USS Iowa (BB-61)

Article

December 3, 2021

The USS Iowa (BB-61) is a decommissioned US Navy battleship, built during World War II and serving until the Gulf War. It is the first Iowa-class unit built.

Construction

The keel of the ship was established on June 27, 1940 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. The hull was launched on August 27, 1942, when the ship was christened by Ilo Wallace, the wife of the then US Vice President, Henry Wallace. The ship entered service on February 22, 1943 and immediately became involved in military operations.

World War II

1943

After the entrance tests in the Chesapeake Bay, the ship sailed to a naval base in Newfoundland, Canada, which was then a British domino, to be in reserve in case of an attempt to set sail on the German battleship Tirpitz. In the fall, the ship transported US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Casablanca, from where it continued to the Tehran Conference. After the conference, Iowa transported the president back to the United States. During the voyage, an incident occurred when the crew of the USS Porter fired a naval torpedo at the ship with the president. The incident was prevented by the captain of the USS Iowa by changing course.

1944

The ship later became the flagship of the 7th Battleship Division, and on January 2, 1944, sailed to the Pacific to join the offensive against Japan. Her baptism of battle was the battles for the Marshall Islands. Between January 29 and February 3, Iowa supported aircraft carriers attacking the Kwajalein and Eniwetok atolls. The next operation was the support of aircraft carriers during raids on Truk. Iowa was part of an American force tasked with destroying Japanese ships trying to escape the atoll. On February 21, 1944, the ship joined the TF 58 high-speed aircraft carrier, which gradually attacked Japanese targets at Saipan, Tinian, Guam in the Mariana Islands. On March 18, Iowa, along with a battleship, shelled Mili Atoll. It was hit twice by a 127 mm projectile, but was not damaged in any way. At the end of March, the ship rejoined TF 58 and supported attacks against Palau and Woleai in the Carolina archipelago. From April 22 to 28, 1944, the ship supported attacks in the New Guinea area and then rejoined TF 58, taking part in the second attack on Truk on April 29 and 30, 1944. The very next day, the ship shelled Japanese equipment on the island. Pohnpei. During the landing on the Mariana Islands, the ship was mainly involved in shelling all the main islands. During the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944, Iowa was part of the TF 58 group of fast aircraft carriers. In this battle, the Japanese Imperial Navy lost much of the remaining capacity of its aircraft carriers. After the battle, the ship took part in other operations, such as September 17, 1944 in support of the landing and conquest of the island of Peleliu. The ship was then part of the escort of aircraft carriers during their operations in the central Philippines, where the US invasion was being prepared. From October 10, Iowa, with other vessels, approached Okinawa and was part of the attacks on the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan. On October 20, Iowa was present at General Douglas MacArthur's landing in Leyte. When the landing began, the Japanese Imperial Navy responded with a complicated naval operation in which three alliances of Japanese warships tried to destroy the American airdrop. The encounter with the US Navy at the Battle of Leyte, one of the greatest naval battles in history, marked the definitive end of the Japanese Imperial Navy's hopes for a turn in the war. At the Battle of Leyte, Iowa was part of Rear Admiral Gerald F. Bogan's TG 38.2. The ship sailed the Sibuyan Sea to the San Bernardino Strait, where the Japanese Central Union was attacked by air. When the commander of the American forces, Admiral William F. Halsey believed that the middle

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