By Joshua Riggs
On this day, 75 years ago, nine representatives of the allied powers — the United States represented by Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz (and honorary AUSN member) –- met with nine representatives of the Empire of Japan on the USS Missouri to sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender at the close of World War II. The allied delegation as a whole was headed by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.
The Surrender was the result of an enduring Pacific Theater campaign which began with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which resulted in the loss of 2,335 American lives and 1,143 injured soldiers. The resulting Pacific Campaign would result in some 426,000 American casualties — nevertheless, the American military persevered. This unwavering commitment to victory resulted in Emperor Hirohito’s radio announcement accepting the terms of the Potsdam Conference on August 15th, signifying Japan’s realization that continuing in the War was futile.
Warfare in the European Theater ended on May 8, 1945, so with Japan’s surrender and the destruction of the axis powers, the allies emerged from the gruesome conflict as the global superpowers. Following V-J Day, the United States was engulfed in widespread emotional celebrations — finally, the boys were coming home after four hard years.
AUSN is proud to salute the almost 4 million Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who served in World War II and helped make the United States Navy the world’s preeminent naval superpower. AUSN also possesses unwavering gratitude to all 12 million American service members who selflessly fought against tyranny and oppression.
To all who served, our most heartfelt thank you.
MAIN PHOTO: Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu, chief of the Japanese army’s general staff, signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of Japanese Imperial General Headquarters on the battleship USS Missouri, Sept. 2, 1945. Watching from across the table are Army Lt. Gen. Richard K. Sutherland and Supreme Commander of Allied Forces Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Representatives of the Allied powers are behind MacArthur. (National Archives)