PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The Marine Specialty Painting announced Wednesday that they will unveil the restored gun barrel from the USS Iowa on Apr. 19 in Portsmouth.
According to a press release, the 16-inch, 120-ton gun barrel was once a part of the now-decommissioned USS Iowa, which is designated as the “World’s Greatest Naval Ship”.
USS Iowa was built in New York and was commissioned in February 1943 at the height of World War II. The ship would later play a critical role in the Korean War and would serve the U.S. for almost 50 years.
During a fleet exercise on April 19, 1989, an explosion and fire broke out on the ship, which resulted in 47 sailors losing their lives.
President and CEO of Marine Specialty Painting, Alfred Joseph Marchigiani spent some of his time in the Navy aboard the USS Iowa and was present during the fire. Due to his special connection with the barrel, Marchigiani decided that his company would restore the barrel at no cost.
The company has been working on the barrel since it arrived in February and after its unveiling, will be brought to the Fort Story military base in Virginia Beach.