The USS Missouri was the last, and most famous, battleship commissioned by the United States Navy. Construction of the USS Missouri began in a Brooklyn shipyard with a keel-laying ceremony on January 6, 1941. The ship launched on January 29, 1944 and was commissioned on June 11, 1944. The Missouri would see action in three wars—World War II, the Korean War and the Gulf War.
The battleship—affectionately called the “Mighty Mo”—was decommissioned for the final time on March 31, 1992 and became part of Pearl Harbor Historic Sites on January 29, 1999.
Let’s see how much you know about this iconic ship:
1. How many U.S. Navy ships were named after the state of Missouri before the “Mighty Mo?”
2. Japan formally surrendered to the U.S. on board the Battleship Missouri. Who represented the United States at this momentous event?
a) President Harry Truman
b) Vice President Alben Barkley
c) Fleet Commander Chester Nimitz
d) General Douglas MacArthur
3. The beam of the USS Missouri, at 108 feet 2 inches, was determined by:
a) The size of the Mark 7 guns
b) The ratio of length to width of the ship
c) The capabilities of the country’s steel manufacturers at the time
d) The lock dimensions of the Panama Canal
4. The Missouri was nearest to what city during the signing of the surrender treaty?
b) Washington, D.C.
5. The 16”/50 caliber Mark 7 guns on the battleship fired 1,900 and 2,700-pound projectiles up to how far?
a) 2,000 yards
b) 4 miles
c) 14 miles
d) 24 miles
Let’s see how you did!
1. c) Two. The battleship was the third to be named after the state of Missouri. There was a fourth warship named Missouri during the Civil War that sailed under the Confederate flag and was captured by Union forces.
2. d) General Douglas MacArthur. Nimitz was also present at the signing ceremony.
3. d) Photos of the Missouri going through the locks of the Panama Canal on its maiden voyage showed how tight the fit was.
4. a) The signing ceremony took place while the Missouri was in Tokyo Bay.
5. d) 24 miles. Each gun weighed about 239,000 pounds without the breech and required 77-94 men to operate.
For more info on the USS Missouri and how you can visit this famed battleship, visit ussmissouri.org.