Volunteering At The Battleship Missouri Memorial | Amazing History Behind The Scenes

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Volunteering At The Battleship Missouri Memorial | Amazing History Behind The Scenes

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As I continued my quest to discover unique activities on O’ahu, I eagerly anticipated a day of volunteering at the Battleship Missouri Memorial. Pearl Harbor is widely regarded as a ‘must-visit’ destination during any trip to Hawaii. So, if you’re keen to roll up your sleeves and contribute to the preservation of a historical monument, continue reading to learn about my experience.

I have written a guide on visiting Pearl Harbor as a visitor but this was my first time volunteering at the USS Missouri.

Volunteering At The Battleship Missouri Memorial – General Information

Volunteers at the Battleship Missouri Memorial can serve in various capacities, including as tour guides, helping in the ship’s store, assisting in the archives, and working on the preservation and restoration of the ship. Volunteers may also help in administrative roles, special events, and educational programs.

A View you get when volunteering at the Battleship Missouri Memorial

If you are only going to be available for a day (and you want to see unique parts of the ship) you should consider the variety of preservation tasks available. The USS Missouri requires constant maintenance and preservation to remain in a condition suitable for visitors. Volunteers play a vital role in these efforts, helping with tasks such as painting, cleaning, and restoring various parts of the ship.

Minimum age is 13 when accompanied with an adult or 16 and older alone. You must wear covered shoes, no shorts, and no tank tops. Make sure to bring sunscreen and a water bottle, I would also recommend sunglasses and/or a hat since the glare can be strong off the ocean.

How To Reserve A Volunteer Slot

The first thing you want to do is reach out and discuss directly with the staff the date you are looking to volunteer on and what type of volunteer work you want to do on the ship.

Volunteers Department: (808) 455-1600 ext. 224 or ext. 249

Email: volunteers@ussmissouri.org

You can visit their volunteer information page for more up to date information along with additional details.

How To Get To The Volunteer Site

Once you get to the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center (additional info on getting here) you will walk through the security check point and head towards your right.

You will see signage along the path saying “shuttle” for the USS Missouri and Pacific Aviation Museum, follow them till your arrive at the designated waiting area. There are staff on hand and several benches in this covered area. Depending on when you arrive it may be empty, I was there around 8:30am and it was very quiet, or it may be very busy.

The shuttle is quite large, a full-size tour bus actually, and will take you on the 5-minute trip to the USS Missouri. Once there head in and then to the right, most will be heading left at this point but the volunteer tent is to the right.

What You Can Expect Volunteering At The USS Missouri

After checking in and signing various forms you will be informed about various activities for the day and asked which you prefer to work on. During my visit they were sanding the new teak deck and taking down banners from a previous event, I volunteered to help with the teak deck replacement project.

Volunteering At The Battleship Missouri Memorial | Amazing History Behind The Scenes

I was then given a pair of gloves, ear protection, eye protection, a mask, and a foam pad for protecting my knees when kneeling (what? lol).

Volunteering At The Battleship Missouri Memorial | Amazing History Behind The Scenes

I was then escorted up the ramp to the work site and introduced to the crew for the day. 2 members of the crew were full-time staff members and one other person was volunteering while visiting from Australia, very cool.

After a quick discussion about the job at hand, we got down (literally) to business and started sanding the new teak deck pieces. I worked for a couple of hours and then took a break back at the main tent for water, I did not bring a water bottle which was a major rookie mistake so be sure to bring yours. I then finished up the section I was working on and wrapped up a half day of work.

Volunteering At The Battleship Missouri Memorial | Amazing History Behind The Scenes

From there the volunteer coordinator put me on a ship tour that was just getting started, no charge after volunteering. After the tour, I met back up with the volunteer coordinator and we went down into the belly of the ship. We went all over, I was lost in 2 minutes and saw dozens of unique rooms and spaces on the ship.

We then headed back to the main tent for ice cream and finished up a great day of volunteering.

Volunteering At The Battleship Missouri Memorial | Amazing History Behind The Scenes

Unique Aspects Of This Volunteer Program

The most unique aspect of this program without a doubt is being able to preserve an important piece of history. There are dozens of stories attached to the USS Missouri and making sure it remains in “ship shape” for generations to come is an important job. You will feel great after a day of volunteering here.

You will also get an opportunity to see areas of the ship that others may not or are only reserved for VIP guests and programs. Do you know those ropes that block off areas? yep, you get to open some of those and see the other side.

Volunteering At The Battleship Missouri Memorial | Amazing History Behind The Scenes

In addition, volunteers get a special pin which is a nice gift in itself but also gets you 20% off at the gift shop, nice! Get all your Christmas and Birthday gifts for the history buffs in your life before heading out.

Volunteering At The Battleship Missouri Memorial | Amazing History Behind The Scenes

Final Thoughts

I have found volunteering fills a space within me that is difficult to explain. Volunteering at the USS Missouri not only hits the mark but provides such a unique experience that I cannot recommend it enough. A great staff, a historic ship, and a beautiful place all come together to provide an opportunity that I hope many will take advantage of.

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