The famed battleship USS Iowa passed through the waters off the Central Coast early Monday morning before sunrise on its final voyage, to house a naval museum at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro.
According to a website tracking the ship’s voyage, it is being towed about 50 miles offshore, and traveling about six knots.
It was off the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base in northern Santa Barbara County as of 2:30 p.m. Monday.
The USS Iowa left San Francisco Bay and passed under the Golden Gate Bridge about 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the Associated Press reported.
The 887-foot-long, 58,000-ton vessel saw action during World War II and the Korean War and carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a wartime summit with Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Chiang Kai-shek.
It also took part in escorting tankers in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war before being decommissioned in 1990. The ship was first commissioned in 1943 and again in 1951 and 1984.
The nonprofit group Pacific Battleship Center plans to run an interactive naval museum on board the USS Iowa at its new homeport.
In recent years, the Iowa sat in the cold and fog, anchored with other mothballed ships in Suisun Bay. Last year, the Pacific Battleship Center beat out the San Francisco Bay Area city of Vallejo when the U.S. Navy awarded the ship to the organization.
The center’s future plans include an interactive tour experience that will allow the visitor to experience what life at sea was like during active duty.
Among the highlights will be viewing the inside of one of the main gun turrets, seeing the 17.5-inch armored conning station on the bridge and viewing Roosevelt’s stateroom.
The ship was recently moved to the Port of Richmond, not far from where “Rosie the Riveters” built ships in the 1940s. Workers scrubbed and painted the ship’s exterior, replaced the teak deck and reattached the mast in preparation for the museum commissioning in July.
The trip down the coast is expected to take about four days.