Here's the latest about the FDR elevator on Battleship Iowa.

7th September 2013, 03:44
This is the email I received this evening. I'm copy/pasting and putting the pix as links because it had some banner ads and I didn't want to get in trouble here...

Newly Discovered Photo Offers Clues to Battleship Adaptations for FDR Trip to Wartime Conference Elevator specially built for top-secret voyage revealed in rare, declassified photograph
L.A. WATERFRONT, CA (September 4, 2013) – Seventy years after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s voyage aboard Battleship IOWA to the Tehran Conference, a rare photograph has surfaced showing how the ship was adapted for the wheelchair-bound wartime leader. According to historians, the image clearly indicates the specially built elevator that transported FDR between decks on the iconic warship.

FDR sailed aboard Battleship IOWA to confer with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in November 1943. The allied leaders met for the first time as the “Big Three” at Tehran. It was at this conference that the plans were finalized for the D-Day invasion the following June, and where General Dwight D. Eisenhower was named Supreme Allied Commander of the Normandy invasion.

“Finding anything from this trip is significant to the ship’s heritage,” said David Way, Battleship IOWA museum curator. “A photo of the elevator is particularly important because it shows how extensively IOWA was modified to accommodate President Roosevelt on his voyage to the Tehran Conference.” Way is currently working with the National Archives to secure official authentication of the photograph, and to conduct additional research.

In the photograph, the elevator shaft is seen just forward of amidships on the starboard side. The photograph also shows Battleship IOWA bristling with armament in its original WWII configuration –150 barrels of various sizes (including the 16” main guns) are brandished along the ship’s decks. Little is known of this top-secret journey through perilous German U-boat patrol zones, so the rarity of the photography speaks volumes. To maintain complete secrecy, no cameras were allowed on the ship and no known records of the elevator’s construction have ever been located.

According to the declassified document, the photograph was taken November 12, 1943 from a Navy dirigible assigned to Blimp Squadron 14 (ZP14-4069) based at the Naval Air Station in Weeksville, North Carolina. Also known as “The African Squadron,” the blimps mission was to provide anti-submarine reconnaissance for the surface fleet. The photograph was immediately tagged “Confidential” and its existence unknown until it was declassified in 1964.

Author L. Douglas Keeney discovered the photograph at the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics Library while researching his upcoming book “Ten Days to Tehran,” which recounts this historic voyage. Once the photograph is officially authenticated it will be included in the ship’s permanent collection and exhibited in Battleship IOWA’s Captain’s Cabin. This compartment was modified for FDR with larger hatches, an enclosed veranda deck space, and the only bathtubs ever installed on a United States Naval warship for a U.S. President. All currently featured on the public tour now open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The Pacific Battleship Center (PBC), the nonprofit organization that operates Battleship IOWA, is developing plans to improve access for guests needing assistance. “Nothing is more heartbreaking than to turn away WWII veterans and other service members who are unable to safely board,” said Jonathan Williams, President of PBC. “This project will honor President Roosevelt, IOWA’s more famous crew member.”

7th September 2013, 17:33
In Niovember 1943 I was in a convoy - Gib to Port Said and we witnessed the US warships creaming westwards carrying Roosevelt home from Yalta. Didn't know of the illustrious passenger then though .

8th September 2013, 01:31
good day jamesgpobog.yesterday, latest about FDR.elevator on the battleship iowa.thank you for another interesting post from your favourite is amazing the secrecy for a lift.have a good day regards ben27