Pearl Harbor, the location of an attack on the US that ignited the US’s participation in WWII and the place that became the cemetery for 1,177 servicemen on Dec 7, 1941 and is also where the historic USS Missouri Battleship is spending its retirement as a museum.
Mighty Mo, an American Battleship built in New York, weighs 58,000 tons and is almost 900 feet in length. This ship spent 50 years and 3 wars in service including, The Korean War, WWII and Operation Desert Storm.
I don’t stroll around the wooden deck of a Battleship everyday so I was totally amazed as we walked freely throughout most of the ship with so much to see. Restoration is currently being done to keep this ship in proper and respectful shape but it didn’t keep us from a day full of history. There was much information provided to read and videos playing continuously as we roamed along interesting artifacts.
We were able to peek in the Captains quarters, pass through the mess halls, spend time on the surrender deck, walk through the sleeping quarters, admire the wooden deck and many more places.
The part of the ship that got most of my attention was the Surrender Deck. A seal is placed on the wooden deck marking the exact location Gen. MacArthur met the enemy in Tokyo Bay for signatures on the WWII surrender documents. The actual ceremony can be seen at: https://ussmissouri.org/learn-the-history/surrender
The next item that got my attention was a flag hung backwards and only had 31 stars. After a little research I discovered this flag is a replica of a flag that went to Japan in the 1800’s on the USS Mississippi. This journey had the purpose of developing a relationship with Japan and the intent of trade and Gen MacArthur thought it should make the trip for the Surrender Ceremony too.
https://www.ussmissouri.org/# Provides grand details of the history of the ship, how to see the ship and plan your visit.
Gen MacArthur’s Radio Address can be read here: https://ussmissouri.org/learn-the-history/surrender/general-macarthurs-radio-address
When visiting Pearl Harbor, the USS Missouri is a must see. Plan a full day and plan to check out the Pacific Aviation Museum too. You will see the aircraft collection in 2 different structures. One being a hanger still marked with bullet holes from the attack on Pearl Harbor.