Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Curator's Tour" on the Battleship Iowa, Part 1

I "only" took about 100 pix today, as I was more interested in listening to the Head Curator talk about the ship and her history.

It was a fascinating tour, and well worth the $100 cost. I'm not retired "yet", and have a few extra bucks that I felt was worth donating to the ship to help her along. If you live in the area, or are planning on traveling out here, check the Pacific Battleship Center website for information on upcoming "special" tours.

Today was the first time the "Curator's Tour" (actually called "Inside The Iowa") was offered, and judging by the response of the public, I'm sure they keep offering it, and possibly expand it some, or maybe have two different ones.

The tour was scheduled to start at 1100, but since everybody on the list arrived early, we started a few minutes before 1100.

Some of the guides were people I "kinda-sorta" knew from my minor role on the ship, and a couple were people I'd heard of but never met. They were all great, as 99.999% of the guides are, and it was a nice chance to get to know the ones I'd only either heard of, or had met briefly in passing.

We started in the CPO Lounge area, and then went into the CPO Mess and Galley.

The above pics are some "Crew Art" done by Mr. Blair Dehning, and extremely talented man.

Here's some more "crew art" illustrating how nice it would be to have a porthole view, even though you're below the water line.

The CPO Mess and Galley areas. The gentleman in the picture is Dave Way, Curator of the Battleship Iowa, and a very knowledgeable guy.

The red light just to the right of him is NOT a "Battle Light" or "Emergency Light". It's on at night so you don't destroy your night vision if you're on duty, and wanted some "Mid Rats" before you went outside.

Numerous hatches on the ship have an almost "airlock" look to them, where you enter a room that's painted entirely black, and lit with red lighting, that you stay in a few minutes before you go out on deck at night. The rooms also have the doors positioned such that even if you had both doors open, NO inside "white light" could spill out into the night, and give away the ship's position.

Dave gave us the story behind the CPO's insignia of the Fouled Anchor.
The U stands for Unity in all we do.
The S stands for Service to our ship and shipmates, God, and Country.
The N stands for Navigation as we navigate our way through life on the right course

The anchor chain represents the days of our lives, each forged uniquely, strong, yet flexible.

On to the Enlisted Men's Barber Shop.


And as a reminder of how things used to be in the Navy, and ashtray built into the arm of one of the chairs!

On to the Brig......

Solitary Confinement Cell.

The Head in the Brig.

ALL of the toilets, and most of the sinks, on the Iowa are covered with plywood to "remind" you that they are NOT currently functional. We have L.A. City water run to the ship, but the sewer connections haven't been "approved" yet, so no functional heads on the ship. Once the sewer connection gets hooked up (it's there, just not "approved"), all the plumbing on the ship will get flushed out, tested, and recertified for use. The Iowa is planning on having an "Overnight Stay" package available, and all the little details like getting the toilets working have to be finished before the package can be offered.

I don't know if the general public will be able to get this package. At this time, I know it's planned for the Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, Young Marines, and other organizations of the nature.

I don't think too many of the general public would enjoy overnight racking on the ship, but you never know!

I don't want this post to get too big, so that's all I have for today.

More tomorrow!


  1. Fantastic! Thanks for the post!

  2. That brings back a lot of memories - thanks!

  3. Looking forward to more. THIS is what I want to see when I visit these storied ships!

    1. If/when you make it out here, I'm not sure how much of this I could get you to.

      The Comm Center for sure, but otherwise you'd probably have to sign up for the tour.

      We also have the S.S. Lane Victory just down the road from the Iowa, and that's most of a day by itself.

      The lane was able to get a waiver from the USCG, so they'll have cruises again, and by then they should have enough donations to get her dry docked.

    2. A Lane Victory cruise would be amazing.

    3. It's $135 per person, and well worth it!

  4. I just checked the Lane Victory website, and they will have cruises this year!

    July 26th, August 23rd, and September 27th.

    The cruises on the Lane are wonderful. They head out towards Catalina, there's a decent catered lunch buffet, a live band doing 40's music, and some dancers that are stupendous, all dressed in period costumes and uniforms.

    And once you get to Catalina, the Condor Squadron (mostly painted up AT-6's) puts on a dogfight-style airshow, while the guns on the ship fire away at the Bad Guys.

  5. Good ones, and it looks like the interior is in pretty good shape.

    1. *Most* of the interior is in good condition, thanks to the dehumidification procedures they used when she was in mothbballs.

      There's some peeling paint here and there, but nothing like the outside was.

      There's a 2 hour DVD coming out very soon (it's finished, but not in the store yet) that documents her rescue, and all they work they did up in Richmond before they towed her down here.


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