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    Restoration of USS Missouri’s Superstructure Ensures Legacy for Generations to Come

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    On February 26, 2018, a historic event unfolded at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the Battleship Missouri Memorial unveiled its meticulously restored superstructure, bringing the legendary “Mighty Mo” back to its 1991 state of glory. This momentous occasion marked the culmination of a four-year journey, involving three years of meticulous planning and a year-long repair project, and was funded entirely by the USS Missouri Memorial Association without government aid, primarily through ticket sales to those touring the battleship.

    The Mighty Mo’s superstructure, the ship’s tallest section at approximately 110 feet above the main deck, with a mast extending even further into the skies, underwent a substantial preservation effort. The task was complex, requiring the replacement of around 17,000 pounds of steel, the sandblasting of nearly 27,000 square feet of steel surface to remove rust and corrosion, and a complete repaint with protective coatings to improve rainwater drainage and preserve the superstructure for the future. The restoration work was carefully executed during evening hours to ensure daily tours were unaffected, showcasing a remarkable commitment to visitor experience and operational efficiency.

    As part of the restoration, visitors can now access the newly restored Navigation Bridge, including the Chart House, Captain’s At-Sea Cabin, Pilot House, and Conning Tower. An immersive audio experience, recorded with the assistance of active-duty sailors, provides an authentic glimpse into the ship’s ambiance during its operational mission on December 7, 1991, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Furthermore, the exhibit features multilingual text panels in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, making it one of Hawaii’s first museums to offer such an inclusive experience.

    The $3.5 million project also saw the installation of replicas of two SLQ-32 electronic warfare antennas and a radome, equipment that was part of the USS Missouri before its decommissioning in 1992. These additions are a testament to the Association’s dedication to historical accuracy, as they step closer to achieving the goal of restoring Mighty Mo to its 1991 appearance, culminating the battleship’s 48-year operational history during three wars—World War II, the Korean War, and Operation Desert Storm.

    The USS Missouri, an Iowa-class battleship, was the last battleship ever built and arguably the most formidable. With a length of 887 feet and a speed exceeding 30 knots, Missouri was a titan of naval engineering. Her nine 16-inch guns, each capable of firing a 2,700-pound shell 23 miles in 50 seconds, became legendary.

    The preservation of the USS Missouri’s superstructure is not just about maintaining the integrity of the vessel; it is a tribute to America’s maritime history and a symbol of peace and strength. The Association’s commitment to preserving the USS Missouri ensures that future generations will be able to walk the decks of the Mighty Mo, understand its pivotal role in world history, and pay homage to those who served aboard her.

    related images you might be interested.

    A bow view of the battleship USS WISCONSIN (BB 64) with its Mark 7 16-inch/50-caliber guns trained to port prior to a fire power demonstration in the Gulf of Mexico.

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