V-J Day – Victory over Japan

August 15, 1945, was the day that Japan made their official announcement of surrender. This is a bit confusing, because that was actually August 14 in the United States! August 15 is the official V-J Day for the UK.

V-J Day Celebration, Times Sq.

On September 2, 1945, a formal surrender ceremony was performed in Tokyo Bay, Japan, aboard the battleship USS Missouri, which is why we in the United States don’t officially commemorate the end of the war until then.

On August 6 and 9, 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 9, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. The Japanese government on August 10 communicated its intention to surrender under the terms of the Potsdam Declaration.

(According to Wikipedia) In Chungking, Chinese fired firecrackers and “almost buried [Americans] in gratitude”. In Manila, residents sang “God Bless America”. On Okinawa, six men were killed and dozens were wounded as American soldiers “took every weapon within reach and started firing into the sky” to celebrate; ships sounded general quarters and fired anti-aircraft guns as their crews believed that a Kamikaze attack was occurring. On Tinian island, B-29 crews preparing for their next mission over Japan were told that it was cancelled, but that they could not celebrate because it might be rescheduled.

A little after noon Japan Standard Time on August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito’s announcement of Japan’s acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration was broadcast to the Japanese people over the radio. Earlier the same day, the Japanese government had broadcast an announcement over Radio Tokyo that “acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation [would be] coming soon”, and had advised the Allies of the surrender by sending a cable to U.S. President Harry S Truman via the Swiss diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. A nationwide broadcast by Truman was aired at seven o’clock p.m. (daylight time in Washington, D.C.) on August 14 announcing the communication and that the formal event was scheduled for September 2.

Celebrations broke out all over the world.

Parade in Montreal’s China Town

American Troops In Paris, V-J Day

V-J Day in Hawaii

I can’t really imagine what it must have been like to know, after years of deprivation and death, that the war was finally over, and the troops would be coming home! Thanks will never be enough to repay the sacrifices made by our parents and grandparents.

This entry was posted in History, Military, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to V-J Day – Victory over Japan

  1. joshua says:

    I guess we showed those Japanese a thing or two, didn’t we?


    • stella says:

      Isn’t it great that the United States and Japan are allies and trading partners today? Did you read that Japan has pledged to defend US territory if North Korea should launch a missile at Guam? Japan will attempt to shoot it down. Now that’s a very good thing.

      Liked by 3 people

      • joshua says:

        absolutely amazing….Japan had to completely change a national cultural status and civilian and military mindset following surrender…..they had to become connected with the US Culture and Capitalism and they did a truly great job. They are mostly racially homogeneous, and they do not allow immigrants….so they are able to bring an entire change with a single generation of influences…unlike the MESS that we have on our hands right now with the Immigration and Refugees and illegals who are all over our schools and protected by the liberal maniacs that are keeping our nation hostage.


  2. Lucille says:

    Japanese Surrender in Color (1945)

    This film was privately done and retained by the naval officer until the 1980s when he passed away.

    For a newsreel with narration and a recording of MacArthur’s speech, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4DsCQUWkVw

    But I prefer the color film without sound. The occasion was joyous/relief-filled for the Allied commanders and their men aboard the Missouri that day. But the occasion was also solemn, in recognition of all that was lost in the way of men, materiel, property, and nationhood.

    Martial music and hurrahs faded and life went on. But the men remembered their friends who died or were maimed in either body or spirit, and, perhaps, reflected on the death of their own illusions about mankind. For them the narration in their minds for all that was gained militarily and lost in the way of a kind of personal innocence about what it means to really be at war, music or silence is more appropriate as a companion.

    In the newsreel you will see some of the Japanese dressed formally, diplomatically. One young man wearing a black top hat later said that he looked around at all the men allied against them and thought to himself, “How did we ever think we could defeat them.” Indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lburg says:

      “How did we ever think we could defeat them.” What a poignant statement. Thank you for this, Lucille.

      I believe you’re right. The beauty of this gem is its silence. The occasion seems more solemn without noise.


      • Lucille says:

        That little story has stuck in my mind for at least 30 years. The man was being interviewed for one of the many documentaries on WWII.

        I’m not into recreations much. Actual footage allows you in some small empathetic way to participate. Even then it’s presumptuous to believe one who has not experienced war really knows much of anything about how the warriors felt. It’s insights like the one the diplomat expressed which gives you just a glimpse into the reality or enormity of what they went through.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. joshua says:

    “All’s well that ends well.”


  4. Lburg says:

    In many ways, it is difficult to wrap my head around the idea that this event occurred less than 70 years ago. Thank you Stella, for the reminder.


  5. Reblogged this on Special Connections and commented:
    I’m putting this on Special Connections as another placeholder to develop more later. My birth grandfather, my mom’s birth father, fought as a Marine in the Pacific Theater…so I want to expand on the VJ-Day Theme as a way to honor his memory & service.

    Please read Stella’s original post! Blessings


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