One Battleship Opens on OC Screens While Another Heads for Waters Off Seal Beach

One Battleship Opens on OC Screens While Another Heads for Waters Off Seal Beach

Peter Berg's $200 million alien action movie Battleship, which has already earned back $215 million internationally, opens nationwide today.

But you can see a real battleship off Seal Beach.

Without the aliens. Presumably.

Oh, and that's three miles off Seal Beach.

That's where the USS Iowa battleship--the last lead ship of any class of U.S. battleships, the only ship of her class to sail in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II, and the tub that famously ferried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic to Casablanca en route to a crucial 1943 meeting in Tehran with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin--will be getting its hull scrubbed by underwater divers.

The USS Iowa is coming south.
The USS Iowa is coming south.

It's all part of the journey to bring the Iowa to San Pedro permanently. Currently docked in Richmond in the San Francisco Bay, the battleship will be pulled south by four tugboats as the Pacific Battleship Center turns it into a waterfront museum in the San Pedro port.

The Iowa is scheduled to make its "grand entry" June 9, be in place at San Pedro's Berth 87 in time for an invitation-only "commissioning ceremony" July 4 and open for public tours three days later.

There should be widespread interest, as the ship served in the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II, even being among the Allied ships in Tokyo Bay for Japan's surrender. Bombs were fired from the Iowa during the Korean War and, after being "retired" in 1958, it was called back into service in the 1980s for NATO exercises in the Persian Gulf.

By the way, FDR had a soft spot for the Iowa, with his softest spots resting in the ship's bathtub. That rare amenity among U.S. warships had been specially installed for the president, as had an elevator that allowed him to move between decks. And avoid aliens.

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