The U.S.S. Iowa was a United States Navy battleship that was constructed between 1940 and 1942 and was commissioned (entered service in the Navy) in 1943. Its main armament - most important weapons - consisted of nine 16 inch guns arranged in three turrets (two turrets located forward, the third located aft). These guns could send a 2,700 lb armor piercing shell at a target twenty-three miles away. Secondary armament consisted of twenty 5 inch guns which had a range of fourteen-miles. To defend against enemy airplanes, the U.S.S. Iowa was equipped with forty-nine 20 mm and eighty 40 mm anti-aircraft guns.
The Iowa's first important operation, in Late-1943, involved transporting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, along with other dignitaries, across the Atlantic Ocean to North Africa, from where they preceded overland to to Tehran, Iran, for a conference with the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and the ruler of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin.
The Iowa was sent to the Pacific Ocean where, beginning in January, 1944, she served with a number of Aircraft Carrier Task Forces that conducted air strikes against Japanese bases in the Marshall, Caroline, and Mariana Islands. Together with the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey, the Iowa sunk the Japanese light cruiser Katori on 18 February, 1944. In June, 1944, the U.S.S. Iowa participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Although the Iowa was part of the U.S. forces present during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October, 1944, she didn't see any action.
On 18 December the U.S.S. Iowa was part of group of U.S. warships that found themselves in the midst of Typhoon Cobra, during which three destroyers were sunk and the Iowa suffered enough damage to force her to return to the West Coast of the United States for repairs at San Francisco. From here the Iowa returned to battle, supporting air strikes on Okinawa and on the Japanese Home Islands. In July the U.S.S. Iowa bombarded several targets on the Japanese mainland.
The Iowa ended the war by serving as Admiral Halsey's flagship in Tokyo Bay, when the surrender ceremony took place on the U.S.S. Missouri. On her return to the United States, she transported U.S. soldiers and men freed from Japanese prisoner of war camps.