USS Missouri

Mighty Mo opens turret No. 1 for public view

Visitors have to ask to be taken up inside gun turret No. 1, which requires a low stoop and climb up into the uppermost chamber because the entry is too difficult for some. Making it a part of the already 90-minute –Explorer’s Tour” would make a lengthy guided tour even longer, officials said.

Marc David Weintraub, a tour guide on the Missouri, said people are awestruck by the big guns. They are even more awestruck when they climb inside the upper turret room and realize there were nearly 30 men in that room alone. All worked as part of a team to fire the guns every 30 seconds.

–Everybody has basically the same reaction — ‘We didn’t know so much went into doing this,'” Weintraub said.

USS Missouri (BB-63) fires a six-gun salvo from her forward turrets, during shakedown gunnery exercises, August 1944. Six 16-inch projectiles are visible in the air at the extreme right. Photographed by Arthur Stratham.

As usual, click for a better look. If you look carefully, you can see the six 16-inch projectiles near the right edge of the photo.


  1. I hope those Rail Guns the Navy is perfecting works out. If for no other reason that to see another Battle Ship roam again. A nuclear powered BBX packing massive packs of rali guns ranging 200+ miles inland. Unstopable pure Intimidation.

  2. Instead of the Mighty Mo’, we have these wimpy ass tubs: Scrap Costly New Navy Ship and Build More Submarines Commentary by former Rep. Rob Simmons The Pentagon last week announced that the Navy had issued a 90-day stop work order on a new class of surface ships because of cost overruns, further delaying delivery of a troubled platform with a questionable future. The Navy envisioned the Littoral Combat Ship, or LCS, as a small, fastboat operating primarily in the oceans’ shallow-water coastlines; but it is increasingly doubtful that its value will equal its cost to the budget and our sailors. The Defense Department and Congress should take the three-month hiatus to re-examine whether it makes sense at all to continue this program given the LCS program’s failures and the Navy’s real needs. For the following reasons, I believe the money would be better spent for submarine design and production. The Navy initially sold the Littoral Combat Ship with a pitch that it would provide an inexpensive but effective tool along ocean coastlines or the ‘littorals.’ Banking on ambitious but unproven technologies and concepts, the Navy bet LCS could replace many fast-attack submarines and destroyers at a great savings to the sea service. In 2006, one year after defense budget cutbacks were reversed, the Navy had an opportunity to increase submarine production and help fix a growing capabilities gap in the fleet. At the time, the U.S. Submarine Force – despite working overtime – could meet only about half of its high-priority missions due to insufficient numbers; the percentage is now worse. The Navy opted instead to accelerate the LCS program. It did this despite serious questions about the ship’s final price tag and its ability to perform as advertised once built. Ironically, the Virginia-class submarine is the only class of ship currently going down in cost. It is also ironic that the submarine is the Navy’s weapon of choice in the war on terror because of its stealth and proven capabilities. Unfortunately, the latest cost overruns for LCS will add to the shipbuilding deficit, meaning fewer overall ships in the fleet during a time of great uncertainty. Currently China is outstripping U.S. submarine construction by at least five-to-one, and the terrorism threat will be with us for a long time into the future. When I served as Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Navy Subcommittee, I did not see the value of LCS and I said so. Last year I opposed bailout funding for the program when it became clear that the LCS’ main anti-submarine weapon system would not work – even though LCS was supposed to be a submarine hunter. I also became convinced that the ships lacked adequate defensive systems for our sailors. LCS is largely defenseless against cruise missiles, and its aluminum skin can be pierced by large-caliber projectiles. A direct shot from a missile or a torpedo could sink the ship in just minutes. The proliferation of anti-ship weapons means that only subsurface vessels can navigate stealthily and safely near enemy shorelines in East Asia or the Persian Gulf. Our nation needs more ships, but the kind that can meet the threat effectively, without unnecessarily endangering our sailors. Submarines have the stealth, persistence on target and protective elements we need. The Navy needs to stop funding the LCS, and apply those dollars to funding two Virginia-class submarines per year. Let’s scrap the ‘Little Costly Ship’ and build the ships we really need – submarines.