98293. Navy Donates Historic Battleship 

American Forces Press Service

        WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton 
signed the donation contract May 4 transferring the historic 
battleship USS Missouri to a memorial association in 
        The battleship should arrive at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 
by June 22. The USS Missouri Memorial Association plans to 
repaint and refurbish "Mighty Mo" and open it as the 
Battleship Missouri Memorial January 1999.
        Prior to its final voyage across the Pacific Ocean, the 
Missouri will be towed to a mooring at Astoria, Ore., where 
the fresh water of the Columbia River can eliminate marine 
saltwater organisms that might have accumulated on the 
ship's hull over the years. 
        USS Missouri was commissioned June 11, 1944, and would 
earn three battle stars for action in World War II. It was 
on the Missouri's teakwood deck in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 
1945, that Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepted surrender 
documents from the Japanese to end World War II. 
        The ship earned another five battle stars during the 
Korean War and was then mothballed in 1955. It was 
recommissioned and modernized in 1986 and served another six 
years. On Jan. 17, 1991, "Mighty Mo" began its last combat 
operation by launching Tomahawk missiles at Iraqi-held 
targets; its 16-inch guns later supported allied shore-based 
ground units.
        The battleship's last operational mission was a visit 
to Pearl Harbor for the 50th year remembrance of the Dec. 7, 
1941, Japanese attack there that drew the United States into 
World War II. 
        (From a DoD News Release)