'Mighty Mo' back in action - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

'Mighty Mo' back in action

Ron Chavez Ron Chavez
Greg Thomas Greg Thomas

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Four wars, a formal surrender ceremony and generations of men served onboard.

The USS Missouri not only made history on Saturday, she's a part of it and after months of repairs costing millions of dollars, tourists from around the world are once again, seeing what it was like to be onboard the world's most powerful battleship.

The Missouri's return from dry docking was completed on time and within budget. It comes just in time to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II this summer.

It's an $18-million makeover that took three months.

"No big surprises, I was real pleased with the overall material condition of the ship, the underwater hull was in great shape, a few surprises, but for the most part, everything we planned was executed," USS Missouri chief engineer Ron Chavez said.

The extensive maintenance included a refurbished hull, a fresh coat of paint and new technologies to protect the ship from corrosion for decades to come.

A group of Big Island students got to experience the ship firsthand, living inside of it for a couple of nights.

"You get to bunk in a bunk bed and the bathrooms are kind of okay, but the water is freezing," Student Kayla Yamada said.

Brooks Outland lived in the ship as well. But that was around six decades ago while fighting in World War II. That's not his only tie to this historic battleship. He also married his wife on board and now they're both volunteers.

"The fresh coat of haze gray paint is so noticeably excellent," Outland said.

Hundreds of people hopped on board to be apart of history on Saturday, knowing that it's likely there won't be another dry docking of a U.S. battleship in Hawaii during our lifetime.

"The USS Missouri, the unconditional surrender of Japan happened on its decks in Tokyo Bay," Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard commander, captain Greg Thomas said.

The re-opening ceremony also honored the many volunteers who helped with the dry docking project.

"She's beautiful, she's magnificent, but she's missing all the armament that I was accustomed to," Outland said.

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