Japanese Surrender, WWII, USS Missouri

Today marks the formal surrender ceremony of Japan at the end of WWII, which was performed in Tokyo Bay, Japan, aboard the battleship USS Missouri, September 2, 1945.

The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that formalized the surrender of the Empire of Japan, marking the end of World War II. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Dominion of New Zealand.

According to Wikipedia:

The deck of the Missouri was furnished with two American flags. A commonly heard story is that one of the flags had flown over the White House on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. However, Captain Stuart Murray of USS Missouri explained:

“At eight o’clock we had hoisted a clean set of colors at the mainmast and a clean Union Jack [of the United States] at the bow as we were at anchor, and I would like to add that these were just regular ship’s flags, GI issue, that we’d pulled out of the spares, nothing special about them, and they had never been used anywhere so far as we know, at least they were clean and we had probably gotten them in Guam in May. So there was nothing special about them. Some of the articles in the history say this was the same flag that was flown on the White House or the National Capitol on 7 December 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and at Casablanca, and so forth, also MacArthur took it up to Tokyo and flew it over his headquarters there. The only thing I can say is they were hard up for baloney, because it was nothing like that. It was just a plain ordinary GI-issue flag and a Union Jack. We turned them both into the Naval Academy Museum when we got back to the East Coast in October. “The only special flag that was there was a flag which Commodore Perry had flown on his ship out in that same location 82 years before [sic: the actual number of years was 92]. It was flown out in its glass case from the Naval Academy Museum. An officer messenger brought it out. We put this hanging over the door of my cabin, facing forward, on the surrender deck so that everyone on the surrender deck could see it.”

That special flag on the veranda deck of the Missouri had been flown from Commodore Matthew Perry’s flagship in 1853–54 when he led the U.S. Navy’s Far East Squadron into Tokyo Bay to force the opening of Japan’s ports to foreign trade. MacArthur was a direct descendant of the New England Perry family and cousin of Commodore Matthew Perry.

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4 Responses to Japanese Surrender, WWII, USS Missouri

  1. stella says:

    Tara Ross has an interesting account of the Japanese surrender:

    http://www.taraross.com/2016/09/this-day-in-history-v-j-day-effectively-ends-world-war-ii/

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the bombs prompted the Japanese government to consider surrendering—but it still wasn’t willing to do so unconditionally! Instead, it sought to ensure that such a document would not “compromise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a sovereign ruler.” Nevertheless, President Harry Truman ordered a halt to the atomic attacks so negotiations could commence. Truman’s Secretary of Commerce later reported that Truman really didn’t want to “wip[e] out another 100,000 people . . . . He didn’t like the idea of killing, as he said, ‘all those kids.’”

    By August 12, the Japanese government had the American reply: The United States would accept surrender, but any future government of Japan must be established by the “freely expressed will of the Japanese people.”

    Negotiations dragged on much too slowly. The Japanese government still didn’t answer right away! The “days of negotiation with a prostrate and despised enemy,” a British ambassador later said, “strained public patience.”

    That seems like a bit of an understatement!

    When the Japanese government failed to respond, conventional bombings resumed. The United States continued to prepare a third atomic bomb, just in case it was needed. And it did something else: The United States began dropping leaflets across Tokyo. The leaflets described the terms that had been offered for ending the war.

    You don’t think surrender was going to be easy, even after all this, do you? It wasn’t, of course. In Japan, there was one last attempt to stop the surrender. A handful of officers attempted a coup, but they were discovered. In the end, many of those involved in the coup attempt committed ritual suicide.

    Like

  2. joshua says:

    and now we have Toyota and Sushi…how much better does it get than that?
    what will we get for bombing NK or the ME?

    Like

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