USS Missouri Memorial - History and Facts | History Hit

USS Missouri Memorial

Aiea, Hawaii, United States

The USS Missouri Memorial was a World War II battleship and the site where Japan officially surrendered to the Allies.

Peta Stamper

05 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About USS Missouri Memorial

The USS Missouri Memorial was a World War Two battleship and the site where Japan officially surrendered to the Allies by signing the ‘Instrument of Surrender’ on 2 September 1945. Today, it is docked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

USS Missouri Memorial history

Launched on 29 January 1944 from the Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn, the USS Missouri (BB-63) – often known as the ‘Mighty Mo’ – was an Iowa class battleship. Even considering her creation near the end of the war, USS Missouri still managed to take part in a number of significant Allied operations in the Pacific, in particular the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

The USS Missouri later served during the Korean War, providing support via shore bombardment and anti-aircraft cover. Missouri would sail again in 1986, heading for the Middle East as part of Operation Ernest Will (accompanying oil tankers in the North Arabian Sea) and in Operation Desert Storm.

In 1998, the battleship was opened as a historic museum.

USS Missouri Memorial today

Today, between 8am and 4pm visitors can tour the ship at the USS Missouri Memorial which usually lasts around 35 minutes. Entry costs $20 for adults and $10 for children, with additional costs for some of the optional tours.

Temporary exhibits include ‘USS Missouri In The Movies’ which takes you through the many films the battleship has starred in since being decommissioned in 1992 and include Battleship (2012) as herself and in episodes of Hawaii Five-0 as a Russian submarine.

The permanent exhibition looks at Kamikaze and the Pacific war theatre in 1945, when a kamikaze aircraft hit the battleship and the pilot was given a military burial. Among the items on display are rare personal letters and poems from pilots to their loved ones.

Getting to the USS Missouri Memorial

Located at the infamous Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, from Waikiki take the H1 freeway and follow overhead signs to the Harbor and towards the airport. Exit at 15A and follow brown historic site signs to the visitor centre. You can also catch the city bus route 42 from Kuhio avenue to Ewa Beach, getting off at the USS Arizona stop.

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