My mother who is still living at 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. 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.
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! 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 To this day, I credit him for saving the ship. God bless the 47 shipmates that died on April 19th, North Carolina native Allen Leslie Everhart was not just a shipmate but a friend. I will always be a battleship sailor, though. I spent 5 years in the Navy Reserve, and was called to active duty in I went aboard in April, and served on the Iowa until February of Served in IOWA from to Supply Officer. Many great memories. See some old shipmates often. Retired aboard IOWA in after she was decommissioned and awaiting layup at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard; post-retirement reception was in the Wardroom.
Visited the ship in LA and was ready to go back to sea in her right then. I have a 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.
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I came onto the Iowa in 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 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. My father, who passed away in , served on board the Iowa during the Korean War. He told us that those years were some of the best of his life.
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He reached the rank of CPO just before he retired. 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 I wish that I could have toured the Iowa with him. He is center front in the photo. Bradley Hayden.
If anyone knew him I will be adding more stories and awards. Served aboard Awoke in a Norwegian fjord. Met some of the finest Americans there are and would not hesitate to do it again. Anchors Aweigh! Cleaning Iowa's silver, Seeing the xo come out of his stateroom with a Darth Vader mask on. I joined the navy after high schoolin left for boot camp. After boot camp went to pipefitters school in Norfork Va.
Then I got assigned to the U. Iowa on December 31 and served on her utill we put her in mothballs in 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.
Crew member Deployments in and I served aboard the Iowa from in "R" Div. I miss the guys from R division and the great times we had abroad. I was assigned to 3 Fireroom. 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.
Proudly served onboard as a Seaman in 2nd division a division that suffered many casualties on April 19, --and as a Personnelman Third class.. 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.. I'll forever honor that boat and our countryand all that have ever served and stood up for what is "right. Served on board from early 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. Served on Iowa when she was put back in commission. Went aboard as SN and left as BM2. My grandfather served in the Korean War on the U. He loved that ship. I remember hearing many stories about his time and friends from there. He passed away on July 8th, after living with ALS for 6 long 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.
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This ship changes people's lives, or at least it did for me. In , 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.
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He was a machinist mate in one of the engine rooms. He served on the Iowa after boot camp until he was discharged in He enlisted in the navy on November 15, and was discharged on February 15, He was very proud of his service on the Iowa and attended many reunions. Haywood passed away on February 26, He would have been 18 or 19 then so just a kid. Cheatham II. I was a Tomahawk FC aboard Iowa from 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. 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. To short of a duty on so historical a ship. Great times great stories!
We only have seaman And firemen. The Green stripes were a magnet for out of uniform charges. I finally was promoted to TD3 on top of Turret 1 by Capt.