Battleship USS Missouri

April 26, 2010
by Randy Miller

The USS Missouri is perhaps the most famous Battleship ever built, she is 887 feet long and displaces 45,000 tons. She has traveled around the world and served her nation for decades. She is the “Mighty Mo.”
The story of the USS Missouri begins before World War II in 1940. She was built over the next four years and was commissioned in 1944. Senator Harry Truman’s daughter Margaret Truman christened the ship named after their home state.

After launching the Missouri left the East Coast through the Panama Canal to San Francisco, the Hawai‘i, then to join the Pacific Fleet in Asia. She supported the troops landing in Iwo Jima.

The Missouri raided Japan and attacked Okinawa. She successful stopped an attack by Japanese forces on the shores of Okinawa. Just weeks later on April 11, 1944, a Kamikaze plane hit the starboard side of the Battleship USS Missouri. Fortunately for the sailors, the plane did not explode or cause major damage to the ship.
The kamikaze dent can still be seen on the ship today. Visitors to the Battleship Missouri Memorial can enjoy a new exhibit about WWII kamikaze pilots.

The Missouri is perhaps best- known for her contribution in the surrender of the Empire of Japan at Tokyo Bay ending WWII. If you take a tour to the Battleship USS Missouri you can walk on the surrender deck and learn more stories about the historic surrender.

Battleship USS Missouri After WWII

Over the next decade the Mighty Mo logged significant miles as she traveled the world. She was put in the Pacific Reserve Fleeting in 1955 for almost thirty years before she was modernized and activated again.
The vibrant history of the Mighty Mo has endeared Americans to her for years. In 1998 she was moved to Pearl Harbor and the Battleship Missouri Memorial opened in 1999. She has taken a position as an icon of peacekeeper, watching over her fallen allies still in the hull of the USS Arizona just 400 yards away.
She was not the only USS Missouri

Other USS Missouri Vessels

There have been four other vessels of the United State Navy that share the name USS Missouri. The first one is USS Missouri (1841), a side-wheel frigate released in 1841 and damaged by fire in Aug 1843. Second, USS Missouri (BB-11), a Maine category battleship in service from 1990 to 1992, The third is the USS Missouri (BB-63), an lowa class battleship in service from 1944 to 1998; Lastly, the USS Missouri (SSN-780) a Virginia class submarine commissioned in 2010.

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