Famed battleship to leave Bay Area on Saturday
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Famed battleship to leave Bay Area on Saturday

Richmond : CA : USA | May 27, 2012 at 12:04 AM PDT
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USS-IOWA DayOnTheBay05-20-12

The historic USS Iowa battleship has been cleared to leave the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, a nonprofit group helping to restore the ship said Thursday.

An official with the Pacific Battleship Center in San Pedro, where the ship will be permanently moored, said the ship will be towed Saturday morning from the Port of Richmond and pass under the Golden Gate Bridge in the afternoon.

Thousands of people are expected to line the bridge's pedestrian walkways and vantage points along the San Francisco and Marin County shorelines to watch the ship pass, the official said, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Plans call for the ship to be towed to San Pedro in Los Angeles Harbor, where it will be turned into a museum.

The ship was towed to Richmond from Suisun Bay in Solano County earlier this year.

The Iowa spent the last 12 years as part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet in Suisun Bay, just off Benicia.

Benicia is Solano County's oldest city.

San Pedro was selected as the Iowa's final mooring after a Solano County group failed to satisfy financing requirements to host the ship at Mare Island in Vallejo.

Mare Island was the site of the U.S. Navy's first West Coast base in 1854.

The base closed in 1996.

The USS Iowa saw duty in World War II and the Korean War, and was present at the surrender of Japan that ended the second world war in 1945.

The ship was originally scheduled to leave the Bay Area last weekend, but its departure was delayed by rough seas caused by an incoming storm.

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USS Iowa
Photo shows the USS Iowa when it was docked at Terminal 3 in the Port of Richmond for repairs in January. Photo credit: Binksternet/Wikimedia Commons
Nathan Salant is based in San Francisco, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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