January 7, 2010
Pearl Harbor — Following the completion of a historic, multi-million dollar drydocking project, the Battleship Missouri, site of Japan’s WWII surrender, will return to her home pier along Battleship Row arguably in the best shape of any historic ship around the world.
Like her entry into drydock on Oct. 14, the two-mile return journey will be a daylong process, including the flooding of Drydock 4, refloating the ship, careful extraction from drydock, and towing to Pier Foxtrot-5 (near the USS Arizona Memorial). In addition, a joint reenlistment ceremony will be held for more than 100 military personnel while the ship is in tow, providing an opportunity to reenlist on a U.S. battleship while it is under way — a rare opportunity indeed for a member of any military service to become an honorary battleship sailor.
Following a soft-opening in mid-January, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will officially re-open on Jan. 30, one day after the 66th anniversary of the battleship’s launch from Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II.
The Battleship Missouri Memorial, located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the day of infamy that saw the sinking of USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s unconditional surrender aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Following an astounding career that spans five decades and three wars, from World War II to the Korean conflict to the Liberation of Kuwait, the “Mighty Mo” was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which operates the battleship as a historic attraction and memorial. The association oversees her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants and the generosity of donors.
UPDATE: The Missouri has returned and was reopened for tours on Jan. 15.
Tell us what you think in the Militaria Message Board