This command center was used for the launching of cruise missiles against Iraq during the first gulf war in 1991.
The ship was decommissioned following this conflict. Interestingly enough, is the fact that no one in this room new what targets they were shooting at. Reportely, they would receive the launch codes from a remote command center, and then have to tune in CNN to see what got hit...
First of all, this ship is just flat out Huge.... Almost 900 feet long and it weighs 58,000 tons, and the 16 inch guns are unbelieveable in scale. (65 feet long...)
Although the Missouri only fought in two conflicts during the war, it was selected to be the ship where the Japanese surrender fomally ended the War in the Pacific in World War Two.
Coincidentally enough, our President at the time Harry Truman, was from Missouri. One can only speculate that if Clinton was president back then, the ceremony may have been held on the USS Arkansas....
The USS Arizona Memorial commemorates the 2,390 people who lost their lives during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941.
The memorial itself is quite a somber place as you are directly above the final resting place of over 1,000 sailor who were killed during this attack.
Prior to visiting the memorial, there is an excellent 25 minute long movie that they typically show the tour groups. It is a compiliation of all available footage taken on the day of the attack. It is quite striking to see the American ground footage spliced in with the video taken from the attacking Japanese planes, as well as footage taken from the Japanese carriers as the planes prepared to launch. (Tora Tora Tora) Much much better than that movie with J-Lo's B-friend....)
The easiest way to get to Pearl Harbour from Waikiki is to take one of the many buses heading in this direction. Buses number 20, 40, 40A, 42, and 62 can all get you there.
If you are driving, Pearl Harbour is about 12 miles west of Waikiki. Take H1 highway west and get off on exit 15A Arizona Memorial exit.
As you can see, Pearl Harbour is much more than a museum, it is one of the largest US Navy bases in the world, and the headquarters for PACAF.
And it is pretty hard to hide the fact when an aircraft carrier is in port, this thing is a floating city. With a crew of approximately 5000 people which support a full wing of combat A/C.
Here is why they nicknamed the Missouri the "Mighty Mo"... These sixteen inch guns can shoot a projectile the size of a kitchen Frigidaire about 23 miles...
Newer ships certainly have more accurate weapons, but for shear brute force, I don't think these guns will ever be topped...
No Ritz Carlton was the Missouri, here is a picture of some of the typical bunk accomodations that the crew lived in while out at sea. (Beds stacked three high...)
The original accomodations were actually even more cramped than this, with the bunk beds stacked five high... (and you can probably guess why Kenmerk never was very motivated to enlist in the Navy..)
Within just a couple hundred meters from each other you can see the two Navy ships that symbolize both the beginning and the end of American involvement in the second World War.
The Arizona Memorial was built to commemorate the losses suffered in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941 and the USS Missouri is where the Japanese surrendered four years later in Tokyo Bay.
Though it doesnt look like much, this is the spot aboard the USS Missouri where the Japanese forces surrendered to the Allied forces on August 15th, 1945 to mark the end of World War II in the Pacific.
The reason why the deck looked a lot bigger in the old surrender pictures, is because the captain had the large 16 inch guns rotated 30 degrees to create more space on this deck for the surrender ceremony...
Favorite thing: From the Missouri's perch on the Old Battleship row, you can see a modern (fully loaded) aircraft carrier in the background.
Favorite thing: During the first Gulf War, the Missouri was equipped with a RQ-2A Pioneer drone aircraft which was a precurser to drone aircraft used in the war in Afghanistan, such as the Predator.