Friday, May 6, 2016

USS Iowa: Silver Service Set, Timeline

      The silver service set was originally designed and produced for use on the battleship USS Iowa BB-4. But it was not the only US Navy ship the set was used on. It was used on no less than 4 US Navy ships, two were named USS Iowa, two were not. The US Navy still owns the silver service set and it is currently on loan to the State of Iowa who puts it on display at the state historical museum in Des Moines from time to time. Many people think the State of Iowa should return it to the battleship USS Iowa BB-61 which is currently a museum in San Pedro, California. What they may not realize is it is not up to the State of Iowa but it is the decision of the United States Navy. During its history USS Iowa BB-61 was not the last ship to have the set on board. That honor fell to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72. Currently a new Virginia Class attack submarine is being built which will be called USS Iowa SSN-797 is being built. Perhaps the US Navy will issue the silver service set to be used on board the new sub named for the state of Iowa.

Timeline
June 15, 1896 to 1923 - Funds in the amount of $5000.00 are appropriated for the silver service set to be used on board the battleship USS Iowa BB-4. The set is used on board until the ship is put out of service.

May 17, 1920 to August 17 1923 - The third ship to be named USS Iowa BB-53 was under construction until a treaty limiting naval armaments halted the building of the new battleship. This would likely have been the second US Navy ship to have the silver service set placed on board for use.

1923 to 1945 - The silver service set is returned to the State of Iowa.

1945 to 1949 - After the end of WWII the silver service set is placed on board battleship USS Iowa BB-61  to be used for ceremonies.

1949 to 1951 - The silver service set is placed on board the cruiser USS Des Moines CA-134.

1951 to 1958 - The US Navy places the silver service set in storage.

1958 to 1984 - The US Navy places the silver service set into the care of the State of Iowa.

1984 to 1990 - The US Navy places the silver set on board the battleship USS Iowa BB-61  for what would be the final time.

1990 to 1992 - The US Navy transfers the silver service set from the battleship USS Iowa to aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72. This was the last US Navy ship to use the silver service set.

1992 to Present - The US Navy places the silver service set back with the State of Iowa where it remains to this day.

2015 to Present - Construction of new Virginia Class Attack Submarine USS Iowa SSN-797 is announced and may be ready by 2020.  Perhaps the US Navy will assign the silver service set originally used on board the battleship USS Iowa BB-4 to the new sub.

References:
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
State Historical Society of Iowa
State Historical Society of Iowa, The Annals of Iowa, Silver Service of the Battleship Iowa
National Archives Catalog, USS Iowa BB-61
The Iowan History Letter, Vol. 3 Number 2 2nd Quarter, 2014
NBC News story: USS Iowa, the last battleship, filled with memories as it arrives at new home
Simon Conway: Why Hasn't The USS Iowa's Bell And Silverware Been Returned To The Ship?
WHOTV: Navy to Build a New USS Iowa as Submarine
Americas Navy: Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus Names Virginia-Class Submarine
The Des Moines Register: New Navy submarine will be named USS Iowa

Previous article about the silver service set: USS Iowa, BB4: A Service of Silver, Tribute to the USS Iowa

Previous articles in the USS Iowa series:
USS Iowa, 1868 - 1883
USS Iowa, BB4
USS Iowa, BB4: A Service of Silver, Tribute to the USS Iowa
USS Iowa BB53: The battleship that almost was.
USS Iowa, BB61: General Characteristics, Statistics, Battleship of Presidents and Sister Ships
USS Iowa, BB61: Chronology
USS Iowa, BB61: Awards, Stars, Ribbons and Citations
USS Iowa, BB61: Photographic History
BB-61
USS Iowa Interpretive Panels - Introduction
USS Iowa Interpretive Panels - United States Naval Ship Iowa BB 61, Overview
USS Iowa Interpretive Panels - Armament
USS Iowa Interpretive Panels - Naval Ship Life
USS Iowa Interpretive Panels - USS Battleship Lineage
USS Iowa Interpretive Panels - Construction and Commissioning
USS Iowa Interpretive Panels - WWII and the Roosevelt Era
USS Iowa Interpretive Panels - Korean War, Vietnam and Cold War Era