Ship-shape following 12 weeks and $18m worth of maintenance and preservation work in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard’s largest drydock facility, the Battleship Mo. returned Jan. 7 to her home pier near the USS Arizona Memorial along Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row.
The Mighty Mo’s return once again brings full circle the story that begins with the day of infamy that saw the sinking of USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s unconditional surrender aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
“We are grateful to have the expertise and resources to drydock the Missouri in Hawaii, thanks to BAE systems and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard,” said Michael A. Carr, president and chief operating officer of the non-profit USS Missouri Memorial Association, which owns and operates the ship as the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “We enlisted a dream team worthy of a national treasure like the Mighty Mo. Now, we look forward to doing what we do best as a memorial — welcoming visitors — beginning Jan. 30.”
Shipyard commander Capt. Greg R. Thomas highlighted the pride, humility and emotion shipyard workers experienced supporting the Missouri drydocking.
“Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard played a key role in winning World War II, so shipyard workers have tremendous appreciation for the Missouri’s historical significance,” Thomas said. “Accordingly, we are proud of our role in helping to preserve this vital symbol of victory over oppression in that war. But we are also humbled: we are in awe of the great men and women who served on the Missouri over five decades and in three wars. It was particularly moving for our workers to look upon the Missouri, sitting proudly in our drydock as we went to work the morning of Dec. 7, 2009.”
Like her entry into drydock on Oct. 14, the two-mile return journey was a daylong process, including the flooding of Drydock four, refloating the ship, its careful extraction from drydock, and the towing to Pier Foxtrot-5 on Battleship Row.