New ex-USS Iowa History Newsletter - Printable Version

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New ex-USS Iowa History Newsletter - Walt's Daughter - 10-24-2011

Shipmates --

I'm sending this as a heads-up, and as a request for help to those that have helped me with The Jerseyman in the past.


Below is a copy of a recent letter sent by Rear Admiral (Retired) Jerry Gneckow, former commanding officer of USS Iowa, and current President of the USS Iowa Veteran's association. The letter is self-explanatory, and with luck, I plan to have the first issue of the USS Iowa History Newsletter ready to go online by January 1, 2012. Will I continue with The Jerseyman? Absolutely. Many of the stories already in The Jerseyman, and new ones yet to come for Iowa, will parallel each other. Although they will be separate, these two newsletters will contain many of the same features...


What I would like to ask of you is this... to please pass the word to those in your address books, and that you think might have an interest in knowing about ex-USS Iowa and her new History Newsletter. We will try to compile, and to grow, a separate newsletter database for each ship. My primary job as I see it right now, will be to try to keep US Navy's battleship stories alive for as long as we can. The battleship sailors of World War II, as well as from the other ships of Task Force 38 and 58 and Atlantic operations, and those of our World War II Marine Divisions, are leaving us at a terrible rate that is increasing every day. We need to ask for, and to tell their stories. We need to have them documented, and to be archived. I plan to ask the Naval History and Heritage Command to also accept the annual issues for ex-USS Iowa for the naval archives, as we have done over the past 10 years for ex-USS New Jersey.

One of the major benefits that come about from restoring a major ship such as USS Iowa, and USS New Jersey, is that veterans of hundreds of ships and military units come aboard to help with the restorations. With The Jerseyman, we included many of the stories, photographs, cartoons (and ship's bells) of these other ships and units... I hope to also do that with the history of ex-USS Iowa. None of these great ships steamed alone... but very few of the thousand ships in the fleet ended up as a Museum or Memorial. Their stories need to be told right along with those of the "big boys".

We ask that you pass the word that veteran's stories from World War II, and Korea's US Navy ships and seagoing Marine units, are wanted, and to please send us these stories and photos. Ask them to do it soon. Time is short, and we appreciate all your help.

Emails can be directly sent to me at either of these email addresses:

Thanks for your help shipmates,



To all officers, directors, and committee chairmen of the Veterans Association of the USS Iowa:


I have been in recent conversations with Retired Navy Command Master Chief Tom Helvig (an Iowa crewman from the 1950's), who has been the Writer/Editor of The Jerseyman history newsletter since January of 2002. For those that are not familiar with The Jerseyman, it is a quarterly newsletter, written for the 50,000 former crewmen of ex-USS New Jersey, many hundreds of volunteers and veterans that helped to restore New Jersey as a Museum and Memorial, and for many others that have all been interested in the history of ex-USS New Jersey for the past 10 years.


Now that ex-USS Iowa is in sight of her final home in San Pedro, California, Tom has told me that he would volunteer to be the Writer/Editor of a new Battleship Iowa History Newsletter to be published on a quarterly basis. You can view a sample of Tom’s work at the following web site:


Official Battleship New Jersey website

(The Jerseyman can be located under the heading of "History" found at the left side of the ship's Home website page. The Jerseyman is listed under "History" as a sub-heading.)


Tom Helvig has been editing and publishing the newsletter Jerseyman for almost 10 years and has compiled a huge amount of USS New Jersey history and stories from her crewmembers. He is willing to do the same for USS Iowa. This a deal too good to pass up! It will cost us nothing and Tom will do all the work until a suitable candidate is located to take his place. The newsletter will be published online, so we will not incur any printing or mailing costs. The first order of business will be to construct/refine our email data base and to begin collecting stories and history for the upcoming editions of the Historical Newsletter. Tom and I have already begun this effort.


This purpose of this email is just to keep you informed, so that you will not be surprised when you hear about this new newsletter, or you receive it by email.


I will keep you advised of the progress of this exciting new addition to the USS Iowa Veterans Association communications arsenal.


All the best,

Jerry Gneckow