After decades of service in the World War II, Korean, and Persian Gulf wars, the massive battleship USS Missouri rides anchor at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor.
The USS Missouri, also known as “Mighty Mo” holds distinction among the other battleships at Pearl Harbor for its historical value. Walk the sprawling decks, explore her inner heart, and relive the monumental moments of the Mighty Mo’s past.
Check out our helpful guide for visiting the the USS Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, with tips for visiting, other nearby attractions, and much more.
Looking for USS Missouri Battleship Discount Tickets?
If you are planning on visiting Oahu, especially during December, we highly recommend spending time at each of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites.
We’ve got you covered for tickets – Battleship Missouri Memorial admission is available with the below money saving options, so you can choose the attraction pass that’s right for you:
1. All-Inclusive Pass – All you can do. Includes admission to dozens of attractions.
2. Build Your Own Pass – Select the attractions you want to visit prior to visiting.
Interested in seeing more of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites? Fortunately for you, the Go Oahu Card includes admission to each of the following, so you can see them all with just one pass…
- USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour
- Battleship Missouri
- USS Bowfin Submarine Museum
- Pacific Aviation Museum
Tips for Visiting Battleship Missouri on Your Vacation
- Allow 1 – 2 hours for your tour. This ship is huge!
- Bringing children under age 4 is not recommended.
- This ship has been completely declassified, so cameras of all kinds are allowed.
- Bags of any kind are not allowed on the ship. Leave your purse, backpack, diaper bag, etc. in your car, or pay $3 to rent a locker at the Visitor Center.
- Park your car at the Visitor Center parking lot. Only active duty military are allowed to drive onto Ford Island, but a shuttle departs from the parking lot every 10-15 minutes from 8 am to 5 pm.
- Wear comfortable clothing and footwear. You’ll climb many stairs and do a lot of walking aboard the ship. Skirts and dresses are not practical for this tour.
- The main deck and the surrender deck are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, but the rest of the ship is not.
- Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. The Hawaiian sun reflecting off the water makes sunburn more likely while walking the open decks.
- Pick up a map as soon as you board the ship to guide you around three different tour routes.
- A 35-minute guided tour takes you to the most popular and accessible parts of the ship.
- Self-guided exploration is enhanced by video screens located throughout the tour that give information about some of the exhibits and displays, and maps are placed throughout the ship to let you know where you are, as well as the location of nearby exits.
- Pick up a pair of headphones for a narrated audio tour with three different routes, available in English and many other languages including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish.
- An iPod touch provides audio and video narration throughout your tour.
When to Visit the USS Missouri
Pearl Harbor is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Oahu, so it’s best to arrive early.
The Visitor Center opens at 7:00 am, and the last shuttle back from the USS Missouri leaves Ford Island at 5:00 pm.
While you’re at Pearl Harbor, you may want to spend an entire day exploring the various ships, museums, and memorials.
If you didn’t make reservations for the USS Arizona Memorial tour (tips for visiting the USS Arizona here), you may have to wait up to two hours for your turn. Visiting the Mighty Mo is a good way to spend your time.
Or, make more time for your USS Missouri tour and explore the Pacific Aviation Museum, the free shuttle’s second stop on Ford Island.
USS Missouri Highlights
As you cross the gangway and board the battleship, you are immediately struck by the immensity of this vessel.
The USS Missouri is an Iowa-class, super-fast battleship measuring nearly 900 feet long, around 100 feet wide, and over 200 feet high.
Its teak decks span over 1 acre — 52,000 square feet. Each of the links in the two 1,200 foot-long anchor chains weighs 100 pounds.
The entire ship weighs more than 58,000 tons. Mighty Mo’s service record spans almost 50 years, three wars, and three generations of military service men and women.
Mighty Mo’s main battery contains nine massive 16-inch, 50 caliber guns. Each of these guns weighs 116 tons, is 65 feet long, and can fire armor-piercing shells (weighing 2,700 pounds each) a distance of 23 miles in 50 seconds.
In 1986, the original 5-inch guns were removed and replaced with Armored Box Launchers that fired Tomahawk missiles and were used extensively during Desert Storm.
Second Deck Interior Tour
Take a look over the port side of the ship to see the dent a Japanese Kamikaze pilot left when he crashed into the ship at Okinawa in April 1945.
