Scale Plastic Model Kits
(BB-63), the last Iowa class battleship built by the United States
was commissioned June 11th 1944, with Captain William M. Callaghan in command.
After final fitting out as the fleets flagship she put to sea January 27th
1945 to serve in the Lexington carrier task group of Mitscher's TF 58. On February
16th her flattops launched the first air strikes against Japan since the famed
Shortly after, her mighty guns provided direct and continuous
support to the invasion landings on Iwo Jima. After being reassigned to the Yorktown
carrier task group, raids against airfields and naval bases near the Inland Sea
and southwestern Honshu continued.
Within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland,
the carrier Franklin was hit, leaving her dead in the water. The Cruiser Pittsburgh
took Franklin in tow. In a daring daylight rescue, Missouri provided cover for
the Franklin's escape.
During the Okinawa campaign she shot down five
enemy fighters. She helped repel 12 daylight attacks of enemy raiders and fought
off four night attacks on her carrier task group. Her shore bombardment destroyed
several gun emplacements and many other military, governmental, and industrial
May 27th and was again conducting shore bombardment against Japanese positions
Missouri now led the mighty 3rd Fleet in strikes on airfields
and installations on Kyushu the 2nd and 3rd of June. The mighty fleet set a course
to approach the Japanese mainland. Raids took Tokyo by surprise July 10th, followed
by more devastation at the juncture of Honshu and Hokkaido July 13th and 14th.
For the first time, naval gunfire wrought destruction on a major installation
within the home islands, when Missouri closed the shore and rained destruction
on the Nihon Steel Co. and the Wanishi Ironworks at Muroran, Hokkaido. Inland
Sea aerial strikes continued through July 25th, and Missouri guarded the carriers
as they struck hard blows at the Japanese capital.
As July ended the Japanese
no longer had any home waters. Missouri had led her fleet to gain control of the
air and sea approaches to the very shores of Japan. Strikes on Hokkaido and northern
Honshu resumed August 9th, the day the second atomic bomb was dropped.
Next day, at 20:54 Missouri's men were electrified by the unofficial news that
Japan was ready to surrender. Not until 07:45, August 15th, was word received
that President Truman had announced Japan's acceptance of unconditional surrender.
On September 2nd 1945 high-ranking military officials of all the Allied
Powers were received on board. The Japanese representatives, headed by Foreign
Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, arrived. At 09:02 General MacArthur stepped before
a battery of microphones and the 23-minute surrender ceremony was broadcast to
the waiting world. The Second World War was over, but Mighty Mos career
She served two tours
of duty during 1950 - 1953 against Communist aggression in Korea.
During the 1986 war in Lebanon, Hisbolah
cowardly sent a teenage boy to drive a pickup truck loaded full of exposives
into the marine compound killing many of our marines. Missouri trained her massive
16" diameter guns (not to mention her 12, 5 inch guns, 32 tomahawks and 16 harpoon missiles.) on the terrorist organizations, Hisbolah
(Party of G"d) and the PLO,(Palestinian Liberation
Organization) this way providing support for the US troops. (Translation:
We blew the cr*p out of them and they got the message!)
and now in reserve, "Mighty Mo" remains very much a part of the Navy
and is a popular center of attraction at Bremerton Washington. Each year approximately
100,000 visitors board her to explore and re-live her days of glory.
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This page was last updated Feb 20th 2007.