Jump to content

Why USS Iowa's turret 3 rotation was restored.


Recommended Posts

This is a bit of a long post so bare with me.

What is the one thing on a battleship that really draws people to it?

The guns.


The battleship museums each have at least one main turret open  for people to tour.

For USS Iowa, it's turret 1. 

But their current set-up lacks a detail: shells.


The museum has received at least 100 inert shells. 


These shells weigh the same as the HE and AP shells, they just lack the explosives.


But how do they get the shells on board and into Turret 1?

From the videos I watched, they felt a crane was rather expensive, and they still had to get the shell into the shell ring. I think there was also an issue about the distance to the hatch as well from the pier.

Then someone suggested they do it the original Navy way.


First off, did the equipment work?

Turret 1's deck capstans did


the inner ring of the projectile flat still turns


Bringing us to Turret 3


With Turret 3 able to turn, the turret's own loading gear could be used to lower the shells into the ship.

But Turret 3 isn't the tour turret. Turret 1 is.

So the shells take a trip on Broadway.

Of all the videos you will have ever watched, I think I can say this one is something you haven't seen before.

Not only the shell being lowered in, but traveling down Broadway, being lifted into the shell flat, and parbuckled into place.



Some might ask why they are going through this effort. 

First off, these are actual shells, not the fiberglass casings on the North Carolina and New Jersey. These shells have actual weight to them.

Next, it brings up an issue with the Iowas.


As museum ships, the Iowas are pretty much empty of ammo, fuel, supplies, crew, etc. Thus they are lighter then they would be in service. this means they need to be ballasted to stabilize them, as well as make them 'level' (New Jersey is slightly heavy to the stern to allow water to run off). But the ballasting also keeps water inside the ship, which can be bad.


According to a New Jersey video, the Iowas apparently have an issue with the bow peak tanks.


According to the video, when Missouri was drydocked, she had some corrosion in the bow, not only the peak tank, but from the harbor water (which has salt and Arizona oil). While this could be handled routinely when the ship was in service by the crew and in port, as a museum ship she has far less resources available to her. Remember, they are only seeing a drydocking once in maybe 15-20 years versus almost every year in Navy service.

With the weight of the shells on board in Turret 1, the Iowa will need to re-ballast, thus pumping out water from the bow. This in turn will allow for inspection of the tank for any signs of leakage or damage.


So Iowa gets shells in Turret 1, showing visitors a more accurate in service appearance, and the ship's curator's take a step to help keeping the ship around for years to come.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.