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USS Missouri Broadside: RIMPAC 1990

by Nov 17, 2019

USS Missouri firing broadside during RIMPAC 1990, off the coast of Oahu. Photograph taken by Randy Esdon aboard HMCS Kootenay

In 2005, Randy Esdon contacted us and indicated that he had taken a photograph of the USS Missouri firing broadside during RIMPAC ’90. He wondered if we might like to have it.

“Like to have it” became an understatement once we viewed the image, now on display at various locations on board.

Randy provided the following story behind the image:

“I took the photo using a 35mm Nikon FG-20 camera in May of 1990 off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. I was an Ordinary Seaman at the time serving aboard HMCS Kootenay [DDE 258].

We were 750 yards on the starboard bow of the Missouri as she was doing a full broadside of her main batteries. There were two other ships between us and the Missouri. My Commanding officer at the time (Commander Glen Davidson) presented an 8x10 copy of this photo to the Commanding Officer of the Missouri at that time [Captain John J. Chernesky]. He was very impressed with it and had Gary Price [JO2, X3 Division], one of the ship’s public relations personnel, give me a full ship’s tour and one of the recommissioning booklets that they had left over from when she was returned to service prior to the Gulf War.”

At the time Esdon provided us with this image, he was a Naval Electronics Technician (Tactical), a Master Seaman with 17 years of Canadian Navy service under his belt.

USS Missouri underway during RIMPAC '90 in Hawaiian waters. Official USN photo by PH3 Brad Dillon, Dept. of Defense Still Media Collection.

RIMPAC is described as: “The world's largest international maritime exercise, providing a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.”

It began in 1971 and was held annually until 1974, when it became a biennial exercise due to its scale.

Originally hosted by the Navy’s 3rd Fleet, it is now hosted by the Indo-Pacific Command, the unified combatant command of the United States Armed Forces responsible for the Indo-Pacific region.

2018’s Rim of the Pacific exercise was the 26th in the series, involving more than 40 ships, 200 aircraft and upwards of 25,000 personnel from 25 participating nations.

The 27th RIMPAC will be held during the summer of 2020 as the world prepares to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

USS Missouri was a participant in RIMPAC’s 1988 and 1990.