The USS Missouri, the celebrated battleship now seeing service as a museum in Hawaii, is shipshape following an extensive drydock repainting program.
The Sherwin-Williams Company reports that nearly 5,500 gallons of its high-performance marine and protective coatings have been applied to the historic battleship, which recently returned to her home pier near the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The Missouri, or “Mighty Mo,” is perhaps best known as the site of Japan’s unconditional surrender to Allied Forces on Sept. 2, 1945, ending World War II. The ship was launched in June 1944 and provided firepower in the decisive battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa. On Sept. 2, 1945—65 years ago this summer—the Missouri served as the site of Japan’s formal, unconditional surrender to Allied Powers while anchored in Tokyo Bay.
The famous ship also saw action in the Korean Conflict and Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. Today, the ship is under the care of the non-profit USS Missouri Memorial Association, which owns and operates the ship as the Battleship Missouri Memorial, a historic attraction and memorial in Pearl Harbor.
Work on an $18 million refurbishment began in October under the guidance of BAE Systems at the U.S. Navy’s Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. The superstructure was pressure washed by Memorial Association volunteers. BAE Systems and its subcontractors used power tools to remove remaining paint, spot-primed bare steel, airless-sprayed the ship’s superstructure and freeboard, and plural component-sprayed the underwater hull.
Roger Kubischta, director of operations for BAE Systems’ Hawaii Shipyard, said the ship’s hull was afflicted by a heavy accumulation of marine growth, which needed to be removed before the team could start the preservation work. “There was corrosion in spots of the hull, but it was mostly intact,” Kubischta said. “In all, over eight acres of the boat’s surface needed to be preserved.”
Sherwin-Williams products used on the 887-foot battleship included:
• Dura-Plate® UHS Epoxy and SeaGuard® Vinyl Antifoulant (underwater hull);
• Dura-Plate® UHS Epoxy and Polysiloxane XLE-80 (freeboard);
• Macropoxy® 920 Pre-Prime and Mil-PRF-24635 Silicone Alkyd (mast aloft black areas);
• Macropoxy® 920 Pre-Prime and SeaGuard® 5000 HS Epoxy, Polysiloxane XLE-80 (superstructure); and
• Dura-Plate® MT, Dura-Plate® UHS Epoxy (decks)
Sherwin-Williams also said it provided technical expertise and worked closely with both the shipyard and contractor throughout the project.
“It was an honor for Sherwin-Williams to provide coatings for one of the most renowned and historically significant ships in U.S. history,” said Brad Rossetto, Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine vice president, marketing. “We are proud to have worked with the USS Missouri Memorial Association and BAE Systems to help preserve one of America’s most precious assets for generations to come.”
Ron Chavez, chief engineer for the Battleship Missouri Memorial, said the vessel “is fortified against the elements for decades to come” following the restoration program.
Dave Herr, president of BAE Systems Support Solutions, said, “With the hard work of our employees and subcontractors, and our trusted partnership with Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, one of our nation’s most treasured assets is back pier-side today. We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with the USS Missouri Memorial Association, whose passion for the project was inspiring and a testament to the historic significance of the Mighty Mo and the importance of bringing her history to life.”
The Battleship Missouri Memorial, located a ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, completes a historical visitor experience 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.
Following service that spanned five decades and three wars—from World War II to the Korean conflict to the Liberation of Kuwait--“Mighty Mo” was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that operates the battleship as a historic attraction and memorial. The association oversees her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants and the generosity of donors.
More information on the museum and memorial: www.ussmissouri.org.