In June 1944, the USS Missouri was commissioned into the United States Navy, near the conclusion of World War II. The battleship was part of other conflicts such as Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, before its scheduled decommissioning in 1992. This was significant because it was the last battleship commissioned before it was replaced by modern destroyers.
In December of 1991, fifty years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Missouri returned to Oahu Naval Base for the 50th-anniversary commemoration. Four months later, the crew was given their final instructions on March 31, 1992. The list of tasks was short, and included a letter from the ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain A. Lee Kaiss, who praised the crew and their time together.
The ceremony attracted special guests such as Command Master Chief Timothy Hofman, Chaplain Lieutenant John Grenham, and Missouri State Representative Ike Skelton. After Grenham gave a speech, Kaiss issued the final order, directing the Executive Officer Captain Ken Jordan to “haul down the colors.” All those attending the ceremony received a commemorative program, which listed the officers, chief petty officers, and crew who were the last to serve aboard the battleship.