NBC Los Angeles.com reports:
The length of three football fields and the height of 15-story building, the USS Iowa on Saturday began its reign as an impressive presence at the Port of Los Angeles. The decommissioned World War II-era battleship berthed at the port after a years-long struggle from supportes to get her to San Pedro.
"There's nothing like giant guns, heavy armor and the ability to go so fast nobody can keep up with you," said Robert Kent of the Pacific Battleship Center. "This is the last battleship left in the world."
From Fred Reed’s “Best of the last battleships” on the ussiowa.org website:
The Iowa class were the last of the battleships and the best, the end of a naval world. Actually they didn't get much real work even in World War II, having been passed by technology, notably the aircraft carrier.
Battlewagons of the older classes spent their days bombarding shores in support of the Marines, and the Iowa class ships did carrier escort duty. In practice, this meant they sprouted large numbers of 5-inch anti-aircraft guns and almost never fired their huge 16-inch main batteries.
The Iowas are today perhaps the only ships in the fleet that look like warships. Modern ships are boxy so that they can hold electronics, their armament consists of hidden missiles. They aren't exactly pretty, but the Iowa is beautiful.