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Navy Donates Historic Battleship

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 23, 1998 – Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton signed the donation contract May 4 transferring the historic battleship USS Missouri to a memorial association in Honolulu.

The battleship should arrive at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by June 22. The USS Missouri Memorial Association plans to repaint and refurbish "Mighty Mo" and open it as the Battleship Missouri Memorial January 1999.

Prior to its final voyage across the Pacific Ocean, the Missouri will be towed to a mooring at Astoria, Ore., where the fresh water of the Columbia River can eliminate marine saltwater organisms that might have accumulated on the ship's hull over the years.

USS Missouri was commissioned June 11, 1944, and would earn three battle stars for action in World War II. It was on the Missouri's teakwood deck in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, that Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepted surrender documents from the Japanese to end World War II.

The ship earned another five battle stars during the Korean War and was then mothballed in 1955. It was recommissioned and modernized in 1986 and served another six years. On Jan. 17, 1991, "Mighty Mo" began its last combat operation by launching Tomahawk missiles at Iraqi-held targets; its 16-inch guns later supported allied shore-based ground units.

The battleship's last operational mission was a visit to Pearl Harbor for the 50th year remembrance of the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack there that drew the United States into World War II.

(From a DoD News Release)

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