The USS Missouri’s construction began in 1940 and she was commissioned into service in June 1944. It is the fourth ship to be given the title “Missouri” (including a Confederate Missouri that was captured by Union forces during the Civil War) and was the last of this type of battleship to be commissioned by the US Navy. When the battleship set sail for the Pacific from New York in 1945 she was armed with nine 16 inch guns, twelve 5 inch guns, eighty 40mm guns, forty-nine 20 mm guns, and multiple .50 cal machine guns mounted on the deck.
The ship, also known as the “Mighty Mo” or “Big Mo”, fought in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and eventually shelled the Japanese home island. After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the Empire of Japan surrendered to General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz on the deck of this battleship in Tokyo Bay on September 7th, 1945. At the close of the proceedings, General MacArthur said, “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world”. With those words, WWII was over.