Historic Battleship May Live in Long Beach

Dubbed the "Big Stick," it is the last surviving World War II battleship without a home.

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    An overhead view of the battleship USS IOWA (BB-61) firing all 15 of its guns (nine 16-inch and six 5-inch) during a target exercise near Vieques Island. Careful observation of the three main turrets shows the barrels in various states of recoil.

    The Los Angeles City Council endorsed proposals to berth a historic World War II battleship at the Port of Los Angeles as a floating museum.

    The Navy recently reopened the application process for the donation of the USS Iowa, which carried President Franklin Roosevelt across the Atlantic for meetings with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

    Dubbed the "Big Stick," it is about the length of three football fields, and is the last surviving World War II battleship without a home.

    "Bringing the USS Iowa to the port is exactly what we need to draw visitors to San Pedro and help jumpstart our ongoing waterfront development," said Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose district includes the Port of Los Angeles.

    "The USS Midway has generated a half a billion dollars for San Diego -- why wouldn't we want the same thing here in Los Angeles?" she added. "This is a no-brainer. We should bring the Iowa to the port and we should do it as quickly as possible."

    Hahn said the proposal would not cost the city anything, since the Pacific Battleship Center has offered to pay for relocating the Iowa and other costs.

    The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners is in the process of conducing an economic impact analysis of the proposal.