Seven tugs push Missouri’s bow as the crew musters on deck. Interesting details are the floater net baskets on the back of the main battery turrets, and the painted numbers designating the 40 mm Bofers mounts. 40 mm #1 is painted on the top of Turret 2, while mount 17 and 18 are on the fo’c’sle. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4540)
The center guns of the forward turrets creating the characteristic fireballs. The pressure wave from the firing has just begun to disturb the surface of the sea. The 16”/50 gun was the most powerful ever mounted on a U.S. battleship, and could hurl a 2,700-pound armor piercing projectile 42,345 yards. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4549)
A night firing exercise for the secondary battery. Missouri carried twenty 5”/38 guns in Mark 28 twin mounts, five mounts per side. The 5”/38 is considered by many to be the most effective shipboard anti-aircraft weapon of the war, thanks in part to the VT proximity fuse of the projectile. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-4550)
Missouri will always be remembered in history as the site of the Japanese surrender which ended the Second World War on 02SEP45. At the time, the ship was anchored in Tokyo Bay. Here the Japanese delegation stands before the table as General Douglas MacArthur leans over the documents.
A view of the superstructure during the surrender. Every vantage point is crammed with sailors and visitors anxious to get a view of the proceedings. A close examination reveals several precarious perches as sailors crammed into every available space to get a look.
A view of the signing from atop Turret 2. The Teak wood decks were painted Deck Blue (20-B) during her time in the Pacific in WWII.
General MacArthur gives his opening remarks during the surrender ceremony with Allied military delegations standing behind him. On the bulkhead is mounted the flag flown by Commodore Perry on the first visit to Japan by the U.S. Navy in 1853. Despite what has been claimed by some authors, the flag is not mounted “backwards”. Naval custom is for mounted flags to be displayed with the union (stars) forward, as if sailing into the wind.
Here is a rare treat, color movie film taken of the surrender by an Officer on ADM Halsey’s staff, Commander George F. Kosco. CDR Kosco’s family had the film restored and made available to the public. In it is footage of a 40mm Bofers mount exercising, the transfer of the Japanese harbor pilots from a Fletcher-class destroyer, and the surrender itself. Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5MMVd5XOK8&ab_channel=NavalHistoryandHeritage
The rear part of the supporting structure for the armored conning station protrudes into the Wardroom at approximately Frame 91, forming part of the forward bulkhead. On this was painted a mural showing Missouri’s voyages. The mural remains in place today, and was updated by subsequent crews. Here are the original artists, Signalman Third Class Jose de la Torre, Jr. Signalman Second Class Gerald Parker, and LTJG Jack Reichart. Reichart hails from Muncie, Indiana, my hometown. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-6582)
After departing Tokyo Bay, Missouri proceeded back to the United States, passing through the Panama Canal in time to be reviewed by President Harry Truman in New York during the Fleet Review on 27OCT45. Along the way, the crew holystoned the Deck Blue paint from her decks revealing the Teak wood below. Modelers should note the Teak decks can be accurate with the Ms22 camouflage, but not during the war – and only for a brief time before alterations were made to her armament. (U.S. Navy 80-G-K-6565)
Part III here: