Military-Grade Awesome, Moments in History

Track and watch the USS Iowa on her final voyage!

The Iowa dwarfs the shipyard cranes that inspired the Starwars AT-AT transports on a last night of rest before her final journey

(UPDATE: The tow has been delayed on a day-by-day basis due to a storms system off the California coast that would make the tow dangerous)

This afternoon (20MAY2012) at 12Pm PST (DELAYED), the last Battleship USS Iowa BB-61 is scheduled to depart her temporary berth in the Richmond California shipyard and begin making her way south enroute to her new home at the Port of Los Angeles to become a floating museum.

This marks what may well become her last voyage at sea for the old warrior, and possibly the last “at-sea” for a battleship of any kind.

AND, thanks to the power of the intertubes and the kind people at you can track the Iowa in real time on her voyage!

In addition, they have live video from the bridge which should be streaming as the ship makes her way through the bay and out past the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Passage under that beautiful and symbolic bridge is estimated to happen sometime between 2-4pm, mere hours before the Annular Eclipse fills the sky.

Super spouse and I will be making the trek up to SF to witness this historic event, which will be the second time in 10 years I’ve had the privilege of watching a WWII era ship be towed out to become a museum. The last time it was to witness my own very first ship, the Aircraft Carrier USS Midway CV41 as she was towed down to San Diego.

Get the scoop at, and be sure to check out the museum’s videos on the rescue and transformation of the ship while you are there. It’s some moving stuff for old salts and fans of the sea alike. Case in point:


Photos courtesy of fellow military/plane/car/photography nerd Will Campbell. See the rest of his awesome nighttime Iowa shots on his Facebook album.

  • Will Campbell

    The move is off for today due to high seas. Its on a day to day basis, I'm hoping to get a 24 hr notice of when she will leave.

    From the Pacific Battleship group,
    "To all our supporters and friends: The tow of IOWA has been temporary delayed on a day by day basis as we follow the weather system going through the west coast. The system is planned to cause a situation that would be dangerous to IOWA on Wednesday. We will keep you posted."


  • You know they're just dicking around until Sunday, when the Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary is going to be happening along Crissy Field and the Marin Headlands.

    • Yeah, and I'm personally glad they did.

      The fact that it is also Memorial Day weekend makes it even sweeter.

    • Gary

      PB claims she's underway now !!! nothing on live stream or tracking – what the hell happened??!!!

  • Odd that when you try to zoom in on the sat view, as you get really close the Iowa disappears!