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In every opening of any “Hawaii Five-0” episode, there are always several fabulous shots of beautiful O‘ahu, but I’d have to say that in the “Pilot” episode the one that stood out the most to me was the scene with McGarrett and Governor Jameson and the majestic “Mighty Mo,” the USS Missouri.
There behind McGarrett and his future nemesis Governor Jameson, is the majestic USS Missouri in all her glory. Most of us call her the “Mighty Mo” and after spending several hours touring her decks and spaces not normally seen by the general public with Encampment Coordinator and Educational Programs Assistant, Neil Yamamoto, I came to see her as more than just a historical landmark. Neil is not only a master Missouri storyteller, he is a great “Hawaii Five-0” fan, and has joined us for several “Five-0 Tweetups” at Big City Diner. He was kind enough to agree to show me his beautiful ship and give me a sneak peek into how the “Hawaii Five-0” actors and crew utilized this unique shooting location.
As the wife of a career Chief Petty Officer, who retired on the Mighty Mo’s fantail and also reenlisted three times on the surrender deck during his 26 years with the US Navy, I am familiar with her 16-inch guns and her heroic duty, but this was an extra special treat, not only as a Five-0 fan, but also for my husband, Patrick. He can mark many milestones of his career on the Missouri, but it was also special because the first sea tour he took when he joined the Navy in the mid-80s was aboard her sister ship, the USS New Jersey. Patrick was dying to see parts of the ship that he had not been able to see since the ship opened and because of the Chief Petty Officer Legacy Center & Academy. Neil was more than happy to oblige Chief’s love of his battleship and showed us more than we could have hoped for. And he told us amazing stories—almost too many to regale you with here, you’ll need to visit the Missouri yourself to get the complete picture—but I’ll try and give you a taste. In this blog, I’ll detail the Missouri shooting areas that Neil showed us and next week I’ll show you a few of the other spots where the Five-0 crew shot scenes, as well as a few hidden gems, on historic Ford Island.