The historic and celebrated USS Missouri is one of the last surviving US battleships. Not present at the attack on Pearl Harbor, she arrived shortly thereafter, in December 1944, and saw battle across the Pacific and around the world. Today you can tour the Mighty Mo, as I did. It's docked on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, on Battleship Row. The USS Arizona and its memorial rest nearby.
If you can't make it to Hawaii, you can take a tour of this incredible ship here, in these pictures.
The nine 16-inch, 50-caliber guns each weigh as much as the Space Shuttle. Two weigh as much as a 747 aircraft. They were the largest guns fitted on a US battleship. Within 90 seconds, 27 rounds (shown in the next slide) can hit a target up to 23 miles away. Because of their design, the ship doesn't rock while firing. Wrap your head around that.
It reads: "Over this spot on 2 September 1945 the Instrument of Formal Surrender of Japan to the Allied Powers was signed thus bringing to a close the Second World War - The ship at that time was at anchor in Tokyo Bay. Latitude 35° 21' 17" North. Longitude 139° 45' 36" East."
The Captain's Quarters aren't accessible on any tour. You can, however, book the room for a special event. How cool is that? I'm guessing the projector is not original equipment. (I believe it was an Optoma.)
Line up and get your grub. Adorably, the Missouri hosts a program for local school kids where they can spend a night on the ship and eat meals cooked in the main galley (which is through the pass-throughs on the left).
The main tour gets you to the main deck and up. If you want to go into the bowels of the ship, you need to go on the guided Heart of the Missouri tour. Down below you get to see the inner workings, like these heavy-duty ducts that carry, um, things ducts that carry -- like steam, maybe?
To get this shot, I used a really wide angle, but that belies the narrowness of these bunks. I wouldn't have been able to walk straight down this passage; I'd have to walk at an angle. Under each bed is a small storage space.
Like any city, floating or otherwise, there are lots of offices. Dentists, lawyers, payroll, and more all have their own spaces. As often as they can, the Missouri museum had the occupants of these offices supply items from when they were there. Not sure if that includes the Compaq desktop you see here...
While in port, most warships face out to the sea, ready to fight. The Missouri instead faces toward the Arizona and her other fallen sisters, lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor. In over 50 years of service, through multiple wars, the Missouri never lost a hand in battle.