For those trained to read maritime signal flags, the four flags that appear on the IOWA’s port side up near the ship’s bridge, spell out NEPM. NEPM was the ship’s assigned radio call sign from 1942 until 1997 when it was stricken from the official register. Later the call sign NEPM was assigned to the US Coast Guard Cutter Heron.
In 2015, Mr. Bob Burchett contacted a USCG Spectrum Management Consultant to request that the NEPM call sign be reassigned back to the IOWA. After several months of negotiations his request was approved and the USCG Heron’s call sign was reassigned to the Battleship IOWA. The Heron now has a new call sign NHRN.
On May 28, 2016 in a ceremony aboard the IOWA, Mr. Burchett made a presentation to senior members of the Pacific Battleship Center, including Mr. Jonathan Williams, President & CEO and Mr. David Canfield, Vice President of IT / Security & CIO along with members of BIARA and Mr. Bryan Moss, who served as a radio operator on the IOWA during the Korean War from 1952-1953.
Below are photos taken during the ceremony.