Live the History of the USS Missouri Battleship

The USS Missouri Battleship is one of the most famous ships in the history of our nation. Affectionately known as “Mighty Mo,” this historic battleship is a popular attraction for visitors from all over the world. But did you know that the USS Missouri is also home to a unique and special museum? The Heart of the Missouri tour is a must-do for all ship lovers. This special tour allows guests to explore the belly of this massive warship and discover firsthand what life was like on board. Furthermore, the craftsmen of Martin & MacArthur have created keepsake mementos from the original teak deck of the USS Missouri, using the same teak the General Douglas MacArthur stood upon to witness the surrender of the Japanese, ending World War II. From the massive main guns to the cramped crew quarters, there’s something for everyone on this special tour. And, you can even learn a little bit about how the massive, nine 16-inch, 50-caliber guns are fired. Each round of ammunition weighs as much as a Space Shuttle, and they can reach targets up to 23 miles away. Each shot takes less than 90 seconds to complete. And, they fire a whopping 27 rounds in that time! This is the only place you’ll get to see how these massive weapons work in person. And, they are truly incredible. One of the most famous moments in the history of our country happened on the deck of the USS Missouri in 1945. It was here that military officials from Japan signed the surrender document to end World War II. This remarkable event is commemorated with a new Forever stamp that was recently issued by the Postal Service. During her active service in World War II, the USS Missouri participated in many significant battles. She saw action in the South Pacific and in the battle of Leyte Gulf. In late 1950, the battleship was at the forefront of the war in Korea, conducting shore bombardment and gunfire support for UN forces ashore. The USS Missouri was commissioned 11 June 1944 at the New York Naval Shipyard. She departed Norfolk for shakedown and battle practice 15 November. Then, she steamed to the Panama Canal 18 November and entered San Francisco for her final fitting out as fleet flagship. On 26 January she sailed from San Francisco to be screen ship for Vice Admiral Marc A Mitscher’s Task Group 58. On April 11, a kamikaze plane slammed into the ship on her starboard side just below the main deck. The aircraft’s engine caught fire, but the crew managed to extinguish the flames. The pilot was killed, and he was given a full military funeral by Captain William M Callaghan. The surviving battleships of World War II had fine war records, but the Navy decided that Missouri was the best choice to host the surrender ceremony. After all, the battleship was christened by President Harry S Truman’s daughter and named for his home state of Missouri. In 1984 the battleship was brought out of mothballs and modernized with the latest technology. She was fitted to deploy 32 armored Tomahawk anti-surface and land attack missiles in eight armored box launchers; 16 Harpoon anti-ship and surface-to-ship missiles in four quad cell launchers; and, four 20 mm Phalanx CIWS Gatling-type turrets for self-defense against aircraft and guided missiles.