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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive


Patches contributed by Robert M. Cieri

BB-63 USS MISSOURI
1946 - 1950

Radio Call Sign: November - Charlie - Bravo - Lima

To Additional Pages

1941 - June 1944 / Construction - Commissioning
July - December 1944
1945
Korean War
1954 - 1983
1984 - 1987
1988 - 1993
1994 - Present


Iowa Class Battleship: Displacement 45,000 Tons, Dimensions, 887' 3" (oa) x 108' 2" x 37' 9" (Max). Armament 9 x 16"/50 20 x 5"/38AA, 80 x 40mm 49 x 20mm, 3 AC. Armor, 12 1/8" Belt, 17" Turrets, 1 1/2" +6" +5/8" Decks, 17 1/4" Conning Tower. Machinery, 212,000 SHP; G.E. Geared Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 33 Knots, Crew 1921.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by New York Naval Ship Yard, January 6, 1941. Launched January 29, 1944. Commissioned June 11, 1944. Decommissioned February 26, 1955. Recommissioned May 10, 1986. Decommissioned March 31, 1992. Stricken for disposal January 12, 1995. Donated for preservation May 4, 1998.
Fate: Preserved as a museum at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 1998.
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BB-63 Missouri 805k Tugs are pushing the Missouri (BB-63) away from a pier at the Naval Shipyard Annex at Bayonne, New Jersey in April, 1946. The ship was carrying the body of former Turkish ambassador Mehmet Munir Ertgun who died in November, 1944. The cruise was also used to show the Soviet Union and other countries, the United States concern about the region's political instability. US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 2001.256.090 courtesy of Mike Green.
Photo added 10/17/13.
BB-63 Missouri 70k Anchored off Piraeus, Greece, April 1946. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-K-9343, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 71k A game of cards in the Flag Cabin, while the ship was en route to Istanbul, Turkey, 3 April 1946. Those present are (left to right): Alexander W. Weddell, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey; Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe; Captain Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, Missouri (BB-63) Commanding Officer, and M. Kadri Rizan, Turkish Minister of Protocol. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-365725, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 102k Missouri (BB-63) (center). Off Istanbul, Turkey, 5-9 April 1946. She had brought the body of the Late Turkish Ambassador to the United States, Mehmet Munir Ertegun, home for burial, on a mission that was also made to influence Soviet Middle East policy. Power (DD-839) is at left, and the Turkish Battlecruiser Yavuz (formerly the German (Goeben) is at right. Dolmabahce Mosque is in the foreground. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-366179, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 95k Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe (center) with Captain Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, Commanding Officer of Missouri (BB-63) and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Alexander W. Weddell, on board Missouri off Istanbul, circa 5-9 April 1946. The plaque behind and above them commemorates the Surrender of Japan, which took place on board Missouri, 2 September 1945. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-702450, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 86k Anchored in Fabiron Bay, Piraeus, Greece, 10 April 1946. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-366527, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 86k Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt, USN, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe greets Archbishop Damaskinos, Regent of Greece, on board Missouri (BB-63) off Piraeus, Greece, circa 10-14 April 1946. Directly behind Admiral Hewitt are (left to right): Commodore Tully Shelly, USN, and Captain Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, Missouri Commanding Officer. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-702531, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 75k Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt, USN, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe (second from right). Examines the plaque in Missouri (BB-63) deck that marks the spot where the Surrender of Japan took place on 2 September 1945. Photographed while Missouri was visiting Piraeus, Greece, circa 10-14 April 1946. To the left of Admiral Hewitt are (left to right): Constantine Tsaldaris, Foreign Minister of Greece; Greek Prime Minister Panajiotia and Commodore Tully Shelly, USN. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-702560, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 113k Missouri (BB-63) tied up to the pier, 9 - 12 May 1946 at Norfolk Naval Base, Virginia. An unidentified air craft carrier perhaps HMS Ruler (A-731) is off to her starboard side. What is left of her hull number identifies her as one of the British CVEs used as aircraft transports in the Pacific, late in WW2. What looks like an attack transport is off her stern. Photo by Joseph Albright, courtesy of Christopher Albright. Text courtesy of Fabio Pena.
