Pearl Harbor, HI – Guests touring the Battleship Missouri Memorial now have a greater appreciation of how officers of the retired USS Missouri lived while serving at sea following a $57,000 restoration of their former staterooms.
Known as “Officers Country” and located adjacent to the battleship’s wardroom where many historical exhibits are displayed, the 13 staterooms have been restored to immaculate “inspection-ready” condition.
The staterooms now appear as they did for the USS Missouri’s final mission on December 7, 1991, when the “Mighty Mo” was berthed in Pearl Harbor near the sunken USS Arizona for the 50th anniversary ceremony commemorating the attack by Imperial Japan that thrust the United States into World War II. The USS Missouri was then retired and decommissioned for the final time on March 31, 1992.
“We’re constantly working to improve the visitor experience aboard the Missouri and the restoration of Officers Country exemplifies our dedication to preserve the memory of this majestic battleship and honor our Armed Forces,” said Michael A. Carr, President and COO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “As proud as we are of the refurbishment, we want guests to see and understand how officers lived when leading our naval forces into battle around the world.”
Funded by the USS Missouri Memorial Association, caretaker of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the restoration provides guests with a real-life sense as to how the USS Missouri’s officers lived and worked while in their staterooms.
The walls, desks, and filing cabinets have been repainted to the exact color when the Missouri was on its final mission. Furnishings, fixtures and flooring have been polished, repaired, or replaced to convey their actual condition. Examples of detailed improvements reflecting the Association’s commitment to a complete refurbishment include reinstalling the pneumatic solenoids that were removed when the Missouriwas decommissioned, repairing old air conditioning ducts, and scrubbing light lenses to make them appear new.
In addition, the Battleship Missouri Memorial’s curator enhanced the presentation of each stateroom with the careful placement of equipment, maps, books, uniforms and other accouterments to show how they appeared when occupied and communicate the leadership responsibility of each officer.
Another notable, but subtle improvement made to the tour experience of Officers Country is the removal of Plexiglas that was previously installed in each doorway. While the Plexiglas allowed guests to peer into the staterooms, it also prevented them from entering. Now, with the strategic placement of brass stanchions and velvet ropes, guests can step partway into each stateroom and have a more complete view of each interior.
Launched on January 29, 1944, the USS Missouri helped protect America’s freedom in three wars – World War II, the Korean War, and Operation Desert Storm – over a 50-year period. The gigantic Mighty Mo stretches three football fields long and stands 20 stories tall from keel to mast, and is best known for being the memorable site where the Allied Forces accepted Imperial Japan’s surrender to end World War II and restore peace on September 2, 1945. The Missouri’s famed “Surrender Deck” is now a must-see monument for visitors to the battleship.
Today, as the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Mighty Mo is berthed at Pier Foxtrot 5 on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, standing bow-to-bow to the sunken USS Arizona and creating a stirring bond between America’s two battleships signifying the beginning and end of World War II.
Battleship Missouri Memorial
The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. General admission, which includes choice of an optional tour, is $25 per adult and $13 per child (4-12). Military, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (toll-free) 1-877-644-4896 or visit USSMissouri.org.
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” and the sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Following an astounding career that spans five decades and three wars, from World War II to the Korean conflict to the Liberation of Kuwait, the “Mighty Mo” was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., 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.