The Iowa Class Battleships BB-61 to BB-64

Norfolk Reserve Fleet 1994 -- The Iowa and the Wisconsin sit silently in mothballs, in the US Navy Reserve Fleet, at the Norfolk Navy Yard, in Norfolk, VA.. (Iowa Class Battleship Vets Accociation).

New Page! (12/20/98) It lists every battleship ever commisioned by the United States Navy. List of Battleships.

Read an article sent to Naval Institute Procedings a naval issues magazine, which talks about how the Iowa's could be updated. The article is written by a friend of mine, Tim Parker, an Ex-EM2 (SW), of the 3rd recommisioning crew of the USS-New Jersey (BB-62).

Click here for the Procedings article.

Short Description of the Iowa's

The Iowa class battleships are the biggest and only battleships left in the world today. They carry nine sixteen inch guns (which no ship in any fleet has today), and they also have 8 Amored Box Launchers (ABL's), which carry 32 Tomahawk cruise missles total. The four ships were first commisioned in the 1940's, but 40 years later in the 1980's they were recomissioned again, and they came back and became the most superior surface warfare ships at sea.

On May 28, 1998 I got to visit the USS MISSOURI (BB-63) when it came into Astoria. The Missouri came to Astoria because it is going to become a memorial in Pearl Harbor, and when it was decommisioned in Bremerton, Washington it started to get barnacles growing on the sides of the ship. So in order to bring the Missouri to Pearl Harbor they had to kill off the barnacles in fresh water, so that when the Missouri arrives in Pearl Harbor it won't bring a new type of Barnacle to the ecology in Pearl Harbor. I also know what congress is going to make of the Iowa Class Battleships left. The Iowa and the Wisconsin have been restored to category "B" on the Naval Registry list which means that the ships are back in the reserve fleet, and are could be recommisioned. The USS New Jersey, will go the State of New Jersey so it can become a memorial near Ellis Island.

Pearl Harbor, HI. (June 24, 1998) -- The Mighty Mo arrives at its new home right behind the USS Arizona, while a big crowd welcomes it.

"You Americans do not realize what formidable warships you have in these four battleships. We have concluded after careful analysis that these magnificent vessels are in fact the most to be feared in your entire naval arsenal. When engaged in combat we could throw everything we have at those ships and all our firepower would just bounce off or be of little effect. Then we are exhausted, we will detect you coming over the horizon and then you will sink us."

-Soviet Fleet Admiral Sergei I. Gorshkov,1985- Quote after watching the Iowa in a NATO exercise

Dates Built

LD-Keel Laying Date

LCH-Launch Date

COM-Commissioning Date

DCOM-Decommissioning Date


CS-Squadron Ship Is Serving With

DESRON-Destroyer Squadron

(A/P)- Atlantic Or Pacific

WHG-Western Hemisphere Group


HP-Home Port

Bremerton, Washington U.S.A.

Mayport, Florida,U.S.A

Norfolk, Virginia,U.S.A

Pascagoula, Mississippi,U.S.A

Pearl Harbor, Honolulu,Hawaii,U.S.A

San Diego, California,U.S.A

Yokosuka, Japan

BB 61
NY Jun.27/40 Aug.27/42 Feb.22/43 Mar.24/49 Aug.25/51 Oct./52 Apr.28/84 Oct.26/90
BB 62
New Jersey
PA Sep.16/40 Dec.7/42 May.23/43 Jun.30/48 Nov.21/50 Aug.21/57 Oct.28/82 Feb.8/91
BB 63 Missouri NY Jan.6/41 Jan.29/44 Jun.11/44 Feb.26/55 May.10/86 Mar.31/92 N/A N/A
BB 64 Wisconsin PA Jan.25/41 Dec.7/43 Apr.16/44 Jul.1/48 Mar.3/51 Mar.8/58 Oct.22/88 Sep.3/91
BB 65 Illinois PA Jan.15/45 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
BB 66 Kentucky NV Mar./42 Jan.20/50 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Name RCOM#3 DCOM#4
April 6, 1968 Dec. 17, 1969

This actually lists the New Jersey's third re-commisioning, which she was commisioned for one year for shore bombardment in Vietnam.


BB-61 USS IOWA (Reserve fleet in Norfolk, Virginia) decommisioned 1991

BB-62 USS NEW JERSEY Bremerton, Washington Decommisioned 1991

BB-63 USS MISSOURI Memorial at Pearl Harbor Decommisoned 1992

BB-64 USS WISCONSIN Norfolk, Virginia Decommisoned 1991


  BB-61 BB-62 BB-63,64 BB-65,66
Length(O/A) 887' 2.75" 887' 6.625" 887' 3" 887' 3"
Length(W/L) 859' 5.75" 859' 10.25" 860' 860'
Beam 108' 2.063" 108' 1.375" 108' 2" 108' 2"
Draft(max) 37' 9" 38' 37' 9" 35' 10"
Draft(mean) <36' 2.25" 36' 0.25" 36' 2.25" N/A
Draft(design) 28' 8.25" 28' 8.5" N/A N/A
Towing Fit for emergency towing
Fueling arangements Fit to fuel destroyers


Combat Load Displacement 58,000 tons
Propellers Two,outboards at 18 ft. 3in. And two inboard with five blades at 17 ft.


Boilers 8 Babcock & Wilcox type
Pressure 565 psi
Temperature 850 degrees F
Turbines 4 sets General Electric geared turbines (BB 61,63)
4 sets Westinghouse geared turbines (BB 62,64)
Horsepower 212,000 forward
254,000 overload forward
44,000 astern
Shafts 4
Speed 33.0 knts 202 RPM
34.7 knots achieved by the USS New Jersey sometime between 1982-84 Source : Tim Parker (Engineering : BB-62)
Range 20,150 nautical miles at a speed of 15 knots.
15,500 nautical miles at a speed of 17 knots
4,830 at full speed
Fuel Storage & Type Distalate Fuel after the Navy changed the type of fuel it used, ships will hold 9,520 tons


Aircraft 1 helicopter pad
Main Battery Nine 16"/50 caliber Mark II guns mounted in 3 triple turrets on centerline,two forward and one aft.
Secondary Battery Twenty 5"/38 caliber double purpose guns mounted in twin turrets.


CIWS 4 x 20mm/76 cal Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx 6-barrelled Gatling guns (two on each side of the ship) Firing 3000 rounds per minuted or 50 rounds per second.


Cruise Missles Eight Quadruple canisters holding 4 missles each for a total of 32 cruise missles, with ranges of 1,500 miles
Harpoon Anti Ship Missles Four Quadruple canisters for a total of 16 harpoon missles equiped near the aft funnel


Combat System AN/SLQ 32 will detect and track mulitiple threats. It also has the ability to ham enemy sensors simultaneously. At close ranges, the ships are designed to confuse the enemy weapons with decoys.

Decoys (1982-92)

Torpedo SLQ-25 Nixie towed torpedo decoy
Anti-Air Mk 36 SRBOC chaff launcher
Mk 12 IFF

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