BB-63 Missouri 17k Commanding Officers of the Missouri (BB-63):
Captain William M. Callaghan, USN - June 11, 1944 - May 14, 1945
Captain Stuart S. Murray, USN - May 14, 1945 - November 6, 1945
Captain Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, USN - November 6, 1945 - May 31, 1946
Captain Tom B. Hill, USN - May 31, 1946 - April 2, 1947
Captain Robert L. Dennison, USN - April 2, 1947 - January 23, 1948. He appears here on the left.
Commander John B. Colwell, USN - January 23, 1948 - February 24, 1948
Captain James H. Thach, Jr., USN - February 24, 1948 - February 5, 1949
Captain Harold P. Smith, USN - February 5, 1949 - December 10, 1949
Captain William D. Brown, USN - December 10, 1949 - February 3, 1950
Commander George E. Peckham, USN - February 3, 1950 - February 7, 1950
Captain Harold P. Smith, USN - February 7, 1950 - April 19, 1950
Captain Irving T. Duke, USN - April 19, 1950 - March 2, 1951
Captain George T. Wright, USN - March 2, 1951 - October 18, 1951
Captain John Sylvester, USN - October 18, 1951 - September 4, 1952
Captain Warner R. Edsall, USN - September 4, 1952 - March 26, 1953
Commander James R. North, USN - March 26, 1953 - April 4, 1953
Captain Robert Brodie, Jr., USN - April 4, 1953 - April 1, 1954
Captain Robert T. S. Keith, USN - April 1, 1954 - September 18, 1954
Commander James R. North, USN - September 18, 1954 - February 26, 1955
Captain Albert Lee Kaiss, USN - May 10, 1986 - June 20, 1986
Captain James A. Carney, USN - June 20, 1986 - July 6, 1988
Captain John J. Chernesky, USN - July 6, 1988 - June 13, 1990
Captain Albert Lee Kaiss, USN - June 13, 1990 - March 31, 1992
All Commanding Officers were Regular Navy.Three Commanding Officers were full Commanders, previously the Executive Officer.
One Commander served twice as Commanding Officer. Three Captains served twice as Commanding Officer.
Captain Kaiss is the only Commanding Officer in history to put a US Navy ship into commission, and take the same ship out of commission. He is also the last Commanding Officer of a Battleship and in essence, the last Battleship Sailor. He was the last sailor to leave the ship on 31 March 1992.
Image from the Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum & Library, courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
BB-63 Missouri37kCommemorative post mark on the occasion of Missouri's (BB-63) visit to Turkey on 5 April 1946.Photo courtesy of CŁneyt Demir.
BB-63 Missouri 42k Admiral James Foskett inspects sailors on the Missouri (BB-63), as they return from a trip to Brazil on September 1947.Photo from the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & submitted by Bill Gonyo.
BB-63 Missouri 66k Arriving at the Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, Virginia, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with President Harry S. Truman and his party on board, 19 September 1947. She is manning the rails in his honor. Itara (YTB-391) is pushing on the battleship's port bow. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-387418, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri108kThe Truman Chow Line. Not only Harry S. Truman, but Bess and Margaret Truman went through the chow line and ate with the crew. This was on the return trip from Rio in 1947. Photo courtesy of Herbert Fahr, Jr., USS Missouri (BB-63) Association, Inc.
BB-63 Missouri 81k Missouri (BB-63) catapults a Curtiss SC-2 "Seahawk" floatplane, piloted by Ensign F.H. Gilkie. Photo is dated 27 February 1948. Official U.S. Navy Photograph USNHC # 80-G-399644, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 73k Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter (Bureau # 122527) landing on the forward 16-inch gun turret, during the 1948 Midshipmen's cruise. Guard mail, ships' newspapers and personnel were exchanged via helicopter while the Midshipmen's cruise squadron was at sea. Most exchanges were made by "hovering pick-up". The forward turret was used as a landing platform since the floatplane catapults on the ship's fantail prevented helicopters from operating there. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-706093, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 100k Firing her main battery at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, during Caribbean amphibious maneuvers, circa March 1949. Note floatplanes on the ship's catapults. Planes and catapults were removed in May 1949. Pocono (AGC-16) is in the right background. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-706922, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 250k Norfolk Naval Base, Virginia. Missouri (BB-63) at the Base piers circa plus June 1949.
First, it should be noted that the main deck of the Missouri appears to be bare wood (teak), not painted in either a deck grey or other camouflage scheme.
Second, neither the ship's hull nor any other ship in the photo appears to painted anything other than (peace time) haze grey.
Third, there does not appear to be any sign of an aircraft catapult on the Missouri's fantail. Fourth, the ship's funnel caps are painted black, a peace time scheme.
