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Battleship Iowa headed to permanent home on San Pedro waterfront

June 6, 2012 | 11:04 am

Click for more photos of the Battleship Iowa

The Iowa, one of the world’s most famous and powerful battleships, is set to arrive on schedule Saturday at its permanent berth on the San Pedro waterfront, where it will become a tourist attraction.

Fresh from a hull cleaning, the World War II-vintage ship will make its way through the Port of Los Angeles from Pier 51 to Pier 87, which is adjacent to the cruise ship terminal.

The Iowa’s arrival will be marked by a simple welcoming ceremony and speeches by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Robert Kent, president of the Pacific Battleship Center, which has worked to bring the ship to Los Angeles.

PHOTOS: Battleship Iowa 1942-2012

Nearly three football fields long and more than 14 stories high, the Iowa is one of the largest warships every built. Nicknamed “Big Stick,” the vessel served in World War II, the Korean War and in a variety of active and reserve fleet assignments until it was decommissioned in 1990.

About 800 invited guests are expected to attend the event, including financial supporters, elected officials, veterans and news media. They are scheduled to board the ship at noon. The Iowa is set to arrive at Pier 87 about 3:15 p.m. for the welcoming ceremony, which will conclude about an hour later.

GRAPHIC: Iowa comes to Los Angeles

The Pacific Battleship Center plans to recommission the ship July 4 and hold the first public tours three days later. Ticketing information is available online at www.pacificbattleship.com.

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Photo: A pleasure boat gets an up-close look at the battleship Iowa as it entered Los Angeles Harbor on June 2. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times.

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