Tour the USS Iowa and you might learn about Vicky
You’ll learn about Victory (sometimes called “Vicky” or “Vickey”), the dog, who joined the ship in 1943 and logged more than 200,000 miles at sea.
On 22 February 1943, Captain McCrea took command of the newly commissioned USS Iowa and per his wife’s request brought Victory with him to help keep crew morale up. Vicky became an Apprentice Mascot, was outfitted in a special sailor’s suit, and all the necessary sailors paperwork was soon completed. Vicky even qualified in the recruit 50-yard swimming test – the entry noted that he was “also able to retrieve a stick.”
On 1 April 1943 the benefits of a Navy Service Life Insurance (NSLI) program, “was explained to this canine, and he does not desire to make application at this time.”In November of 1943, the Iowa received the Top Secret mission of transporting President Roosevelt across the Atlantic to the Tehran Conference. Roosevelt’s party included the Joint Chiefs of Staff along with their aides as well as his own presidential staff. Roosevelt was no sooner transferred aboard from the presidential yacht Potomac than he noticed a small dog running around.
FDR asked his friend, and former Naval Aide, John McCrea where the dog slept. Captain McCrea replied that the dog normally slept at the foot of his bunk and, since the President would have the Captain’s Cabin, he would take the dog up to the Captain’s Sea Cabin by the bridge.
Roosevelt, probably missing his little dog Fala, said “Well John, I see no reason to disrupt this little dogs routine —.”