The Navy battleship USS Iowa will once again take a side in a war. But rather than supporting a cause on the high seas, it'll be backing up a squad of young men on the gridiron.
On New Year's Day, students from the University of Iowa will take to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA for a battle against the football team from Stanford University. Iowa will support the team from its namesake state by loosing a volley as part of a pep rally scheduled for New Year's Eve.
Now, don't get too excited Hawkeye fans. Iowa won't be using her monstrous 16-inch guns for the salute, probably in the interest of preserving the hearing of the fans in attendance. The five-inch guns will be fired instead.
Keeping museum ships funded is a difficult proposition, but the state of Iowa has been a major supporter of the aging battleship's conversion to a museum. According to Des Moines, IA's local NBC affiliate WHO-TV, the state contributed $3 million of the $7 million required to restore her, which is part of the reason Iowa residents and University of Iowa students will be granted free admission.
Commissioned in 1943, Iowa served in both the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II, and was the personal shuttle of President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his meeting with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in Tehran.