Martin & MacArthur turns teak from Mighty Mo into mementos

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 4:42 PM HST|Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 4:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At the Martin & MacArthur factory, craftsmen create keepsakes out of hallowed wood from the USS Missouri.

They are handling history.

“This is the actual teak wood that Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz walked on, that the signing of the surrender with the Japanese actually occurred on,” Martin & MacArthur CEO Michael Tam said.

The teak used to cover the deck of the battleship until it was replaced during restoration. The Battleship Missouri Memorial Association asked Martin & MacArthur to breathe new life into the wood.

“We’ve been wrestling with a way to use this teak to further our mission to restore the battleship and to share her story and place in history,” association CEO Mike Carr said.

The worn wooden planks are being fashioned into picture frames, music boxes, pens, coasters and other items. Eventually, they’ll be made into larger products.

Martin & MacArthur’s woodworkers are humbled to be working on the project.

“Now you’re able to present it into something that somebody can actually hold and touch and take home with them. It’s really cool to be able to do that,” Chuck Dominguez said.

“I was honored to be chosen as one of the craftsmen to do some of this,” Dale Dennison said.

The company is best known for its work with koa. The teak project is its first using reclaimed wood.

“This is such a wonderful experience to bring the teak from the USS Missouri to life,” Tam said.

The Mighty Mo mementos are available through online orders at, and in its Ala Moana store. They will also be sold at Battleship Missouri gift shop on Ford Island.

“The quality of the craftsmanship is absolutely exquisite,” Carr said.

A portion of each sale will go back to the Battleship Missouri Memorial and to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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