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Reproduced courtesy of Lynne Norton


Date: 1991
Overall: 670 x 550 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Oil pastel, pencil, paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Copyright: © Lynne Norton
Object Name: Drawing
Object No: 00017911
Place Manufactured:Fremantle

User Terms

    This drawing depicts USS MISSOURI on return from First Gulf War in Fremantle Harbour, Western Australia. MISSOURI was an Iowa class battleship and was laid down in Brooklyn Naval Yard in 1941 and launched and commissioned in 1944. She served in the Second World War and Korean War, and was in the reserve fleet until being modernised in the 1980s and serving in the First Gulf War. MISSOURI is now a museum ship located at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.
    SignificanceThis work shows the continuing military ties between Australia and the United States. MISSOURI is an important historical vessel for the role she played in the surrender of the Japanese, ending the Second World War.
    HistoryUSS MISSOURI was the last of the Iowa class battleships to be completed before being superseded by aircraft carriers. Entering active service in July 1944 during the Second World War, MISSOURI was deployed to the Pacific. Her weaponry included nine 16in guns, 20 5in guns, and anti-aircraft guns. Due to modernisation in the 1980s, the anti-aircraft guns were removed and replaced with Harpoon missiles, Tomahawk land attack missiles, and Phalanx CIWS.

    In February 1945, MISSOURI accompanied aircraft carriers to provide cover during the Battle of Iwo Jima. In March, MISSOURI was involved in bombarding the coast of Japan near Okinawa, and providing cover to the landing forces along with aircraft carriers. At this time, the Japanese Navy attacked the Allied fleet with nine ships, including YAMATO, the world's largest battleship. During the confrontation, YAMATO, a destroyer and a cruiser were sunk, three others heavily damaged and scuttled, and the remaining ships retired damaged to a safe harbour.

    In April, a Japanese kamikaze pilot flew his zero aircraft into the starboard deck of MISSOURI. The plane ricocheted off the battleship but the pilot's body was ejected and caused considerable damage to a gun mount.

    It was onboard MISSOURI that the Japanese signed the instruments of surrender in September 1945, officially ending the Second World War.

    MISSOURI finally left Tokyo Bay on 6th September, 1945 and sailed via Guam and Pearl Harbour to reach New York on 28th October, 1945. After an overhaul, MISSOURI was entrusted with returning the body of the Turkish ambassador to the US in March, 1946. She reached Istanbul in April and then toured around the Mediterranean, to highlight US commitment to the region post-war. After a brief visit to Virginia, MISSOURI participated in the first post-war fleet exercises in May, 1946. Until the outbreak of the Korean War, MISSOURI spent time in training exercises and undergoing refits.

    After the Second World War, the US Navy underwent a period of downsizing its fleet. The three other Iowa class battleships were decommissioned but President Truman insisted that MISSOURI remain in the active fleet. Accordingly, after the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, MISSOURI was included as part of the Atlantic Fleet and reached the Korean Peninsula in September, 1950. She participated in diversionary tactics by bombarding Samchok to draw Korean troops away from the landing area of Incheon. MISSOURI remained in the region until 28th March, 1951 and spent the period assisting aircraft carriers and providing gunfire support.

    Before returning to Korea for a second tour of duty, MISSOURI undertook several midshipman training voyages and received another overhaul. She was re-deployed to Korea in September 1952. From October 1952 to January 1953, MISSOURI bombarded strategic areas of North Korea before being assigned to assisting land troops on the east coast of Korea. In April 1953, she was relieved of her duties by NEW JERSEY and returned to the US. She received more maintenance, undertook more midshipman training voyages and was stood down from active duty in February 1955. MISSOURI was moored in Washington State and remained on the reserve list for the next 30 years. During this time she was a popular tourist destination due to her role in the Second World War.

    In the 1980s, President Reagan promoted the 600-ship program for the US Navy, which involved the reactivation of several ships to enlarge the Navy after downsizing at the end of the Vietnam War. MISSOURI was one of the ships reactivated and in 1984 she was towed to Long Beach to undergo modernisation. This process involved updating her obsolete weapons and her electronic capabilities. MISSOURI was formally recommissioned in San Francisco in May 1986. Following this, MISSOURI circumnavigated the globe and visited many countries including Australia, Egypt, Turkey, Spain and Panama.

    MISSOURI assisted in Operation Earnest Will, a US Navy operation in 1987-88 to escort Kuwaiti oil tankers in the Persian Gulf to protect them from Iranian attacks. She returned to the US in early 1988 and for the next 2 years took part in several naval exercises with Pacific nations such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

    In November 1990, MISSOURI was deployed to the Persian Gulf due to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. She arrived in January 1991 and moved throughout the region bombing Iraqi targets, providing assistance and helping detect and destroy naval mines. At the end of hostilities in March 1991, MISSOURI briefly patrolled the area before leaving the Persian Gulf on 21st March, 1991. She visited Fremantle and Hobart on the voyage back to the US.

    With the end of both the Cold War and the First Gulf War, the US Navy once again downsized the fleet and MISSOURI was decommissioned on 31st March, 1992. She remained in Washington State for several years before being transferred to Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, and in 1999 MISSOURI was opened as a museum ship.

    Starting with the arrival of the Great White Fleet in 1908, the United States Navy has established a tradition of visiting Australian shores. The Second World War forged even closer ties and the Royal Australian Navy and United States Navy regularly participate in combat and naval exercises with each other.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: USS MISSOURI

    Assigned title: USS MISSOURI

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