, in a totally unique setting.

This month, since COVID is preventing us from bringing you to the ship for a movie, we’re bringing one to you virtually!

The Outpost – Two Night Event

Based on true events, in this military thriller, a small unit of U.S. soldiers, alone at the remote Combat Outpost Keating, located deep in the Valley of Three Mountains in Afghanistan, battles to defend against an overwhelming force of Taliban fighters in a coordinated attack.

The Battle of Kamdesh, as it was known, was the bloodiest American engagement of the Afghan War in 2009 and Bravo Troop 3-61 CAV became one of the most decorated units of the 19-year conflict.

Join us for this special virtual event:

  • Thursday, Sept 17 at 7:30 PM PST: Free screening of the film The Outpost
  • Friday, Sept 18 at 7:30 PM PST: Q&A with The Outpost director Rod Lurie and surprise guests (including cast members)

A donation in any amount for the Q&A will help support our Veterans Resource Center on the ship.

Grab your tickets here! (Click “Register” to find sign ups for both events.)

Battleship IOWA screening of The Outpost



Battleship IOWA Museum is thrilled to be a community venue where people of all ages can gather, interact, have fun, and get inspired.

When you support Battleship IOWA, you are bringing communities together to learn from one another, to share laughter, and to find common ground.


Click Here To Support Operation Crush COVID Now!

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