The Iowa Class battleships were a class of fast battleships ordered by the US Navy in 1939 and 40. They were designed to serve with the aircraft carrier groups in the Pacific against the Imperial Japanese Navy. Four were completed, two others were laid down, but canceled and scrapped by the war's end. The finished ones were the Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey, and the Wisconsin. Length - 887ft, Beam - 108ft, draft - 38ft. Their displacement was 48,500 tons. The armor was
12.2 inches on the sides, and 14 inches on the deck. They were equipped with 4 steam turbines delivering 212,000 horsepower and had a top speed of 33 knots. The range was 16,600 nautical miles at 15 knots. The Iowa Class carried a crew of 2,800 and featured nine 16 inch guns in three triple turrets. In addition they were armed with twenty 5 inch anti-aircraft guns, eighty 1.6 inch anti-aircraft guns, and forty nine 0.8 inch anti-aircraft guns. The Missouri was commissioned on June 11, 1944 and was made the flagship of the Pacific Fleet. One of her first missions was to provide fire support of the invasion of Iwo Jima and then Okinawa. During the Battle of Okinawa she managed to shoot down five Japanese planes and damaged six more. However one plane managed to get through her anti-aircraft guns and slammed into the ship, causing only minor damage. On Sept. 2, 1945 she played a role of historic importance when the Japanese delegation came on board to sign the surrender papers ending the Second World War.
After being mothballed, they were resurrected for the Korean War, mothballed again, resurrected for the Vietnam War, mothballed once again, and then resurrected again and upgraded in the 80's, with the Missouri and the Wisconsin firing their main guns and cruise missiles against Iraqi targets during desert Storm. Currently, all four are now owned by non profit organizations as naval museums. This photo was taken in 1954 of all four Iowa Class battleships.
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ID:	6959 Perhaps the greatest class of ships ever.