Skip to comments.Touring the 'Mighty Mo' (Pearl Harbor Day coming up)
Posted on 11/28/2004 6:25:07 AM PST by SandRat
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -
Each day, thousands of people visit the USS Arizona Memorial to pay tribute to the victims of Pearl Harbor. The Japanese sneak attack on Dec. 7, 1941, killed some 2,400 Americans, shattered the U.S. Pacific Fleet and propelled the United States into World War II. A gleaming white memorial straddles the sunken battleship where many of the 1,177 sailors killed that day still are entombed.
For many visitors, paying their respects at the Arizona Memorial is a prelude to touring the Battleship Missouri Memorial. The USS Missouri served in World War II, the Korean War and the Gulf War, and the ship has been turned into a museum about daily life aboard a 20th-century war vessel.
Together, the Arizona and the Missouri served as bookends for the war. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the Arizona's destruction forced the United States to enter World War II; the conflict formally ended aboard the Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945, when Japanese leaders signed surrender documents in Tokyo Bay, at a ceremony presided over by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
"We want people to come to the Missouri, but we want them to go to the Arizona first," said Lee Collins, spokesman for the USS Missouri Memorial Association. "They're going to cry and then come to the Missouri and get the rest of the story. The experience isn't as powerful if you don't have that sense of tragedy."
Visitors to the Missouri walk under a main battery of gun turrets 65 feet long - each weighing 116 tons and able to hurl 2,700 pound shells 23 miles in 50 seconds with near-pinpoint accuracy - and marvel at the 1,200 foot-long anchor with 110-pound links.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailystar.com ...
Some nice photos at the link too of the MO and the USS Arizona Memorial.
I've visited the Arizona Memorial 4 times over the years, since the mid 60's..what amazed me every time was that easily 2/3's of the visitors were Japanese..
We visited there on the way back from Korea. When we, my 10 year old daughter and my 7 year old son went out to the Arizona it was the same and that was in 1987. Though my son did cause a bit of a stir, well sort of. He sat on the bench looking down at the Arizona and started crying. As he was crying he kept say "They have to get them out. They have to! Their Mothers need to see them and touch them again! They need to go Home!" Well, the two young Female Petty Officers that brought us over from the dock were right next to him and just a huggin-n-cryin-n-huggin-n-cryin-n.... right along with him. Well on the short trip back he stayed with them at the helm getting more huggin-n-squeezin-n-.... and evidently they'd somehow got the word to the others at the dock because he got swamped with more Female Petty Officers after we got off the boat for more huggin-n-squeezin-n-....
I think he had a good day.
We've been teasing him about it ever since. His young bride say he's not going anywhere near Pearl without her and she'll handle any huggin-n-squeezin-n-.... that's needed.
My Father served aboard the battleship USS Mississippi (BB 41) The stories he had told me when I was a young boy was facinating. They supported the Marine landings on the island of Peleliu, the liberations of the Philippines, shelling the east coast of Leyte Gulf and supporting the landings of General Douglas MacArthurs troops, then destroying a mighty Japanese task force at the mouth of Surigao Straight which to this day remains the largest naval battle in history. The Mississippi was hit by kamikaze's twice, once in the Philippines and again while shelling Shuri Castle on Okinawa. My Dad's best friend was killed in one of these kamikaze attacks.
The Mississippi was sold for scrap in 1956, but for my dad And the men to whom she was so good never forgot her. All five of my Dad's children recall that the first word he taught us to spell was
M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i., and there is no doubt why.
But did he have to explain to the teachers why it was spelled USS Mississippi BB 41? Just teasing.
Did they try to get some of her deck planking for crew keepsakes before she went to the yard?
God bless him!
That's one hell of an anchor!
I went on MISSOURI a few times when I was a kid. It was mothballed in Bremerton, WA at the time. Never went aboard after it was reactivated in the '80s, but I did get on NEW JERSEY a few times. Pretty impressive. It's good to see MISSOURI's being well taken care of.
"Touring the 'Mighty Mo' (Pearl Harbor Day coming up)"
Thanks for the post.
Even if you're "killin' me" as I'm a "graduate of the Tripler Army Hospital
baby-factory...but haven't been in Hawaii since about age 6 months!
link to the photos page...
Heck, if I was some high-powerered politico, I'd rather be rewarded with a
night in the bunks of the Missouri than a night in the Lincoln Bedroom...
Surely that's a typo. An ANCHOR that's four football fields long? The links in the chain to hold that baby would weigh far more than 110 pounds each.
"Another option for visitors is the Encampment Program, which allows children and
adults to spend the night on board, eating on the mess deck and sleeping in the
minuscule bunks - also known as "coffin racks." The program was suspended after
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but recently has been reinstated. "
That'll teach me to "read before posting" (see my dumb-@$$ post #9).
I think the aircraft carrier Hornet in San Francisco area has a similar program.
Interestingly, most of the survivors who die now request their ashes be entombed on the ship. It is sacred ground. Tell you son there is no shame in crying there - grown men do it everyday. I am also certain that every mother of a sailor, at rest there, is proud of her son and would not have it any other way.
"Interestingly, most of the survivors who die now request their ashes be entombed on the ship.
It is sacred ground."
It was interesting to see a scuba diver placing packages (of ashes?) inside the hull...
on a documentary/TV report a few years ago.
Yes and I believe that they do not touch the ship.
and you've been absent how long?
Do ya want us to get Gunny RLee after you? Get back there.
I'd prefer an unanounced meal in the crew's mess with the sailors and marines. The Officers wardroom be damned. Coffee afterwards in the Chiefs mess. Maybe I can even sneak a good cigar to go with the coffee but, only if the smokling lamp is light.
That makes perfect sense, but it's NOT what was said in the excerpt at the top of the thread. Check it.
At age 26 he understands completely now but it was so strikking to see this little boy crying and saying to everyone and no one that the men had to get out that their moms needed them. It brought it all home for all in hearing distance that day.
The irony of it is that we settled in Arizona and hence that was our state ship. We get to see the Arizona's Wardroom Silver set and her ships bell anytime we fly out of Phoenix. Rest assured there is a stop coming and going just to look at those and the model of her in the case.
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