USS Missouri or Mighty Mo
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A visit to the USS Missouri is not to be missed. This ship has seen quite a few wars, starting in 1945 in Iwo Jima. The Japanese actually signed their surrender on this very ship, and you can see the photos and stories of that moment. Mighty Mo was decommissioned in 1955 and later recommissioned in 1984. Soon after, it was used to fire Tomohawk missiles into Baghdad during the first Gulf war.
It's amazing to think that this powerful 100 million pound warship was only really used for a decade. But that's because battleships aren't useful anymore. It's much more efficient to shoot a target from the air these days.
I took the standard tour, which consists of a bus ride to Ford Island and entry to the ship. This tour doesn't really go very deep into the ship. You get to see the bridge, some sleeping quarters, the dining hall, and of course the 01 deck level where the Japanese signed their surrender.
Walking around the ship you really see it's an old, old vessel. Frankly, I was amazed it was used in the first Gulf war.
Ford Island, where the Mighty Mo is docked, had a completely different purpose back in ancient Hawaiian times. Called "Island of the Sexual Game" in Hawaiian, the island was a place where couples could go if they couldn't conceive. The couples gathered and sat apart from their spouse, around a large fire. A master of ceremonies would tap the head of a randomly selected man and then a randomly selected woman. They would then go off alone into the night. If a child was conceived, it was considered the child of the original couple, and their problem was solved! If not, then the couple would return to the island for another go of the game!
The USS Missouri is a great place to visit combined with a trip to the USS Arizona Memorial. Stand in line first to get your tickets at the USS Arizona Memorial. The ticket will give you a time for your tour which might be as much as 3 hours ahead. During those hours you can visit the USS Missouri or the Bowfin submarine. Since the war in the Pacific began at the USS Arizona and ended when the Japanese signed their surrender on the USS Missouri, the two complement each other well.
Photo GalleryClick on photo to see large version
From Waikiki, take the H1 West. Exit at 15A, Arizona Memorial/ Stadium. Stay on Kamehameha Hwy West(Hwy 99), until you turn left on Arizona Memorial Place/ Kalaloa. There will be signs.
Parking can be difficult so come early!
Note the Visitor center is marked on the map. This is where you must go to get tickets, then a bus will take you across the bridge to Ford Island where you can see the warship.
Check out the aerial view of the warship and the Arizona Memorial by clicking on "satellite" and scrolling slightly to the left. The warship is docked along Ford Island.
Cost to enter the USS Missouri is $16, $8 for kids. There are tours for around $50.
USS Missouri, call (877)644-4896
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.