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Skipper of USS Iowa to Testify Before Senate Panel

December 4, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The skipper of the USS Iowa will testify next Monday before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the April 19 blast that killed 47 sailors aboard the battleship, the panel announced Monday.

Capt. Fred P. Moosally will answer questions at the panel’s second hearing. It heard testimony last month from Rear Adm. Richard Milligan who oversaw the Navy’s technical and criminal investigation of the blast.

The Navy concluded in its Sept. 7 report that gunner’s mate Clayton Hartwig ″most likely″ caused the explosion by inserting some type of detonator between bags of gunpowder in one of the ship’s 16-inch guns. Hartwig was among those killed.

In his testimony before the Senate committee, Milligan said that additional technical tests conducted since the report found ″unique foreign material″ that would not have been present during a normal firing.

The new tests identified the material as iron wires coated with calcium, chlorine and oxygen, which would be produced by ″some types of non-electronic explosive devices,″ Milligan said.

The House Armed Services Committee, meanwhile, has scheduled hearings on the Iowa incident Dec. 12 and 13 with witnesses from the Navy and the FBI.

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