Monday, June 23, 2014

"Curator's Tour" on the Battleship Iowa, Part 2

From the Brig, we went down the passageway to see the Tailor Shop, with more artwork by Mr. Dehning

Pressing gear

Ironing table

I'm not sure what the covered item to the left of the ironing table is. It's about the same size and shape as the "Dress Form" my Mom used to use when she made dresses for my sister.

Perhaps a similar device used for pressing dress uniforms?

BIG Dry Cleaning Machine

Better picture of the door to the Tailor Shop. Mr. Dehning has cleverly included his artist's signature on the receipt!

And just down the passage a bit further, we went into the Ship's Laundry. A bit boring, except if you need your clothes cleaned!

More steam operated pressing tables.

I don't remember what this area was for. Perhaps folding the freshly laundered items, or maybe desks for admin work.

A bit further forward is the Ship's Library. It's just an empty area right now with book shelves, but we all crammed in to it, and as I was the last one in, I couldn't get a photo of anything recognizable as the Library, so I just took a pic of the door.
The gentleman in the picture is the current Chief Engineer on the Iowa.

We then came up for air out on to the Fantail.

And a better picture of one of the wood "plugs" sealing up the muzzle of a 16" Naval Rifle barrel.

Just above the "Battleship USS Iowa" plaque in the first outside  picture above you can see one of the antennas we use when we operate for our Amateur Radio events on the Iowa. It's a 14' tall "Trussed Monopole", and normally operates from 10 MHz to 30 MHz, but with my Elecraft autotuner, I've loaded it up just fine on 7 MHz.

Here's a better view of it.

And we also use the big "Disc-Cage" antenna on the bow of the ship. These were originally installed during the 1980's retrofit of the ship to be used with a type of HF Data System, of which I don't know very much. I suspect it was a type of encrypted Packet radio system, but it's not my area of expertise.

The Disc-Cage can operate from 3 to 30 MHz, depending on which feed point you use, and is an amazingly good antenna.
If we can you, then you'll definitely hear us!

Anyway....back below decks....

From the Ship's Laundry (it was very dark, poorly lit, and cramped, so I didn't take any pix inside) we went to the Enlisted Men's Galley.

I though this sign on one of the Deep Fry Machines was "interesting".

Some kind of big chopper/shredder.

Sign on entrance to the "Meat and Vegetable Prep Room".

More Crew Art, artist unknown.

More by Mr. Dehning.

The two stars at the bottom are for the first and second commissioning of the ship, in 1943, and 1951. The star at the top is for her final commissioning in 1984. The bird is NOT an eagle, but rather an "Iowa Hawk", bringing back the ship's commission and hull number.

Being a Radio Nerd, I just had to get this one.

Right before we went to the Enlisted Men's Mess, we saw what was left of this painting. It originally was an over-the-shoulder view of a Helmsman, with his hands on the wheel. You can barely make out the old wooden wheel at the bottom. I'm told that in the center was a rendering of Jesus Christ, with His hands on the Helmsman's shoulders, helping him to guide the ship.

Sometime after it was painted, and before the ship was decommissioned the last time, it was declared "Politically Incorrect", and either painted over, or scrubbed with something to deface it.

Mr. Dehning, who is still alive, has offered to come and repaint it.

God Bless Mr. Dehning!

And on to the Enlisted Men's Mess.

We have a "Two Spigot" version of this exact Milk Machine on the ship I work on. BTW....the Iowa consumed approximately 250 gallons of milk per day!

Off to one side of the Crew's Mess was this red painted door, so I walked over to see ehat it was.

It's a Damage Control Locker, and they're all throughout the ship. It's a compartment containing tools and materials relevant to the location of the ship needed to repair combat or other damage. The brass plate above this one says it's for "Pipe and Bar Stowage".

Some more Crew Art by Mr. Dehning in the Crew's Mess.

That's all for now. I'll post some more later today or tomorrow.


  1. Yeah! Boilers? Engines? Shell-handling?

  2. We saw a nice presentation of those areas, but they're among the "Off Limits" areas.

    Most of the Engineering Spaces are very cramped, and access to them is limited by steep ladders. They get a LOT of requests for viewing those areas, but it's not being offered for now.

    One of the turrets *might* be opened in the future after it's been cleaned up some more. One of the things they did during storage at Suisun Bay was to slop "red lead" primer on any area that looked like it might be starting to corrode, and it's pretty sloppy. Since they want the public to see the ship in it's best condition, those areas have to be cleaned up and repainted.

    Some of the other areas are considered "HAZMAT" areas do to possible asbestos exposure, PCB's, and other chemicals.

    1. Aw, rats. You see, this is why I sneak into those spaces most every chance I get. That's history, and it's where the soul of the ship can still be found. Don't believe me? Get back into one of those areas, then just sit quietly for a few minutes. You'll feel the ship like no one on the public tours ever will.

      I actually got lost below decks on a certain east coast battleship I won't name. Just me, my flashlights, and decades of raw history. Took forever to find my way back to where I'd gotten in. It was wonderful.

    2. Oh, I agree.

      There's been times when I was by myself and it was quiet, and I could swear I was being watched.

      You don't feel it as much in the "public" areas, but in almost every other area where I've been, I feel the "history" you speak about.

      Sometimes it's uncanny.....

  3. Thanks for the great pictures

  4. Good ones, and thanks for the 'tour'. She's in amazing shape all things considered.


Keep it civil, please....

Fabulous Fall Day

 Some of the trees are showing signs of turning, but they're not in their Fall colors yet.  This is from two years ago. We have Bumper C...