Lastly, the ship's mainmast has been stepped (out) from the after funnel, not as the ship was originally constructed. This and the radar antenna mounted on the mast, appear to part of the 1947 modifications to the ship.
DANFS has the Missouri in overhaul at New York Naval Shipyard from 23 September 1947 to 10 March 1948 followed by refresher training. I don't know when the mast was actually modified.
I also noted that there is a tug on the stern, with mooring lines to the pier. The ship's brows (gangways) are still on the pier, but there is a crane about to remove the forward brow or has just put it in place. There also seems to be a lot of activity (i.e. crowd) on the pier and the crew appears to be in dress whites.
Note also how the ship's guns are all pointed at the same angle skyward, not in a normal, stowed position. It seems to me that this period of time, any movement by the world's most famous ship should have been well documented.
USN photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels. Text courtesy of Bill Fessenden.
BB-63 Missouri 142k Ship's crew and midshipmen celebrate the fourth anniversary of "V-J" Day, during the Midshipmen's cruise, 2 September 1949. They are gathered around the plaque that marks the spot where Japan surrendered on 2 September 1945. Turret Two is trained as it was during the surrender ceremonies. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-707344, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri117kTugs pushing from alongside, during one of four unsuccessful attempts to free the battleship after she ran aground on Thimble Shoals, Virginia, on 17 January 1950. Missouri (BB-63) was finally freed on 1 February after dredging alongside and astern opened a path for her to return to the shipping channel.USNHC # NH 96788.
BB-63 Missouri 162k Photo taken on 17 January 1950. The photo was taken from an altitude of 800 feet. The time was approximately 1630 hours. It shows the Missouri (BB-63) hard aground on Thimble Shoal in Chesapeake Bay. Official USN photograph # USN-412241, submitted by Robert M. Cieri.
BB-63 Missouri103kAground on Thimble Shoals, Virginia, with tugs alongside and astern attempting to pull her off, during one of four unsuccessful attempts to free her after she ran onto the shoal on 17 January 1950. She was freed by the fifth attempt on 1 February, following dredging to open up a path between her position and the main shipping channel.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-707571, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri91kAground on Thimble Shoals, Virginia, 21 January 1950, as several harbor tugs attempt to free her. She went aground on 17 January and was refloated on 1 February. Note minesweepers and other ships in the shipping channel beyond Missouri (BB-63) stern. Their apparent closeness indicates that the photograph was taken with a telephoto lens. In port, circa 1948, with a motor launch full of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen passing by in the foreground.USNHC # NH K-14925.
BB-63 Missouri 158kThe photo was taken from the bridge of the Missouri (BB-63) and was processed by the Missouri's own Photo Lab. The photo was taken on 1 February 1950 showing three ATR's (Seagoing rescue and salvage tugs) forward of the Missouri, in the last all-out effort to pull her free of Thimble Shoal. USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.
BB-63 Missouri63kView of the ship's stern, showing how far it was raised above her normal waterline while she was aground on Thimble Shoals, Virginia, 17 January - 1 February 1950.USNHC # NH 96789.
BB-63 Missouri82kTugs pushing from alongside, during one of four unsuccessful attempts to free the battleship after she ran aground on Thimble Shoals, Virginia, on 17 January 1950. Missouri (BB-63) was finally freed on 1 February after dredging alongside and astern opened a path for her to return to the shipping channel.USNHC # NH 96787.
BB-63 Missouri76kCaptain Irving T. Duke reads his orders during change of command ceremonies on the battleship's after deck, at Norfolk Naval Station, Virginia, 19 April 1950. He relieved Captain Harold P. Smith (2nd from left, in background) as Missouri (BB-63) Commanding Officer. Captain Roland Smoot is at left.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-414591 now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri146kOperating off the Virginia Capes as part of Task Group 22.1, 2 May 1950. An aircraft carrier and a heavy cruiser are steaming in the background.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-476437, now in the collections of the National Archives.
BB-63 Missouri 120k July 1950 photo of the Missouri (BB-63) transiting the Panama Canal Zone. In a little more than a month she would sail for the Korean War Zone.USN photo courtesy of Robert M. Cieri.

MISSOURI BB-63 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Mr. Herbert Fahr Jr
Address: 24 Clark Street, PLAINVIEW NY 11803-5114.
Phone: 516 931-1769
E-mail: Mr. Herbert Fahr Jr.



Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.

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