USS Missouri (BB-63) ("Mighty Mo" or "Big Mo") is a United States Navy battleship, and was the third ship of the Navy to be named in honor of the state of Missouri.
World War II and later service
Missouri was the final battleship built by the United States, and among the Iowa-class battleships is notable for being the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan at the end of World War II. If Japan was to be invaded, it might have been a key ship in the battle. However, U.S. President Harry Truman ordered U.S. General Douglas MacArthur to accept Japan's surrender after the two atomic bombs were dropped.
During her career, Missouri saw action in World War II during the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa, and shelled the Japanese home islands of Hokkaidō and Honshū. After World War II, she returned to the United States before being called up and dispatched to fight in the Korean War, where the heavy fire support of her 16-inch guns proved invaluable to Marines ashore. Upon her return to the United States, she was decommissioned in 1955 into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "Mothball Fleet." She was reactivated and modernized in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and participated in the Gulf War in 1991.
Missouri was decommissioned a second time on March 31, 1992, having received a total of eleven battle stars for service in World War II, Korea, and the Persian Gulf. She was maintained on the Naval Vessel Register until January 1995, when her name was struck. In 1998, she was donated to the Missouri Memorial Association, and was a museum ship at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for sometime.
In 2014, the USS Missouri was re-commissioned under Mei Ling's command. First used as a naval training vessel, the U.S. battleship was brought out of retirement. When Liquid Ocelot took control of the Sons of the Patriots system, the Missouri was the only ship in the entire U.S. Navy that was unaffected, having never been implemented with the system due to its age and its time as a museum. However, the ship had been stripped of most of its electronic equipment. It arrived in time to save Solid Snake from being crushed by the warship Outer Haven at Shadow Moses Island (with Liquid referring to it as a "worthless fossil" in comparison), before it extracted him and a wounded Raiden.
While the Missouri continued to pursue Outer Haven across the Bering Sea, Mei Ling and Otacon briefed Snake, members of Rat Patrol Team 01, and several U.S. soldiers, on Haven's defenses. Meanwhile, Raiden was treated for his injuries, and weapon launderer Drebin 893 set up shop on board the vessel, providing every soldier with "naked guns" and the Missouri with a number of catapults. Because of the ship's lack of electronic equipment, eyevisuals were needed to confirm Haven's surfacing.
When the Missouri caught up with Haven, the catapults launched Snake, Meryl Silverburgh, and Akiba onto the deck of the enemy ship. A short time later, Raiden also boarded Haven in secret. While the strike team carried out their infiltration, the soldiers back on board the Missouri fought off attacking Haven Troopers and Dwarf Gekko. Now lacking support from SOP, some of the soldiers were hesitant to fight, though other stood their ground. The Missouri also used its cannons to destroy at least two of the many unmanned Metal Gear RAY units that had been deployed. Mei Ling, Otacon, and a naval lieutenant remained on the bridge amidst the chaos. Just as a RAY unit prepared to attack the bridge, the chaos outside ended in the Missouri's favor, when a computer worm destroyed Haven's onboard AI, disabling the SOP system, along with the Patriots' entire AI network.
Behind the scenes
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the crew of the Missouri are shown standing at the windows of the navigation bridge. In combat, bridge crew are supposed to be in the armored bridge; this is the bunker-like structure above and aft of the navigation bridge.
During the final fight between Solid Snake and Liquid Ocelot, the Missouri can almost consistently be seen in the background.
In a way, the Missouri can be seen as an allegory for Snake himself. The 71-year old battleship, a veteran of many past wars, has been considered obsolete for decades but yet is the only ship left in the U.S. Navy that can still fight against Liquid due to her lack of modern electronics. Her 16-inch (40.7cm) main guns were rendered obsolescent by antiship cruise missiles decades ago. Despite overwhelming odds, the Missouri manages to outlast Outer Haven. Like the Missouri, Snake has grown old (albeit sooner than normal) after fighting in countless conflicts. The vast battlefield endurance and experience he had accumulated even before the implementation of modern SOP nanomachines means that he is less affected by the disruption of the system and is still able to carry on the fight. His Springfield M1911 Operator altogether never had ID lock chips installed and can thus be used by him without the service of gun launderers. Despite his age, the wounds he has received, and the debilitating (though not quite crippling) disruption of his last-gen nanomachines, he overcomes the BB Corps, hundreds of enhanced FROG troops, several Gekko, and finally a flesh-searing microwave array to reach the GW mainframe.
Although never specified in-game, it is likely that the soldiers seen on board the battleship were U.S. Marines. They are identical in appearance to the U.S. troops seen at the Volta, during Act 3, who are referred to as a "joint Army-Marines strike team" by Meryl. In real life, the Missouri had a detachment of approximately 40 Marines who were assigned duty with the ship. Of particular note is that this Marine detachment was responsible for manning one of the 5" (12.7cm)/38 caliber gun mounts on the battleship during combat operations.
The Missouri also makes an appearance in Metal Gear Online as one of Mei Ling's special abilities as a "playable" character. She can order the Missouri to commence an artillery strike on a designated area of the map.
The Missouri later made an appearance on the Versus Battle section of the series official site, where it fought against Outer Haven.
Big Guns, Drebin Catapults, & Old Tech
Older than Dirt
A decommissioned Museum piece, Big Mo took the fight to Outer Haven via Patriot-proof old electronics, Drebin arms, & Mei Ling’s courage
METAL GEAR SOLID: THE LEGACY COLLECTION"
- ―USS Missouri (Big Mo) data in Versus Battle
- USS Missouri (BB-63) on Wikipedia