The USS Missouri battleship in Pearl Harbor.

© Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock

Battleship Missouri Memorial

Pearl Harbor & Leeward O‘ahu

The last battleship built by the US (it was launched in 1944), the USS Missouri provides a unique historical 'bookend' to the US campaign in the Pacific during WWII. Nicknamed the 'Mighty Mo,' this decommissioned battleship saw action during the decisive late WWII battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

The USS Missouri is now docked on Ford Island, just a few hundred yards from the sunken remains of the USS Arizona. During a self-guided audio tour, you can explore the officers' quarters, browse exhibits on the ship's history and stride across the deck where General MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. The huge ship was decommissioned in 1955, but was heavily modified and put back into service in the 1980s during the military build-up near the end of the Cold War.

Guided tours, which are sometimes led by knowledgeable US military veterans, are worth the extra time and expense. To visit the memorial, board the mandatory Ford Island visitor shuttle bus (bring photo ID) at the NPS Visitor Center & Museum.

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