The U-S-S Iowa is nearing the end of what could be its final cruise. The “Historic Ships Memorial” group pushed to have the Iowa moved to the California coast. Spokesperson Marilyn Wong says the 46-thousand ton World War Two battleship will pass under the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay tonight at midnight — marking the end of a 57-hundred mile, 43-day journey from Newport, Rhode Island. Wong says several special events are planned Saturday to mark the arrival of the Iowa. The warship will move to a holding yard later Saturday, where it will remain on reserve status as mandated by Congress. Wong says the group has petitioned the U-S Navy to release the Iowa in hopes of making the warship into a museum on San Francisco’s waterfront. Wong says that won’t be decided until at least 2004. The group is in the midst of a campaign to raise five million dollars for the project. The Iowa saw service in World War Two and the Korean War. The ship was brought to the forefront again 1989 when a gun turret exploded, killing 47 people. Wong says that has reminded the public of the dangers service men face every day. The Iowa was the lead ship of its class in World War Two. The U-S-S Wisconsin is also still on reserve status. The other two ships in the class, the U-S-S Missouri and the U-S-S New Jersey, are now used as museums.
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