Edited by Gerald Boerner
In 1944, as World War II was grinding on, The D-Day landings, the Battle of the Bulge, fight for Iwo Jima & Okinawa were ahead and years of fighting were expected, especially in the Pacific Theater. The USS Missouri, the “Mighty Mo”, was launched at the Brooklyn Naval Yard on this day in 1944. This would be the last Battleship to be built in not only the United States, but in the World. This Iowa-class battleships was equipped with 16” guns that could hurl a 2700 lb. shell 20 miles. Sea battles would be fought beyond the horizon!
This ship fought proudly in several wars and serve as the stage for the final surrender of the Japanese to end World War II. It would go on to fight in the Korean War and the Persian Gulf War. It served with distinction throughout these engagements. But there had been changes in naval warfare; the focus had changed from “ships of the line” of the days of the sailing vessels of the 18th and 19th centuries to the dreadnoughts , named after the HMS Dreadnought battleship, of the early 20th century. But during the inter-war years, the large Battleships were shown to be vulnerable to the new airplanes.
Billy Mitchell had demonstrated in the early 1920s that these battleships could be sunk by bombs dropped from the air. This shocked the Naval establishment the viewed the giant gun platforms as the “showcase” ship. The British had the HMS Hood, the Germans had the Bismarck, the Japanese had the Yamamoto, and the U.S. had the Iowa-class ships like the USS Missouri. The aircraft carrier became more important, especially in the Pacific Theater and the efficacy of the submarine was established, especially during the Battle of the Atlantic. These subs would become even more important during the Cold War when they acquired nuclear power and the ability to launch long-range missiles.
But enough context. It’s time to start our exploration of the proud history and record of the USS Missouri… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 4184 Words ]
Quotations Related to BATTLESHIP:
“If we had less statesmanship we could get along with fewer battleships.”
— Mark Twain
“He’s going to the battleship? Well, I guess he’s getting mentally ready, huh?.”
— Bernie Bickerstaff
“The Melvin probably was the only destroyer to sink a battleship in World War II.”
— Jack Green