USS Missouri (BB-63) WWII Color Photographs Part I

Commissioning day, 11JUN44 at the New York Naval Yard. The crew and distinguished guests are gathered on Missouri’s fantail for the formalities. Missouri was the last battleship commissioned into the U.S. Navy, and the last remaining battleship in the world to be decommissioned in 1992. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-3858)
A classic photograph of Missouri underway in her Measure 32/22D camouflage. She was the only battleship to wear this pattern, which consisted of Light Gray (5-L), Ocean Gray (5-O), and Dull Black (BK) bands. Decks were painted Deck Blue (20-B) and Ocean Gray (5-O). (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4575)
A profile view of Missouri’s port side camo pattern, with a Navy K-Type blimp on anti-submarine patrol overhead. Missouri only wore her Measure 32 camouflage for the first few months of her service, by the time she deployed for combat duty in the Pacific she had been repainted in the more common Measure 22. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4576)
A slightly different angle from the previous photo, with the Large Cruiser USS Alaska (CB-1) in the background. The two ships went through their shakedown cruises in the Atlantic together in August 1944. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4523)
Missouri firing her forward 16”/50 caliber guns during her shakedown cruise. To the right of the photograph all six projectiles can be seen in flight. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4515)
An OS2U Kingfisher observation plane on Missouri’s port catapult. The Kingfisher, like other Navy floatplanes, could be easily converted to land operation by substituting conventional wheeled landing gear for the floats. In this case this has resulted in an anomaly which is generally missed by modelers – the main floats on Missouri’s Kingfishers appear to be in the pre-war Light Gray and don’t match the graded scheme of the aircraft. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4528)
Another Kingfisher on the starboard catapult revealing several details. The Kingfishers were carried for Missouri’s work-ups in the Atlantic, but were replaced with Seahawks before her combat deployments in the Pacific. For modelers, the Kingfishers go with the Measure 32/22D camouflage, Seahawks go with the Measure 22. Also note that in the two photographs showing the Kingfishers the teak deck has not yet been stained. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4597)
This view of Missouri’s fo’c’sle reveals details of the camouflage pattern applied to the decks and turret tops. USS Alaska (CB-1) maneuvers ahead. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-5584)
The Iowa-class battleships displaced 58,000 tons fully loaded. Her eight boilers could produce 212,000 horsepower, which could drive the ship at over 30 knots. Here Missouri throws off a bow wave while at high speed during her sea trials. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4533)
A leadsman prepares to take a depth sounding as the ship approaches an anchorage. The bottom of the weight was hollow, which allowed the leadsman to report the type of material on the seabed below. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4542)

Part II here:


16 thoughts on “USS Missouri (BB-63) WWII Color Photographs Part I

  1. Great images! I’m no shippie, but I do love these, and all the little details. On that first image of a Kingfisher, is that some kind of abandon ship drill taking place? I just ask because of all the life jackets being worn, and it appears the sailors are forming up by some kind of section, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure, but the photo was taken while she was on sea trials (or “shakedown” cruise) in AUG44. In today’s Navy it’s called INSERV inspection and lasts for a week. One of the drills is a battle problem where the inspectors progressively “destroy” sections of the ship and observe how the crew uses redundant systems to maintain capabilities, culminating in an abandon ship drill. I would guess we’re seeing the end of that drill here, and the Officers in the center of the photo without life jackets are the inspectors, who are questioning the other Officer.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry George, it might be something to do with the cell phone. I’ve had problems with the settings on mine, I generally have to get my daughter to sort it out because I’m just no good with phones.


      1. Thanks Jeff

        I think I was just in a crappy cell area

        I went back to your email and there they were

        Have a great day and thanks for the daily nuggets

        Sent from my iPhone


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Since I live in the state of Missouri it is both my personal pleasure and civic duty to like this post.
    Haven’t personally seen Missouri but did see Wisconsin in Norfolk VA during her 1980s reactivated years while Dad was at NOB Norfolk and NAB Little Creek.
    The Iowa class BBs are good looking ships and are impressive as they come over the horizon. Even though the battleships are much more ‘low slung’ than carriers the BBs somehow look so much more imposing there on the horizon, “This baby means business, Do Not trifle with it”.

    Liked by 2 people

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