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Battleship Missouri to get $15-million makeover

The World War II battleship best known as the site of the formal surrender of Japan in 1945 is heading to the shipyard for repairs.

August 31, 2009|Associated Press

PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII — The "Mighty Mo," the World War II battleship best known as the site of the formal surrender of Japan in 1945, is heading to the shipyard for repairs.

The Missouri, now a decommissioned vessel called the Battleship Missouri Memorial, will leave its historic spot at Pearl Harbor's Battleship Row in October.

The 65-year-old Missouri is in good shape, but rust is protruding from peeling paint and the deck is warped and bent.

Its exterior is to be sanded down and repainted at the Pearl Harbor shipyard in a $15-million overhaul paid for by memorial reserve funds and a Defense Department grant.

"Rust never sleeps, as they say," said Michael Carr, the memorial's president.

The ship is expected to return in early January and resume welcoming visitors shortly after. More than 400,000 visitors tour the vessel each year.

The Mighty Mo was launched in 1944 and fought in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. It was decommissioned in 1955 but revived in the 1980s. In 1991, it fired the first shots of the Persian Gulf War.

The ship is moored near the battleship Arizona, which sank with more than 1,100 sailors and Marines aboard during Japan's Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.

Japan surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay.

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