Just off the southeastern coast of Ford Island, overlooking the wreckage of the USS Arizona and the memorial that stands above, sits a mighty battleship of the US Navy. The USS Missouri (BB-63) was commissioned into service in June of 1944, meaning she served just over a year in World War II, and yet she became one of the most notable ships of the era. Today she’s a museum ship, open to the public for tours and exploration.
This Missouri is an iconic vessel from the Navy’s past, but the battleship isn’t the only vessel of the American fleet to be named for the 24th state. Before the “Mighty Mo,” there was also a side-wheel frigate that was first launched in 1841 and destroyed only three years later due to an accidental fire; a Maine-class battleship that served for 22 years after being commissioned in 1900. And sixty-six years after the last battleship was launched, a new Virginia-class submarine was commissioned into service in 2010.
Pearl Harbor Welcomes a New USS Missouri
Until recently, the highly-decorated battleship was the only Missouri to take up permanent residence at Pearl Harbor. That changed on January 26, 2018, when the submarine USS Missouri (SSN-780) arrived. While the huge battleship remains in place as a decommissioned museum ship, the much newer submarine will also be calling Pearl Harbor home in the years to come.
The sub—commissioned in 2010—has sailed more than 40,000 miles over the course of her ongoing service, having visited ports in Norway and Scotland. When she was commissioned, she became the seventh Virginia-class attack submarine to serve the US Navy. When she arrived at Pearl Harbor, the submarine Missouri passed by the battleship Missouri, with her crew “manning the rails” to salute her history-laden older sister.
The USS Missouri submarine has had a relatively quiet service since sailing out of her original home port Naval Submarine Base New London, in Groton, CT. She was attached to the US Sixth Fleet before joining Submarine Squadron 1, home-ported at Pearl Harbor.
Though the submarine USS Missouri is in active service and inaccessible to the public, both the Battleship Missouri and the historic Bowfin submarine are available for public tours.
Details about the New USS Missouri (SSN-780):
Virginia-class fast attack submarine
Displacement: 7800 tons
Power: S9G nuclear reactor
Speed: >28 mph
Range: Virtually unlimited
Crew: 134 officers and men
Armament: 12 Tomahawk cruise missiles
4 533mm torpedo tubes Mark 48 Advanced-Capacity torpedoes