Rebuilding Battleship Missouri Teak
Wood working volunteers rebuild the teak deck of USS Missouri (BB-63).
"Teak" sounds descriptive of some nice furniture - perhaps a dining table - not a word associated with the survivability of a Navy warship.
An active battleship had large amount of gunpowder that had to be transported on and off of the ship. Teak served as protection preventing metal-on-metal scraping, which could potentially create sparks, thus fires.
Teak served as insulation. A battleship had a vast area of deck, 1.2 acres in fact in the case of USS Missouri (BB-63), and the sun can beat on it insistently. She had no air-conditioning, so the space underneath it would get visibly hot.
On September 2, 1945, the teak wood served another purpose as it functioned as the platform for the formal end of WWII. The teak wood stood witness to history as the Empire of Japan walked on it and formally signed the surrender documents.
Much of that wood is gone now but the memory and the significance of its history still remain.
Luckily, David Hamilton, teak deck preservation supervisor aboard Missouri, is there to preserve this memory from fading. Leading a team of volunteers, wood workers and builders, Hamilton said it was a dream come true.