Two WWII era ships w/Iowa ties to share the same port
December 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson
A World War Two-era cargo ship named after a Southwest Iowa town, and the State’s namesake battleship will share the same port next year. The S.S. Red Oak Victory cargo ship is already
berthed at The Port of Richmond, CA. It will be joined next year by the U.S.S. Iowa, after renovation work on the battleship is completed in the San Francisco Bay area.
The Red Oak Victory was named for the town of Red Oak, which saw the heaviest losses in World War Two. By the end of the war, Red Oak has lost 50 servicemen, a toll that national publications deemed to be the highest per capita of any community in the country. The ship was commissioned in 1944, and saw service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It has the distinction of being the only ship operated by both military and civilian personnel during her career. The vessel spent a month in dry dock in San Francisco getting a new coat of paint and an improved hull, before being moved back to its berth at The Port of Richmond.
The U.S.S. Iowa saw service in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during WWII, and during the Korean War.