Culver Signs USS Iowa Effort

The battleship USS Iowa at left, is anchored with other ships in the "ghost fleet" at the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in Benicia, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)


By Becky Ogann

DES MOINES (AP) - Gov. Chet Culver has signed a proclamation intended to better the chances that the iconic USS Iowa will be converted into a museum.

Culver signed the proclamation Monday, allowing him to appoint a 10-person volunteer committee that will raise private money for the ship's restoration.

The battleship is among dozens of Navy ships that have been anchored for years in a shallow San Francisco Bay waterway. The decaying ships are polluting the bay, and there are plans to clean and recycle most of them.

Some want to preserve the USS Iowa, a likeness of which is displayed in the Iowa Statehouse Rotunda.

The ship served as transport to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was decommissioned after the Korean War, but reactivated in 1984. An explosion in a gun turret killed 47 sailors in 1989, and the ship was decommissioned in 1990.

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