2 Calif groups battle for historic Navy ship





The USS Iowa supported U.S. forces fighting the Japanese during World War II and helped tankers safely navigate the Persian Gulf in the Iran-Iraq War.

Though the ship has long since been out of service, its final battle is still being waged. Two California nonprofits — one in the San Francisco Bay area, the other in Los Angeles — are vying to host the decommissioned ship as a tourist attraction. The Navy is expected to make a decision within a few months.

Fights over such ships, although not unprecedented, are generally confined to the most coveted of vessels. A group that wanted the USS Missouri — site of Japan's surrender in Tokyo Bay during World War II — to remain moored in Bremerton, Wash. sued the Navy in 1998 when the ship was awarded to the Honolulu-based USS Missouri Memorial Association. A federal court later dismissed the suit.

The Iowa, known as "The Big Stick," was part of the same class of battleships as the Missouri....


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