Saturday, June 21, 2008

11 WEEKS

21 JUN: We went to visit Mighty MO! This is an amazing piece of history! We were thrilled to be able to walk on board this ship. I will share a bit of history! (just because I think it is very interesting!!) We are so lucky to be able to have this here in our back yard!!
To enlarge the Navy’s fleet by 60 ships, money was allotted to build four fast Iowa Class Battleships of which the Missouri, (BB-63) was one. Affectionately Nicknamed the “Mighty Mo.” It would be the last battleship ever built by the United States. Nearly 11 months before Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Missouri’s keel was laid at the New York Navy Yard on January 6, 1941 and completed 3 years later. On January 29, 1944, more than 20,000 spectators watched as she was christened by Miss Margaret Truman, the 19 year old daughter of then United States Senator Harry S. Truman from Missouri. Senator Truman, when delivering his opening remarks at the Christening Ceremony, said, “The USS Missouri will show … the world her innate seaworthiness, her valiant fighting spirit and the invincible power of the United States Navy.” The Missouri joined the Pacific Fleet in January 1945. This invasion began on February 19, 1945. The Missouri was assigned the task of safeguarding US aircraft carriers by providing them with anti-aircraft protection. She also aided in refueling the nearby destroyers. The Mighty Mo was 65 miles from Iwo Jima when the attack began. With her 5 inch guns blazing, Mo shot down her first Japanese plane. The Missouri heavily bombarded the southeastern end of Iwo Jima. The battle of Iwo Jima was one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The U.S. Forces lost over 6,000 men and approximately 19,000 were wounded in action. The Japanese lost nearly 21,000 of their troops.
On March 24, 1945 the invasion of Okinawa began. The Missouri, in the company of two other Iowa Class battleships, the New Jersey and Wisconsin, opened fire on the island, offering support to the 60,000
American troops that had landed there. On that first day she fired 180 rounds from her 16 inch guns, striking buildings, army barracks, observation posts and an ammunition dump.
On August 5, 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan and on August 9, Nagasaki. On August 15, 1945, three years, eight months and seven days from that fateful day at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese surrendered and the war in the Pacific was over. The Instrument of Surrender was signed on September 2, 1945 on the 01 deck level of the Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay, near the city of Yokohama, Japan. Japan’s delegation consisted of 11 men who had traveled in secrecy from Tokyo. General Douglas MacArthur signed in his capacity as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Joining him as signatory was Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz along with representatives of China, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, France, Netherlands and New Zealand. The Japanese Foreign Minister, Mamoru Shigemitsu, signed on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, signed on behalf of the Japanese Armed Forces. Hundreds of American sailors lined every inch of the Missouri when General MacArthur delivered an eloquent speech calling for “freedom, tolerance and justice.”
DECOMMISSIONED
The Missouri was moved to the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Bremerton, Washington on February 26, 1955. During her years of retirement, visitors could visit the Surrender Deck of the Mighty Mo. The Missouri also enjoyed a short but successful career portraying numerous warships in movies such as MacArthur, The Winds of
War, and War and Remembrance.
RECOMMISSIONED
In early 1984, the Missouri and her three sister battleships were recalled from retirement to serve the nation once more. On May 6, 1986 she had her formal re-commissioning ceremony on May 10 and her return
to active duty. During the summer of 1990, Iraq invaded the tiny country of Kuwait. Under General Norman Schwarzkopf’s command, the U.S. and Allied military assembled thousands of vessels, aircraft, tanks and equipment for immediate duty. At 1:40 a.m. on January 17, the Missouri launches the first of 28 Tomahawk missiles toward Baghdad.
FINAL JOURNEY HOME
After the Gulf War, the Missouri spent four years from 1992 to 1995 at the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Bremerton, Washington before she was moved to another Bremerton pier and opened to the public for visitation. Then following an intense competition from four cities to have the Missouri permanently berthed at one of these locations, Secretary of Navy John Dalton, on August 21, 1996, selected the USS Missouri Memorial Association to receive the Missouri at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This announcement was made 51 years from September 2, 1945, the date Japan ended World War II at the surrender ceremony held aboard the Missouri. The Missouri left Bremerton on May 23, 1998 and went on a 300 mile trip to Astoria, Oregon. The Missouri left Astoria for Pearl Harbor and ended in Pearl Harbor on June 22, 1998.


Our Babies at 11 WKS:
*Nearly all structures and organs are formed and beginning to function.
*Fingers and toes have separated.
*Hair and nails begin to grow.
*The genitals begin to take on the proper gender characteristics. It will be just a few more weeks before we know if we have boys, girls or a combo of both!!
*Amniotic fluid begins to accumulate as the kidneys begin to function. This fluid, consisting primarily of water, helps provide a cushion for your baby while she's nestled within your womb.
*The muscles in the intestinal walls begin to practice contractions that digest food.
Our babies are about 1.61 inches (4.1 cm) long and weighs 0.25 ounce (7gm).

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