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USS Missouri Partners with Martin & MacArthur

March 3, 2021 – The USS Missouri Memorial Association and Martin & MacArthur have formed an exclusive partnership to celebrate and honor the legacy of the USS Missouri and those who fought heroically in World War II to restore peace on Earth.

Martin & MacArthur craftsmen have been chosen to create products using the original teak wood from the deck of the Mighty Mo. This is the first and only partnership of its kind by the USS Missouri Memorial Association. Items made from the original teak deck of the USS Missouri will be available exclusively at the Pearl Harbor gift shops, at Martin & MacArthur retail stores and website. The first teak products are expected to be released on May 28, 2021, Memorial Day weekend.  A portion of the proceeds of all sales will go toward supporting the work of the USS Missouri Association and the heroes who fought so gallantly in World War II.

Surrender Ceremony

On the teak decks of USS Missouri, WWII finally ended on 2 September 1945. The Surrender Ceremony, which formally brought the conclusion to the bloodiest conflict in human history, lasted a mere 23 minutes. It began at 0902 with a brief opening speech by General Douglas MacArthur. In his speech, the General called for justice, tolerance, and rebuilding. After MacArthur’s speech, Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, representing the Emperor of Japan, signed the Instrument of Surrender. He was followed by the Chief of the Army General Staff, General Yoshijirō Umezu, who signed for the Japanese Army. After this, General MacArthur signed the Instrument of Surrender as the Supreme Allied Commander.

Why was teak used for the deck?

Most people know "teak” is as a hardwood for furniture. But teak served an important function on Navy warships, including the USS Missouri. Teak was identified as the best decking material at the time because it addressed critical needs of these mighty battleships. Teak is moisture resistant, extremely durable, and withstands direct sunlight. Large amounts of gunpowder were transported on and off the ship. Teak served as protection preventing metal-on-metal scraping, which could potentially create sparks that would result in fires.

Teak decks served as insulation. The USS Missouri (BB-63) has a vast 1.2 acres of deck, on which the sun beats incessantly. Originally, the Mighty Mo had no air-conditioning, so the space underneath it could get hot very quickly if it were not for the insulating properties of the teak deck.

Teak decks eliminated the immense static electricity generated when the battleship guns were fired. Without the teak decks, any contact with the metal superstructure of the battleship could generate collateral electric shocks.

Teak decks were skid proof. Obviously, navigating the high seas meant that the decks of the battleships were often wet. Teak is a porous wood that prevented slipping and allowed for immediate traction to for sailors to maneuver quickly.

On September 2, 1945, the teak deck of the USS Missouri served another purpose. It functioned as the platform for the formal end of WWII. The teak wood stood witness to history as representatives of the Empire of Japan boarded the USS Missouri to sign the surrender documents, beginning a new era of world peace.



Why did the USS Missouri Choose Martin & MacArthur?

Furniture craftsman Jon Martin founded the Company in 1961 as a modern-day furniture workshop utilizing time-tested techniques to build premium grade, fine furniture from Hawaii’s most revered wood, Koa. The Company has always been located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is now the longest running fine furniture maker in the history of Hawaii, celebrating over 60 years of creating exquisite Koa furnishings. Martin & MacArthur craftsmen still make all furniture in Hawaii at the Company’s 35,000 square-foot Furniture Workshop. The company only uses Koa from fallen trees, never from live trees. In fact, Martin & MacArthur is a leader in supporting Koa reforestation for future generations to enjoy.

Martin & MacArthur is the only fine furniture maker in Hawaii that offers a disciplined apprenticeship program for young people who wish to devote their lives to building fine furniture. With as many as 25 skilled craftsmen, Martin & MacArthur trains apprentices and journeymen to become masters with the time-tested techniques of The Renaissance.

Today, Martin & MacArthur is Hawaii’s premier manufacturer and retailer of fine home furnishings and personal accessories, incorporating world-renowned Koa. The Company has pursued deliberate expansion of its retail presence to 12 stores throughout Hawaii. All locations feature the Company’s Koa products made by its own craftsmen, as well as fine products made by other fine artisans in Hawaii. Additionally, Martin & MacArthur reaches out to a worldwide audience with an active e-commerce presence.

For more information about the USS Missouri Memorial Association, please click here