Speak softly and carry a “Big Stick”; you will go far was attributed to the foreign policies of former President Theodore Roosevelt and something akin to the the United States battleship USS Iowa BB-61 The Big Stick. Nothing got as big or threw a more powerful punch than the USS Iowa in every US naval engagement she participated in. America spoke softly before the Second World War but when she was tested she carried a pretty big stick.
She fought in the Atlantic
The USS Iowa, the lead ship of her class was the 4th ship to have ever been named after the great state of Iowa. She was also the only battleship of her class that fought in the Atlantic during World War 2. She was also responsible for having taken the political heads to a famous and secretive meeting in Algeria in 1943 consisting of President D Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain.
When transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1944, Iowa shelled beachheads at Kwajalein and Eniwetok in advance of Allied amphibious landings and screened aircraft carriers operating in the Marshall Islands. It also served as the Third Fleetflagship, flying Admiral William F. Halsey‘s flag at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. (Source – Wikipedia)
16 Inch Guns
Without question the one most recognizable fact and often the most discussed topic whenever a US Navy battleship comes up is their 16 inch guns. Without exception one of the largest and most powerful guns that has ever gone to sea the USS Iowa carried them and did so with pride.
The primary armament of an Iowa-class battleship consisted of nine breech-loading 16 inch (406 mm)/50-caliber Mark 7 naval guns, which were housed in three 3-gun turrets: two forward and one aft in a configuration known as “2-A-1”.
You may get a chance to see the USS Iowa, now a museum located at San Pedro in Los Angels and get a chance to see the awesome guns displayed on this ship. But did you know that the gun barrels and turrets are only a small part of the awesome firepower and team of United States Navy Sailors that is needed to operate just one gun mount on the USS Iowa?
Throwing 2700 pound projectiles over 24 nautical miles was just a normal day on the battleship.
USS Iowa turret explosion
It is extremely unfortunate that it is nearly impossible to discuss the USS Iowa without at least mentioning one of the most unfortunate circumstances she had to ensure. USS Iowa turret explosion will forever be associated with this grand ship and it will be part of her history till the end of her days.
On 19 April 1989, the Number Two 16-inchgun turret of the United States Navy battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) exploded. The explosion in the center gun room killed 47 of the turret’s crewmen and severely damaged the gun turret itself.
We will not go into all the detail of the circumstances surrounding this sad day for the crew of the USS Iowa, the Sailors in the US navy and to America herself. We will acknowledge it happened and wish only the very best to all family and friends that lost a United States Navy Sailor on that day. They will be forever remembered.
Did the USS Iowa Sink An Enemy Ship During Her Career?
In truth: No. A lot of money, thousands of man hours to build her, Sailors to Sail her, US Navy officers to command her and she never dropped one into the depths. Enough said.
What is the largest US battleship ever built?
This is the USS Iowa, the first of the largest, most powerful battleship class ever in the United States Navy, equipped with nine 16-inch (406mm) guns that could fire nuclear shells—the only American ship in history with this capability.
World War 2 75th Diamond Anniversary
This year, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the Second World War. Never again will we be able to honor the men and women who valiantly served America during World War 2. This is a generation of Americans that has no equal and will be forever remembered for their hard work, effort, gallantry, dedication and sacrifice protecting our great country during WW2.
Navy Crow which has for the last 12 years been working directly with the men and women of the US Navy, both active duty and retired has been designing challenge coins using both original artwork and concepts they have developed working side by side with the US Navy trademark and licensing department of the United States Navy at the Pentagon level.
To honor this generation of American Sailors they have designed a series of US Navy commemorative challenge coins that respect this 75th Diamond Anniversary of the World War 2 and the mighty US Navy ships that sailed during the war years. The first challenge coin off the line is the USS Iowa, The Big Stick challenge coin. This collection of US Navy WW2 ships will be part of a series of challenge coins that will honor the history and tradition of the US Navy; Warships of World War 2 Challenge Coins.
USS Iowa Warships of WW2 75th Anniversary Coin, an original coin exclusively offered to challenge coin collectors, World War 2 memorabilia collectors, family and friends of US Navy Sailors that sailed aboard these ships and to Americans at home and abroad that recognize the importance that these US Navy ships, like the USS Iowa, carried with them from Pearl Harbor to the signing of surrender by the Japanese in Tokyo Harbor in 1945.