USS Iowa (BB-4)

Iowa enters the Brooklyn Navy Yard drydock in September, 1898. Photo in the collection of the US National Archives and Records Administration.

Ship Class
Laid Down

Construction of the battleship USS Iowa was delayed by design changes, to improve on the preceding Indiana-class. Most notably, the ship was designed with higher freeboard, so she could operate at sea, and her armament layout was improved. After commissioning, Iowa spent a year cruising the US East Coast, before she was deployed for the naval blockade of Cuba after the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. She bombarded San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 12 May, 1898, and skirmished with Spanish ships on the 31st. During the Battle of Santiago, 3 July, 1898, Iowa was in the thick of the action, and fired on most of the Spanish ships that day, inflicting heavy damage, while receiving only minor hits in return. She followed this up by deploying her boats to rescue survivors. Iowa transferred to the Pacific in October, then to the South Atlantic in 1902. She returned to the US in mid-1903, and spent the next decade in and out of commission, used as a training and barracks ship for the latter part of her career. She Spent World War I in the Chesapeake Bay, and was renamed Coast Battleship No. 4 in 1919. Iowa was expended as a gunnery target by the USS Mississippi (BB-41) on 23 March, 1923.