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WWII USS Battleship Missouri

The ‘Mighty Mo’

The Mighty Mo. The Heart of Missouri. She goes by many names, but to all, she is the Battleship Missouri. A true World War II battleship, the Missouri served from 1944 on and fought in some of the most daring sea battles in the Pacific.

Battleship Heart of the Navy

Today visitors from all over the world can climb aboard this magnificent ship and see her up close and personal. Learn more about this historic battleship and why she holds a place of honor in Pearl Harbor today.

The History

Construction on the Battleship Missouri began in Brooklyn, New York, in January 1941. It took three years for the battleship to be completed, and in January 1944, Margaret Truman christened the ship at its big launch. By Christmas that year, the ship sat docked in Pearl Harbor, ready to head to battle in the Pacific.

In February 1945, the ship – now known as the USS Missouri – went to battle. The ship provided vital support to the men who were invading Iwo Jima and was of crucial assistance in air strikes against Tokyo and Kyushu. In April of that year, thousands of men headed to the southern most islands of Japan – Okinawa – where the USS Missouri would arrive just one month later.

Deck of -the battleship missiouri

What followed was one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific theater. The Allies invaded the island on April 1, 1945, and declared victory on June 22, 1945. The islands held air bases that would be vital to the Allies should they decide to invade Japan. By the end of the battle, more than 77,000 Japanese soldiers had been killed, and more than 20,000 Allied soldiers had lost their lives.

In July, the USS Missouri assisted with the bombings of Hokkaido and Honshu, but on September 2, 1945, the Japanese formally surrendered while aboard the ship – thus ending World War II for all.

The USS Missouri would fight in two more wars and decommissioned once before being permanently retired. In 1991, the ship participated in the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and by 1999, it was formally retired. Now called the Battleship Missouri, the ship took its place as the pride and joy of the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.

Battleship World War 2 Signing

The USS Missouri Tours

Today you too can see this beautiful ship and see a part of history up clos Save & Exit e and personal. The Battleship Missouri is open to the public, and great tours of the ship are available.

Though you can visit the ship on your own, booking a tour ensures that you make the most out of your trip to Pearl Harbor. A knowledgeable tour guide will lead you around the Battleship Missouri, recounting her many brave deeds and sharing stories you might not hear or read about in any other museum. Your guide will take you right to the Battle Missouri Surrender Deck – the exact place where General Douglas MacArthur and the Japanese delegates signed the treaty that brought the war to its final conclusion.

If you’re interested in a tour of the Battleship Missouri, check out our tour page here. Even if you’re not staying on Oahu, we have tour options that will get you from Maui, the Big Island or Kona to Pearl Harbor.

Don’t miss this invaluable piece of history. Book your tour of the Battleship Missouri today.

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