The crash started a gasoline fire, but it was quickly put out and the Mighty Mo’s damages were merely superficial.
The Second Deck Interior Visitor Route features a Kamikaze Memorial, the “Crew’s Room” and a Korean War Exhibit, the Chief’s quarters and crew’s quarters/workshops/offices, and the crew’s mess hall, galley, bakery, and Big Mo Snack Shop.
Exit the Second Deck Interior and find the stairs to the upper levels, where you will find the Captain’s Cabin, Tomahawk Missile Deck, Combat Engagement Center, Navigation Bridge (Pilot House), and the history-making Surrender Deck.
Be aware that the upper decks get very high, the steps are quite steep and open, and the wind picks up as you go higher, so if you’re afraid of heights, you may want to prepare yourself.
The Surrender Deck is the most famous part of the ship, and probably the most meaningful to visitors.
On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered to the United States aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, officially ending World War II.
Stand on the Surrender Deck and hear General Douglas MacArthur issue his acceptance of surrender to the representatives of the Emperor of Japan.
View the actual signed documents ending the war, preserved under glass. Relive that moment of victory and relief in the very spot it occurred.
The Heart of Missouri
The ‘Heart of Missouri’ tour is a guided tour that takes visitors behind locked doors and into restricted areas of the ship.
Available for an extra fee, this tour provides a deeper look at the inner workings of the battleship and the lives of her captain and crew.
Unfortunately, children under age 10 are not allowed on this tour, as it is more challenging and may be dangerous for younger children.
There are plenty of other great things to see located nearby. Here are a few we suggest adding to your itinerary…
Take the shuttle to the Pacific Aviation Museum after your tour of the USS Missouri, and explore the scarred airfield, two aircraft hangars and the control tower damaged in the Pearl Harbor attack. Audio tours are available in English, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Spanish. For an extra fee you can experience a World War II fighter pilot’s perspective in an interactive combat flight simulator.
Tour the USS Arizona Memorial and USS Bowfin Submarine before or after the USS Missouri to really immerse yourself in the historical value of the Pearl Harbor experience and gain a deeper understanding of what service to country means.
Keep in mind that the USS Arizona Memorial is part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, so admission to the actual attraction is free. The audio tour, however, does require a fee. The Go Oahu Card covers the cost of the audio tour.
The less-visited USS Oklahoma Memorial is also located on Ford Island. The USS Oklahoma took 429 trapped sailors and marines to the bottom of the harbor with her when she sank, and those men remained largely unidentified and un-honored until 2007, when the USS Oklahoma Memorial was built and formally dedicated. Black granite walls and white marble pillars represent the ship and her lost crew. The USS Oklahoma Memorial is accessible by shuttle.
Uncover even more history at the two Visitor Center museums featuring various complementary exhibits, displays, and souvenirs to take home.
If you’re willing to go a bit further afield, you can also find the Pearlridge Center (the largest indoor mall in the entire state), which is excellent for shopping of all kinds. You’re also fairly close to the Aloha Stadium, home to the University of Hawaii’s football team and host to many concerts and family events.
Places to Eat Nearby
You can get hot dogs and burgers at Slider’s Grill in the Pearl Canteen, a 40’s style canteen at the dock of Mighty Mo, or try Hawaiian Shave Ice at the Wai Momi stand — they also sell pizza slices and huge churros.
The Battleshop sells snacks, beverages, and ice cream in addition to souvenirs. Food trucks show up most days around lunchtime.
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center has a snack stand that serves corn dogs, popcorn, and shave ice, and there is a small convenience store with chips, candy, packaged sandwiches, and beverages.
Schooners restaurant, on the other side of the bridge from Ford Island, is the closest real eatery to the USS Missouri Memorial. Schooners supplies great views of the harbor from its large outdoor dining patio along with lunch and dinner from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. The lunch buffet is popular, but a full menu is also available, along with a full bar.
Save on Admission with a Go Oahu Card
Remember, the Go Oahu Card is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility, which includes Battleship Missouri at Pearl Harbor tickets, plus admission to dozens more top attractions.
Save up to 55% on top museums, tours, and activities vs. paying at the gate. Visit multiple attractions for one low price.