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Documentary about the USS Iowa showcases of one of the last American battleships

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River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

The upcoming Iowa PBS documentary, "USS Iowa: Honoring the American Spirit", tells the story of the Hawkeye State's namesake at sea.

The USS Iowa was the lead ship of the last fleet of battleships built by the U.S. Navy, which battled at sea during World War II and the Korean War and was the site of a turret explosion that killed 47 crew members — a disaster with conflicted findings of its cause. Iowa PBS producer and director Patrick Boberg, U.S. Navy veteran and former USS Iowa crewmember Vernie Hart and historian David Way join River to River host Ben Kieffer to discuss the upcoming film and the battleship's legacy.

This show was originally produced on Feb. 14, 2023. Iowa PBS is a sponsor of IPR.


  • Patrick Boberg, Iowa PBS producer and director
  • Vernie Hart, U.S. Navy veteran and former USS Iowa crewmember
  • David Way, historian and artifacts collection manager, Battleship USS Iowa Museum
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.