The Last American Dreadnought


Founding Member
This amazing original Kodachrome, snapped 80 years ago today, showing the Iowa-class fast battleship, USS Missouri (BB-63) commissioning ceremonies, at the New York Navy Yard, on 11 June 1944.

The last of her class completed (Wisconsin, BB-64, had already commissioned two months prior on 16 April 1944), Missouri would spend the rest of the year in shakedown and spent Christmas Eve ’44 on Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row on her way to the West Pac to get in the show. Just over eight months past that holiday, Missouri would host the formal Japanese surrender to the Allied Powers in Tokyo Bay, ending the conflict.

Opening to the public in 1999, she has been standing guard over the USS Arizona on Battleship Row for the past 25 years.

The last BB I was on.




Made it to the Missouri in 2001. She was complete with the modernized systems for Harpoon and Tomahawk, that is, dressed out for her Gulf War deployment. Several years prior worked with a Gunny who was the NCOIC of the last Marine detachment on the ship. He said it was the best assignment he had.