JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Missouri Governor Mike Parson has proclaimed Saturday, Jan. 26 as U.S.S. Missouri Day. Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe is in Hawaii representing the battleship for the celebration.
The ship was commissioned in 1944. The Japanese signed the surrender on its decks in 1945, ending World War II. The ship, its captains and crew served faithfully in the Korean War and in following decades.
After completion of Operation Desert Storm, the USS Missouri paused briefly in Australia and Hawaii en route home to Long Beach Naval Station. There her officers and crew received a hero’s welcome by thousands of friends and family.
But the USS Missouri had one final mission to complete.
On December 7, 1991, the Missouri returned to the historic waters of Pearl Harbor for the 50th anniversary commemoration of the attack on the Hawaiian Islands. Moored a short distance from the USS Arizona Memorial, the Missouri and Arizona provide a symbolic connection from the “day which will live in infamy” to the formal ending of World War II.
Her final mission complete, the officers and crew of the Missouri now prepared for the difficult task of retiring the historic battleship. On March 31, 1992, the Missouri was decommissioned for the final time; the last active service battleship in the world, her departing officers and crew the last battleship sailors.
Though her active naval service is complete, her legacy is not forgotten. On January 29, 1999, after years of dedicated community effort, the Battleship Missouri returned to service as centerpiece of the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor.
The ship, as a memorial, is now open to the public.
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 formal surrender aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
The USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc. is 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.