Harry S. Truman served as the 33rd President of the United States from 1945 to 1953. Prior to his presidency, he was the United States Senator for his home state, Missouri. He played an important role in the USS Missouri’s journey. In honor of Presidents Day, we are going to share some fun facts to help you get to know the Mighty Mo. Here you will discover why President Truman was such a huge supporter of the USS Missouri and his connection to this historic ship.
Fun Fact 1:
President Truman’s daughter, Margaret Truman, served as the USS Missouri’s sponsor. She christened the ship during the launching ceremony at the New York Navy Yard on January 29, 1944.
Fun Fact 2:
The USS Missouri was chosen as the site of the Surrender Ceremony ending World War II by President Truman. He announced Japan’s acceptance of unconditional surrender on August 14, 1945.
Fun Fact 3:
President Truman came aboard the USS Missouri during the Navy Day celebrations in New York on October 27, 1945. He along with the Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet, ADM Jonas H. Ingram, and his Chief of Staff, FADM William D. Leahy, examined the commemorative plaque that marked the spot where the Japanese signed the instrument of surrender on the deck of the Missouri.
He also signed a guest log while being seated at the same table that was used for the signing of the surrender documents in Tokyo Bay. In his address during the Navy Day celebrations, Truman spoke these words, “control of our sea approaches and of the skies above them is still the key to our freedom and to our ability to help enforce the peace of the world."
Fun Fact 4:
The Missouri’s chow line was renamed the Truman Line in honor of President Truman. In 1947, the Missouri crew welcomed President Truman and his family aboard the Mighty Mo during a 12-day return cruise to Norfolk, Virginia, following a conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Truman Family made it a point to have meals with the officers and crew during the cruise, endearing
to the entire crew.
Fun Fact 5:
By 1949, three of the four Iowa Class battleships had been decommissioned. However, President Truman ordered for the Missouri to remain in service because of his fondness for the ship. Shortly after, she served in the Korean War.
Photos by: NavSource Online, USS Missouri Memorial Association collections and Wikipedia.