Press Releases

Operation Santa Kicks Off The Holiday Season Aboard The Mighty Mo

3rd Annual Overnight Stay for Keiki of Military Families

Pearl Harbor, HI – (December 20, 2019) The Battleship Missouri Memorial hosted its 3rd annual “Operation Santa,” an overnight encampment for keiki of deployed and active-duty military families stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Twenty-five children ages 10 through 16 years old participated in Operation Santa 2019.

“The holidays should really be about family, a time for everyone to come together and share in the joy of Christmas,” said Mike Carr, president and CEO of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, caretaker of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “We know this season has it’s challenges for our military families and understand the difficulties with a parent deployed overseas.”

Operation Santa 2019 kicked off with an afternoon tour of the USS Missouri followed by activities, games and a movie showing. The evening slowed down with a traditional Christmas dinner on the ship’s mess deck. Each keiki had the opportunity to craft a special video message to their loved one. The evening ended with a surprise visit from Santa and gifts for every attending child.

“Every child that participates in Operation Santa leaves the Mighty Mo smiling from ear to ear,” said Dan Parsons, Director of Education at the USS Missouri Memorial Association. “To see the look of happiness on their face lets us know we left a lasting impact this Christmas season.”

Operation Santa 2019 was made possible with the support of the Military and Family Support Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Coca-Cola Hawaii.

About the Battleship Missouri Memorial

Since opening in January 1999, the Battleship Missouri Memorial has attracted more than 8.5-million visitors from around the world with a fascinating tour experience showcasing the USS Missouri’s unique place in history. Located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, the Mighty Mo completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” and sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and ends with Japan’s formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

The USS Missouri had an astounding career over five decades and three wars – World War II, the Korean War, and Desert Storm – after which it was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Association operates the Battleship Missouri Memorial as a historic attraction and oversees her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants, and donations.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. General admission, which includes choice of an optional tour, is $29 per adult and $13 per child (4-12). Military, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (toll-free) 1-877-644-4896 or visit

Please credit images to the Battleship Missouri Memorial and Terry Takaki

Photos Link:

Caption: Operation Santa 2019 at the Battleship Missouri Memorial

Caption: A surprise visit from Santa and gifts for every attending child.

Caption: Twenty-five children ages 10 through 16 years old participated in Operation Santa 2019.

Media Contact:
Shere’e Quitevis
(808) 539- 3434

Jaclyn Hawse
(808) 455-1600 x 246