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USS Iowa

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Filed under military

war and peace

Ada and I went down to San Pedro some time ago to see the battleship Iowa . I was excited . We drove down the Harbor Freeway to its end and then  eighteen bucks and we were in .Battleship Iowa 010

We had gone down there to the harbor last year during Navy Week to see the nuclear powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan . The crowds were such that time that we begged off and settled for taking an hour long harbor cruise that went past the Reagan . We saw enough . Very impressive !   Navy patrol boats approached our tour boat to be sure , I guess, that we weren’t terrorists planning some attack . We would have been quick food for the sharks after the patrol boat’s machine guns finished us off .

The steel behemoth  Iowa , tiny compared to the Ronald Reagan , is a great engineering feat . It was a great weapon of war . By great , though , I mean deadly . We wandered around the sections of the ship open to the public. Most of it is off limits , so far , as it is in the process of being  restored .Battleship Iowa 004

The 16 inch guns , nine of them , could fire  projectiles twenty four miles . Someone might have been  sitting on some Pacific island one day in 1942 , peacefully eating breakfast ,  and be instantly blown to bits by an explosive shell fired from an unseen ship floating along twenty-four miles away . Someone aboard the ship is listening to Bing Crosby sing White Christmas or to Glenn Miller’s band playing Chattanooga Choo Choo .inchon ship shells

But the Iowa as a weapon of war is outdated now . There are more effective ways these days to kill , of course , deadlier ,  more efficient , more cost effective  .  We have highly educated brilliant minds constantly developing state-of-the-art ,  technologically advanced ways to kill .

We then put on display  some of our obsolete weapons , make them monuments and museum items  . Kids crawl on them . Adults ponder .cannon in Sierra Madre 004

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