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How Many years was the USS Missouri in the Navy?

While researching the Challenger yesterday I came across the launch date of the USS Missouri (January 29, 1944) and some of it's accomplishments and figured this was the great Daily Doodle. Of course at this point I'm rolling my eyes at the complexity of this doodle, but hey, it's making me a better artist, right?

Construction of the USS Missouri, an Iowa-class Battleship, started in 1941, she was launched January 29, 1944 and officially commissioned by the Navy on June 11, 1944. The USS Missouri (BB-63), Nicknamed "Mighty Mo", saw just over 50 years with the Navy. She steamed to Iwo Jima to support invasion landings and was a participant in the bombardment of Okinawa. The ship is probably best known as the location where high-ranking military officials of all the Allied Powers, came aboard to meet Japanese representatives for a 23-minute surrender ceremony on September 2,1945. The ceremony was broadcast around the world and the ship became the symbolic end of WWII.

That being said, she was also a highly decorated battleship, earning 8 battle stars (three during WWII and five during the Korean War). The USS Missouri was also the first battleship to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraqi targets at the commencement of Operation Desert Storm.

The USS Missouri was a huge surface vessel. She maintained a running length of 887.2 feet with a beam (width) of 108.2 feet. Her draught (height) was listed at 28.9 feet. The typical World War 2 crew complement consisted of 2,700 personnel made up of officers and sailors of the United States Navy and United States Marines. In 1984, this complement was reduced to 1,851 personnel. She displaced at 45,000 Standard tons but could balloon up to 58,000 tons on a full maximum sea load.

On March 31, 1992, the USS Missouri was decommissioned and remained part of the reserve fleet until January 12, 1995, when she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. The USS Missouri was donated as a museum and memorial ship on the 4th of May 1998, and still rests near the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

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