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The USS Missouri offers daily tours, both guided and unguided. On these tours, visitors learn the long history of the battleship and the key role it played in World War II. The guided “Heart of the Missouri” tour takes visitors deep into the ship (not ADA accessible) with tales of battles and the heroism of her crew.
The Missouri, an Iowa-class battleship, was ordered in 1940 and commissioned upon its completion in 1944. The battleship is remembered most for being the ship aboard which the Japanese surrender in World War II was signed. Germany and the Axis Powers had been defeated, so the signing of the surrender of Japan marked the end of the war.
But beyond that distinction, the Missouri should be honored and remembered for the valor of its crew. The venerable battleship fought in the Battle of Okinawa and the Battle of Iwo Jima, two of the bloodiest and deadliest battles in the Pacific Theater or World War II.
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She fought with distinction in the Korean War from 1950-1953 and was decommissioned in 1955. Nearly 30 years later in 1984, the Mighty Mo was refitted and modernized. She served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. After voyages all over the world, USS Missouri returned to Pearl Harbor’s Ford Island in 1998 and opened to the public as a museum in 1999.
The Mighty Mo is located only a few hundred yards from its more famous harbor-mate the USS Arizona Memorial, which itself has become a national symbol of sacrifice in service to the United States. While the Arizona Memorial is famous for its quiet solemnity, the USS Missouri is impressive: it is a behemoth and a tribute to American determination. To walk among its massive 16-in cannons and along its gangways is to gain a true understanding of the importance of the Mighty Mo for America’s military.
For history buffs, maritime enthusiasts, or just plain proud Americans, the USS Missouri is a fine way to get deeper into history. The museum ship gets a fare share of visitors, although most visitors often overlook it in favor of the USS Arizona Memorial.
This is mostly because the Arizona gets international media coverage each year as the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the sailors that died there are remembered. That’s understandable, certainly. But for savvy visitors who make it to the Mighty Mo, the experience can be just as deeply moving.
We can help you to plan your visit to the USS Missouri, as well as the other historical locations within Pearl Harbor. We can even offer customized, personal tours and are happy to provide a unique experience you’ll never forget.