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(VIDEO) ‘Mighty Mo’ USS Missouri’s decorated history over 50 years as US’ ‘mightiest battleship’

USS Missouri
July 17, 2017

The U.S. Navy is full of history and traditions.

Naval traditions go back centuries, with some of the most memorable moments in military history having a naval component involved.

In such a rich environment, one would be pressed to single out one of those moments or ships over another, but sometimes some of them simply stand on their own. The USS Missouri is one of those.

The Missouri received a total of 11 battle stars for service in World War II, Korea and the Persian Gulf during a span of more than 50 years. There’s a reason it’s considered America’s mightiest battleship.

The USS Missouri (BB-63), nicknamed “Big” or “Mighty Mo,” was an Iowa-class battleship, the third named after the U.S. state of Missouri and the last battleship commissioned by the United States, ever.

It is best remembered as the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan, which ended World War II.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur signs as Supreme Allied Commander during formal surrender ceremonies on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Behind MacArthur are Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright and Lt. Gen. A. E. Percival; September 2, 1945

But those are just small bits of history on the Mighty Mo.

After arriving in the Pacific Theater during WWII in January 1945, the Missouri supported the Iwo Jima invasion, the Okinawan campaign and raids on Japanese home islands during the following months.

In May, she became Third Fleet flagship and was the site of the famous Japanese surrender ceremony on Sept. 2, 1945, which ended World War II.

Subsequently, the Missouri was the only U.S. battleship on active duty in June 1950, when the Korean War began, making two combat deployments to the Western Pacific during that war.

Reactivated and modernized in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, the Mighty Mo also provided fire support during Operation Desert Storm in January and February 1991.

Big Mo