PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard commander Capt. Gregory R. Thomas today joined the Battleship Missouri Memorial in saluting its volunteers and supporters as the historic ship fully reopened to visitation following a multimillion-dollar drydocking project.
An ukulele band from the Big Island of Hawaii’s Waiakea Intermediate School performed at a ceremony in honor of the memorial’s volunteers and supporters. The school group is staying aboard the 66-year-old iconic battleship all weekend as part in the memorial’s overnight encampment program focusing on science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM.
“The outpouring of support to preserve this important part of our nation’s history is a tribute to the American men and women who fought with courage and pride during World War II, as well as to those who continue to follow in their footsteps,” Governor Lingle said. “Hawaii is proud to be homeport for the Battleship Missouri, which serves as a source of great inspiration and education to future generations. The ‘Mighty Mo’ will always be a part of the rich history of our nation and the principles of freedom and democracy that will continue to guide us into the future.”
Shipyard commander Capt. Greg Thomas said: “For three months, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard workers had the honor of safeguarding this national treasure. We take great pride in our support for the historic docking, preservation and undocking of this revered symbol of victory in the great World War II.”
Memorial president Michael Carr added: “The Battleship Missouri is now in better shape than any other historic ship in the world. We are grateful to have the expertise and resources in Hawaii to drydock the Missouri, thanks to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and BAE Systems and its subcontractors. Just as essential were the many local residents and Hawaii-based military volunteers who selflessly stepped forward to donate their time so that the Missouri returned home on schedule. The Missouri’s return from drydocking, completed on time, comes just in time to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II this summer, on September 2.”
Following $18 million worth of maintenance and preservation work in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard’s largest drydock facility, the Battleship Missouri returned on Jan. 7 to her home pier near the USS Arizona Memorial. Sporting a refurbished hull, fresh coat of paint, and state-of-the-art cathodic protection and humidity detection technologies, the ship is now fortified against corrosion for decades to come. Furthermore, tour routes, signage, special event capabilities and ADA accessibility have all been upgraded, including refurbished restroom facilities — or “heads” — on the ship for visitor use.
The visitor experience has also been overhauled. The memorial has introduced the “Mighty Mo Pass,” a new all-in-one ticket to experience the famous battleship. The pass includes a single admission, plus a choice from one of the following tours previously priced in addition to admission:
- Mighty Mo Tour (35-minute guided tour);
- Guide2Go iPod Tour (audio-visual tour using the Apple “iPod touch” corresponding to shipboard signage);
- Acoustiguide Tour (audio-only tour also corresponding to signage); or
- the option to tour the battleship at one’s own pace along a variety of self-guided tour routes.
For $25 more, guests may upgrade to the Battle Stations Tour, a new 90-minute guided tour that focuses on this most important aspect of life at sea for every officer and battleship sailor aboard — battle readiness. Only Battle Stations Tour participants see the inside of Turret No. 1, an engine room, a plotting room and the always-impressive “Broadway” (an internal corridor that extends two-thirds of the length of the ship). Children must be age 10 or older for this tour.
The Battleship Missouri Memorial’s standard operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For visitor information or to reserve a tour, call toll-free at 1-877-MIGHTYMO (1-877-644-4896) or visit ussmissouri.org.
Battleship Missouri Memorial, located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the day of infamy that saw the sinking of USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s unconditional surrender aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Following an astounding career that spans five decades and three wars, from World War II to the Korean conflict to the Liberation of Kuwait, the “Mighty Mo” was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which operates the battleship as a historic attraction and memorial. The association oversees her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants and the generosity of donors.
SOURCE Battleship Missouri Memorial