Aboard the USS Missouri
The Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor is a must-see for any World War II or history buff. It's open year-round.
A look inside the executive officer's quarters aboad the USS Missouri.
Make sure you're buckled into the seat because flying over the Pacific Ocean during the Marine invasion at Iwo Jima is no easy task.
Inside the flight simulator, you'll pilot a SC1-Curtiss Seahawk scout plane to provide enemy coordinates during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
For an extra $5, you can climb into this flight simulator, located on land next to the USS Missouri, and transform into a World War II pilot.
Searchlights on the starboard side of the Mighty Mo were used to communicate with other ships via morse code.
If you're looking at this rug, you're about to enter Officers' Country, the area aboard the ship where officers ate, slept and hung out. Enlisted crewmembers were to avoid these areas unless on official ship business.
After reading the Instrument of Surrender and seeing the spot where World War II ended, experience the moment visually with this row of photographs.
Mounted "backward" by museum conservators, the famous 31-star flag of Commodore Perry was returned to Tokyo Bay by order of Admiral "Bull" Halsey and displayed aboard the USS Missouri during the Sept. 2, 1945 surrender of Japan to Allied forces, reflecting on Perry's earlier "opening of Japan" in 1853.
In the main cabin, the ship's crew used these maps to help navigate Pearl Harbor and other destinations in the Pacific.
No, they're not loaded, but these gun turrets make for a great photo op for your album.
Born in the Pacific fleet during the midst of World War II, the Missouri honors what is, in effect, its moment of conception.
The USS Missouri is an Iowa-class battleship that helped carry out bombing raids over Tokyo and provided firepower in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. During the war's final month, it served as Admiral William "Bull" Halsey's flagship for the Pacific Third Fleet. It measures 887 feet long and 209 feet high from keel to mast. Fully loaded, it weighs 58,000 tons and can travel in excess of 30 knots (35 mph).
Ever wonder why seamen always slide down the stairs in the movies that take place on ships and submarines? It's because the stairs are steeper than climbing a closed ladder. Walking down these stairs facing forward can be a challenge for tourists.
These weapon launchers added to the massive firepower of the Missouri, the most formidable battleship in U.S. history. The Mighty Mo was the last U.S. battleship to be launched and the last to be decommissioned.
Consumed by the historical significance of the ship you're running around on, it's easy to completely forget the beautiful background that is Honolulu.
The Mighty Mo's trademark feature is its nine 16-inch guns, two of which are seen here on the starboard side. Each gun barrel is about 67 feet long, weighs 116 tons and can fire a 2,700-pound shell 23 miles in 50 seconds with pinpoint accuracy.
These Harpoon missile tubes were added to the USS Missouri during its modernization phase in the 1980s and were used during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
A look at the perfection of Gen. MacArthur's signature on America's copy of Japan's surrender document at the end of World War II conveys the significance of the moment.
Written in the vernacular of its time (Sept. 2, 1945), the surrender treaty is among the coolest reads in all of Hawaii.
History buffs will need to figure out a way to curtail the goose bumps when reading about the magnitude of the space their feet occupy at that very moment.
World War II ended on this spot as Japan surrendered to Gen. MacArthur on Sept. 2, 1945.
For an additional $7, retired military veterans will give guided tours. Hearing them tell "The Surrender Story" with emotion and passion makes it worth the few extra dollars.
For $16, you can tour the USS Missouri at your own pace. You can duck into the mess hall, see where the sailors slept, sit in a gunner's chair and imagine life aboard a naval battleship that served America in three wars.
By Mark La Monica firstname.lastname@example.org Hear the clank of metal as you climb the stairs and land on the deck of the USS Missouri. Within minutes, its awesome history will consume you. See the guns that fired upon America's greatest enemies in war. Stand where Gen. Douglas MacArthur ended World War II against Japan. Get a taste of what it was like aboard the battleship Missouri in this photo gallery.