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The USS Missouri (BB-63) is an Iowa-class battleship constructed in the Brooklyn New York Navy Yard in the midst of World War II, and was commissioned June 11, 1944. This battleship was the third U.S. Navy Ship to bear the Missouri name. The design characteristics as-built include: displacement 45,000; length 887’3”; beam 108’2”; draft 28’11”; speed 33 knots; complement 1,921; armament nine 16inch, twenty 5-inch, eighty 40 millimeter, forty-nine 20 millimeter; class Iowa. The USS Missouri played an important role in World War II when on September 2, 1945, representatives of the Allied and Axis powers met in Tokyo Bay to end the Second World War. After the signing of the peace treaty, the battleship was in service through the Korean War as well as Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf. Her last mission was on December 7, 1991, returning to the historic waters of Pearl Harbor for a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the World War II attack on the Hawaiian Islands. She was decommissioned for the final time on March 31, 1992, the last active battleship in the world. Though the Missouri’s active naval service is complete, her legacy lives on. After years of dedicated effort, she returned to service as a floating museum; the centerpiece of the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor which opened on January 29, 1999. Between use in naval service and tours aboard the floating memorial, some of the ships ladders along tour routes were beginning to suffer from deterioration, making some walking areas unsafe for pedestrians. To improve safety in these areas, SlipNOT® stair tread coverings were donated to restore the existing ships ladders, which provided a permanent slip resistant surface for maximum safety.
As a navy veteran, SlipNOT®’s founder, William Molnar, felt it was important to make a contribution to the USS Missouri, aptly nicknamed “Mighty Mo”. In order to refurbish the port and starboard ships ladders along the tour routes, stainless steel on aluminum plates were chosen. The plates were custom fabricated to match the existing steps, which was the most effective solution for this project. Aluminum substrate was selected due to its lightweight corrosion resistant properties, while the stainless steel SlipNOT® coating provides a durable longwearing surface. Instead of replacing the existing stair treads, which would require some down time and additional expense for installation, it was determined that retrofitting SlipNOT® covers directly over the existing treads was the best solution. Each aluminum tread was formed with two 1-1/4” legs and four 5/16” countersunk holes and coated with the SlipNOT® Grade 2 stainless steel mill finish.
The USS Missouri now has durable custom treads on both the starboard and port side ships ladders, designed to meet their needs and provide safe tours to the public. Visitors explore Mighty Mo’s decks freely, eager to get a glimpse of her historic past and lasting memory. Many of the treads are exposed to exterior conditions and some lead to the upper decks and are closed for restricted access on windy days for additional pedestrian safety. The team who coordinated with SlipNOT® at the USS Missouri Memorial Association is very pleased with the outcome of the donated treads and are currently serving the pedestrian traffic daily on their tour routes. The Battleship Missouri is located on historic Ford Island, within Naval Station Pearl Harbor. From June through August it is open daily 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. for tours, and September through May it is open daily from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., with the exception of being closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. If you are interested in visiting the museum please visit www.ussmissouri.com for more details.