Saturday, December 18, 2010

USS Missouri or "Mighty Mo"

 After the USS Arizona Memorial, we took a shuttle bus over to the USS Missouri.  This picture is taken from the Arizona looking towards the Missouri . . . .
. . .  and this photo is taken from the Missouri looking towards the Arizona Memorial.  It was a very controversial move when the Missouri was towed from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to Pearl Harbor by the USS Missouri Memorial Association in 1998.  It was feared that having the Missouri only 500 yards away from the Arizona Memorial would detract from the impact of the memorial.  By pointing the bow towards the Arizona Memorial, the idea was the Missouri was symbolically protecting the Arizona so that the lost sailors could rest in peace.
 There are nine 16 inch Mark 7 guns on the Missouri, capable of firing a 2,700 pound projectile over 20 miles.  Since under the best of visibility when standing on shore you can only see 10 or 12 miles due to the curvature of the earth, the USS Missouri is able to shell targets from relative safety.
 Our guide for the upper deck portion of our tour is standing by an armor piercing projectile for the main guns; under his left hand are examples of the bags of powder needed to fire the gun.
 On this very spot, the Japanese met with General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allies, while the Missouri was anchored in Tokyo Bay, and signed an Instrument of Surrender.  During the 23 minute surrender ceremony, MacArthur stated ""It is my earnest hope—indeed the hope of all mankind—that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice."
 After WW II, all battleships were de-commissioned except the Missouri.  She was battle ready and was soon placed back into wartime service during the Korean War.
During WW II, a Kamikaze attacked the USS Missouri was captured on film in this lucky photo - you can just see the plane before impact in the upper left.  The wingtip hit right at main deck level, and swung the plane onto the deck where it burst into flames.  Leaning over the railing we were able to see the dent from the impact.
 These are a few of the many photos I took while we toured below deck.  Looking back on them, i am struck by the absolute spaciousness of the accommodations compared to the USS Bowfin, a submarine we toured later in the day.  Home to 1800 sailors, the Missouri is a true "floating city".

 The ship library.
 Chief Petty Officer's Lounge.
 Part of the dining facility.
 The main galley.

 A look into the machine shop for my Dad!

 Goldfish contemplating a nap.
 We didn't see the Captain's Quarters, but this was the XO's (second in command) - pretty opulent by Navy standards!
The cool thing about the Missouri is it is maintained by a non-profit and receives no federal monies for its upkeep.  They are re-investing funds from tours and the like into making improvements to he vessel - currently they are slowly replacing all the teak decking, and last year completed an 18 million dollar repainting and anti-corrosion overhaul where a minor leak was also discovered and repaired.

1 comment:

Bren said...

Your pictures of the tour bring to light many of the pictures you also have on your own homeland island. Thank-you for your tour. love ya