This is the Tri-ang Minic Ship model of the Japanese battleship IJNS Yamato, lead ship of a class of two, which with her sister ship IJNS Musashi were the largest battleships ever built at 65,000 tons. The 18.1" guns of these ships were the largest guns ever put to sea and their 16" armour protection was also unsurpassed in naval construction.
After commissioning in late 1941 Yamato served as flagship of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto commander in Chief of the Combined Fleet during 1942 participating in operations at Midway, Truk and Guadalcanal. After a period in dry-dock for maintenance Yamato returned to Truk in mid 1943 as part of a mobile force defending Japan's Central Pacific bases and took part in operations in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.
In December 1943 Yamato suffered severe damage when torpedoed by USS Skate (SS-305) while entering Truk Atoll and was under repair until April 1944. During 1944 she took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October. In the course of the latter action Yamato sank the aircraft carrier USS Gambier Bay, two destroyers and a destroyer escort off the island of Samar after having been attacked several times by US Navy aircraft.
She suffered relatively minor damage in the Battle of Leyte Gulf but with Allied success in the Pacific campaign was withdrawn to the Japanese home islands in November 1944 and was based in Japan during the winter of 1944-45. Yamato suffered further light damage in March 1945 when attacked by US Navy carrier aircraft during raids on the Japanese home islands.
In April 1945 Yamato was despatched to defend Okinawa as part of the "Ten-Go" Operation but on 7th April 1945, while still some 200 miles north of Okinawa, Yamato was attacked by a massive force of US Navy carrier aircraft. She capsized, exploded and sank after being hit by more than ten bombs and twelve torpedoes during the course of the battle . More than three quarters of her 2500 + crew perished, only 269 survived.
The Yamato's wreck was located and examined in 1985 south west of Kyuscho at a depth of over 1000 feet.
This is the Tri-ang Minic Ships model of the USS Missouri, one of the US Navy's four ship "Iowa" class of battleships ordered in 1940, and the last battleship completed by the United States.
USS Missouri had a long and varied career spanning fifty four years from her commissioning to her donation as a museum at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii.
She participated in a number of operations in the Pacific Theatre during the Second World War including the provision of naval gunfire support for the Iwo Jima and Okinawa landings and the bombardment of Kyushu, Hokkaido, and Honshu. On 2nd September 1945 the formal Japanese surrender was accepted by General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander, on the afterdeck of the USS Missouri.
By 1950 USS Missouri was the only US battleship still in commission. In September 1950 she joined the United Nations Forces in the Korean War carrying out shore bombardments at Samchok, Chonjin, Tanchon, Wonsan, Inchon and finally Hungnam in support of the evacuation of the last UN troops on 24th December 1950. She remained on station in the Korean Theatre until March 1951 when she was relieved and returned to the US Atlantic Fleet.
USS Missouri returned to duty in the Korean Theatre in October 1952 fulfilling naval gunfire support and bombardment duties against targets at Chonjin, Chaho, Wonsan, Hamhung, Hungnam, Tanchon and Sonjin until 2nd January 1953. She resumed "Cobra" patrols along the east coast of Korea in February 1953 making repeated strikes against Tanchon, Hungnam, Kojo and Wonsan conducting her last gunfire support mission on 25th March 1953 against Kojo.
After an overhaul in late 1953 USS Missouri joined the Atlantic Fleet where she served until decommissioned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Bremerton on 26th February 1955. She remained in reserve for thirty one years until 10th May 1986 when she was recommissioned at San Francisco after undergoing a modernisation program that included the installation of cruise missiles.
In January 1991 USS Missouri was deployed to the Persian Gulf and on 17th January 1991 fired Tomahawk cruise missiles at targets in Iraq marking the start of the Allied offensive in the Gulf War. In February 1991 USS Missouri fired her guns in anger again, for the first time in nearly forty years, providing naval gunfire support against targets near Khafji in Saudi Arabia. She continued to provide naval gunfire support together with USS Wisconsin throughout February with her last mission being bombardment of targets on Faylaka Island and Kuwait City in support of the Allied ground offensive.
On 7th December 1991 USS Missouri performed her final duty visiting Pearl Harbour in commemoration of those who died in the Japanese attack fifty years earlier. She then returned to Long Beach, California where she was decommissioned for the last time on 31st March 1992.
On 4th May 1998 Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton signed the donation contract officially transferring the historic battleship to the USS Missouri Memorial Association (MMA) of Honolulu, Hawaii. USS Missouri docked at Pier F-5 on "Battleship Row", 300 yards behind the Arizona Memorial, on 22nd June 1998 and opened as a memorial and museum on 29th January 1999.