National Geographic : 1945 Mar
Battleship Missouri Comes of Age I © National (ecogral:hic Society Ko dahlroi e. .,. . Navy Ollicial U. S. S . Missouri in Battle Dress Gets Under Way to Meet the Japs Like a lady's flat hat, a gun tub perches saucily on her high-set bow. Fourth of the Navy's biggest, newest battleships of the Iowa class, she bristles with antiaircraft and 16-inch guns. When a "battle wagon" lets go at enemy planes, she becomes a mammoth Fourth of July "flowerpot," spouting flames, tracers, shells, and smoke with a terrifying roar. With top speed of 30 knots, she can cruise with carriers, giving antiaircraft and surface protection. Missouri's upswept prow throws off spray and waves, making gunnery efficient even in rough head seas. Rarely, she buries her bow in a wave, flooding forward "bathtubs," as gunners call splinter shields.