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Thursday, August 11, 2005Past Issues - S | M | T | W | T | F | S
 
South Jersey

August 7, 1998

Really big ships

The Iowa class battleships are: USS Iowa BB-61, USS New Jersey BB-62, USS Missouri BB-63, USS Wisconsin BB-64. Each is 887 feet in length, with a beam of 108 feet and a draft of 38 feet, with a displacement of 59,300 tons.

The full wartime crew is 2,700 officers and men. Each ship's main engines generate 212,000 horsepower, driving it with a speed of 31 knots. There are nine 16-inch guns, each capable of hurling a 2,700-pound projectile more than 20 miles.

Each vessel possesses steel armor plate, 16 inches thick on the turrets and conning tower, 12 inches thick along the sides and 5 inches thick on the armor deck. A broadside firing of all nine 16-inch guns will move her about 40 feet in the opposite direction.

The cost to build the battleship during World War II was $100 million. Today, it would cost about $3 billion.

Of interest to battleship buffs, the largest battleships ever built were the Japanese giants, Yamato and Musashi, which carried 18-inch guns.

RAYMOND SONSINI
National Park



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