The USS Missouri is an Iowa-class battleship that served the United States in three wars; World War II, the Korean War, and the Persian Gulf War. It was commissioned on June 11, 1944 and took part in some of the most famous battles of the Pacific War like Iwo Jima and Okinawa. It secured it’s place in history when it became the location where Japan signed its unconditional surrender in front of Supreme Allied Commander, General Douglas A. MacArthur.
Following World War II the USS Missouri served in the Korean War and then in 1955 it was decommissioned. However, the story of the USS Missouri did not end in 1955, it was recommissioned in 1986 and served its final mission during Operation Desert Strom. In 1992, it was decommissioned again until it became a memorial museum on May 4, 1998 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the island of Oahu.
The battleship is a remarkable sight; it overlooks the USS Arizona memorial and has wonderful views of Pearl Harbor. The USS Missouri also offers several different types of tours from guided to on your own. Karen and I took the self-guided tour and got to pace ourselves throughout the ship. The historical significance of the vessel is pretty amazing. To stand on the spot where the Japanese Emperor surrendered to Generak MacArthur was pretty amazing. There are also many interesting navy artifacts and weapons to look at.
When Karen and I were there the USS Missouri had an excellent area that dealt with propaganda campaigns throughout the war on both sides. It was very interesting to see how both sides portrayed the enemy and rallied their people. There was also alot of information on the roll the USS Missouri has played in all of the wars it has fought in and the sailors that served on her.
We ended up not seeing the USS Arizona Memorial because our time on Oahu was short and it was about a three hour wait to take the ferry over to the memorial. We instead decided to spend some money and go and see the USS Missouri and the USS Bowfin (submarine). You might think if you have seen one battleship you have seen them all. Well, that might be the case, but the USS Missouri, despite the $20 price tag and the picture they will take of you and try to sell you when you are boarding the ship, is well worth the visit just because of its historical significance.
Located- at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum which is next to the USS Arizona Memorial visitors center at Pearl Harbor
Hours of Operation- Daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years
Cost as of 2011- Mighty Mo Pass Adult $20 Child (4 to 12) $10 or Battle Stations Tour Adult $45 Child (4-12) $22
For more information visit their website at http://www.ussmissouri.com/
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