Step aboard the USS Missouri, a hulking, gray battleship also known as the “Mighty Mo," docked at Ford Island in Oahu's Pearl Harbor. More than 70 years ago, it played an important role in history while anchored in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrender documents that ended World War II were signed on her decks. Permanently docked off the active military base and within sight of many memorials that mark the United States' tragic entry into World War II, the USS Missouri (now known as the Battleship Missouri Memorial) is a reminder of the war's conclusion.
The USS Missouri went on to participate in two more wars, and today the 900-foot decommissioned ship serves as a showcase of what life aboard was like. Visitors can wander the crew's quarters and mess halls, look out from the bridge and touch the 50-caliber deck guns. Exhibits inside the ship's various compartments—restored to look as it did during service—share information and crew artifacts from its various tours of duty. Three regularly running guided tours are included in admission and offer different insights: The main deck tour explores the guns and site of the historic surrender; the below deck tour covers the cabins, berths and mess hall; and the above deck tour offers bird's-eye views from the command and control center, bridge and captain's quarters.
Because the USS Missouri Memorial is located on Ford Island, visitors must take either the designated shuttle (departs Pearl Harbor Visitors Center and USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park every 15 minutes during operating hours) or arrive via organized tour. The memorial is open daily from 8am to 4pm, except in June, July and August when it remains open until 5pm. General admission costs $27 for adults and $13 for children ages 4–12. The ticket gives access to three tour options: self-guided, an informational audio tour with 100 stops, or one of the three guided routes mentioned above (35 minutes).
Did You Know? The Mighty Mo was the last battleship ever built, but there were three other USS Missouris prior to this its commissioning in 1944. The fourth, a submarine, is still an active military vessel.