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On September 2, 1945, surrender ceremonies officially ending World War II were broadcast worldwide from the deck of the USS Missouri. The ceremony also marked the end of one of the most eventful years for any vessel in the history of warfare. USS Missouri at War chronicles the career of this mighty warship, the last battleship built by the United States.
Veteran naval historian Kit Bonner describes "Mighty Mos" powerful strikes against Japan, its support of the Iwo Jima landings and bombardment of Okinawa, and its decisive role in the destruction of key Japanese industrial targets. That war was over, but the Missouri was not done yet; and Bonner follows her service in the Korean War, her modernization and reactivation for the 1991 Gulf War, and her final decommissioning in 1992, with eleven battle stars to her credit.
For its authoritative and close-up look at the life and work of a world-class battleship, and for its insight into the history of twentieth-century naval warfare, this strikingly illustrated book is one that no naval enthusiast or military history buff will want to be without.
The USS Missouri was the last of ten battleships completed in the early 1940s, and the last battleship to be commissioned in the U.S. Navy. From the time she was commissioned in the next-to-last year of the Pacific War, on January 29, 1944, she was considered a cut above the others. In 1945 alone, “Mighty Mo” escorted the Pacific Fleet’s fast carrier force to the launch point of the first airstrikes against Japan since the famed Doolittle raid in 1942; supported the Iwo Jima invasion landings; and bombarded Okinawa, repelling a dozen daylight raids and four night attacks in the process. During that year, she also survived a kamikaze hit, launched a hunter-killer operation that sank a Japanese submarine, and bombarded Kyushu and several industrial targets on the Japanese home islands. Something even greater was in store a short time later.
The date was September 2, 1945. Imperial Japan had been compelled to surrender by the dropping of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs and the threat of more atomic terror to come. Anchored in Tokyo Bay, the Missouri culminated her wartime service by hosting the surrender ceremonies between the Allied powers and the Empire of Japan. Before the ink was dry on the parchment, the news was flashed to an anxious public. A global war that had begun half a world away with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, had finally drawn to a close, and the name of the Missouri was on the lips of people the world over. Soon, the famous battleship would arrive back in America to a hero’s welcome.
After being called upon again to fight in the Korean War, she was decommissioned into the U.S. Navy reserve fleets. She was reactivated and modernized in 1984, and participated in the 1991 Gulf War. Missouri was decommissioned a final time on March 31, 1992, having earned a total of eleven battle stars for service in World War II, Korea, and the Persian Gulf. She was maintained on the Naval Vessel Register until January 1995.
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