Built by Newport News Shipbuilding at Newport News, Virginia. Laid down April 5, 1915. Launched on January 25, 1917. Commissioned December 18, 1917 with Captain J. L. Jayne in command.
On December 9, 1941 Mississippi departed Iceland and arrived at San Francisco on January 22, 1942 and spent the next seven months training and escorting convoys along the Western United States. On December 6, 1942, after participating in exercises off Hawaii, she steamed with troop transports to Fiji then returning to Pearl Harbor on March 2, 1943.
On May 10, 1943 departed Pearl Harbor to the Aleutian Islands, and on July 22 bombarded Kiska. Afterwards, steamed to San Francisco for overhaul then to San Pedro on October 19, 193 to take part in the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. On November 20, 1943 while bombarding Makin, the battleship suffered a turret explosion, al killing 43 men.
On January 31, 1944 she participated in the Marshall Islands campaign, shelling Kwajalein and bombarded Taroa on February 20, 1944 and struck Wotje February 21, 1944. On 15 March she pounded Kavieng, New Ireland. Due for an overhaul, she spent the summer months at Puget Sound. Afterwards Mississippi supported landings on Peleliu on September 12, 1944 providing a week of continuous operations then departed for Manus and remained there until October 12, 1944.
Mississippi joined the Task Force bound for Leyte shelling the eastern coast on October 19, 1944 in support of the landing. On the night of October 24, 1944, as part of Admiral Jesse Oldendorf's battleline, she participated in the Battle of Surigao Strait. Afterwards, Mississippi continued to support the operations at Leyte Gulf until November 16, 1944, when she departed for Manus then to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, on December 28, 1944, to prepare for the landings on Luzon.
Mississippi joined the Task Force bound for Luzon and on January 6, 1945 she began bombardment of targets along Lingayen Gulf. Hit by a kamikaze near her waterline, she supported the invasion forces until February 10, 1944 then returned to Pearl Harbor for repairs.
Sailed to Nakagusuku Wan, Okinawa, arriving 6 May to support the American landings. Her guns leveled the defenses at Shuri Castle, which had stalled the entire offensive. On 5 June, another kamikaze crashed into her starboard side, but the fighting ship continued to support the troops at Okinawa until 16 June.
After the announced surrender of Japan, Mississippi steamed to Sagami Wan, Honshu, arriving 27 August as part of the support occupation force. She anchored in Tokyo Bay, witnessed the signing of the surrender documents, and steamed for home on 6 September.
She arrived 27 November at Norfolk, where she underwent conversion to AG-128, on 15 February 1946. She helped launch the Navy into the age of the guided-missile warship when she successfully test fired the Terrier missile on 28 January 1953 off Cape Cod. She also assisted in the final evaluation of the Petrel missile, a radar-homing weapon, in February 1956. Mississippi was decommissioned at Norfolk 17 September 1956, and was sold for scrapping to the Bethlehem Steel Company on 28 November.
Battleship USS Missouri
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August 4, 2020