Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Crew's Room

The newly renovated Crew’s Room was opened late last year. The Crew’s Room serves as a dedication to all former crewmembers of the USS Missouri and is open to all guests of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. It is a reflection of the crewmembers’ experiences and showcases the keepsakes they saved in remembrance of their time aboard.

With an emphasis on preservation, the exhibit’s focus is as seen from the perspectives and personal experiences of those who constructed and served aboard the battleship from World War II through Operation Desert Storm.
The Crew's Room utilizes historic images, video and personal “keepsakes” to illustrate and enliven the story of the world’s last active-service battleship as seen through the eyes and remembered by the three generations of Americans who worked and lived aboard.

It is designed to offer visitors a clearer understanding and personal appreciation for the experience of life at sea, far from home, in times of war and peace. By the use of and focus on a careful selection of personal keepsakes donated by former crewmembers, visitors gain their own personal insight into the nature and significance of personal experience and remembrance, and a more intimate and meaningful appreciation of history.

Here are a few examples of artifacts found in the our Crew’s Room.

Program booklet for the Commissioning ceremony of USS Missouri in New York kept by S1c Stephen Pahulick, Commissioning Plankowner who served in 4th Division, Gunnery Department.

“Buster” Campbell, ship’s baker, wrote to his wife about the surrender ceremony that he watched, with camera in hand, from his vantage point in the starboard rangefinder window of turret 2 overlooking the surrender table. 

    The “souvenir of the signing of the surrender…” was provided to Pearl Harbor shipyard workers during Missouri’s stop in Hawaii enroute home from Tokyo Bay. The small piece of teak is from the deck where the surrender was signed.

Ensign John C. Barron of 2nd Division, kept this and other radio communications as vivid reminders of his war-time service abroad Missouri. Note: this original radiogram includes the abbreviated term for “Japanese” that was used in communications during the war-time propaganda, and was increasingly used in language as a racial slur. It is included here as historical reference only.

WT1c Ernest “Ernie” Thompson of B Division, found time in the midst of war to file down a stainless steel nut into this ring, a keepsake he kept as a reminder of his service aboard Missouri during World War II.

MM3 Patrick Allen, a member of M Division, spent most of his waking hours in #2 Engine Room. This letter home gives a taste of his life at sea aboard Missouri in the midst of Operation Desert Storm.

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