General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, stepped forward to begin the proceedings and said, "It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past -- a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice."
Two copies of the Instrument of Surrender were signed by representatives of the Allied and Axis powers. First to sign was Japanese foreign minister, Mamoru Shigemitsu, he signed on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government. Followed by Yoshijiro Umezu who signed on behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters. General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, signed on behalf of the Allies and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz signed for the United States.
Within twenty-three minutes, one of the bloodiest wars came to an end. General MacArthur concluded the ceremony by saying, “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always. These proceeding are closed.” With those words, World War II was over. U.S. Navy carrier aircraft from Task Force 38 flew in formation over the USS Missouri as the surrender ceremony concluded. Today, a surrender plaque is displayed on the USS Missouri’s 01 Deck, located in the exact place where the Instrument of Surrender was signed.
In commemoration of the 70th Anniversary, the Battleship Missouri Memorial opened a new exhibit, located in the Wardroom, which displays three of the original pens that were used by Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur to sign and accept the Instrument of Surrender. These pens are on loan courtesy of The MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia, the United States Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland, and the Nanjing Museum in China.
On behalf of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, we would like to honor and recognize our former crewmembers that were on board the USS Missouri and witness to the Surrender Ceremony on September 2, 1945.
Please note: The following photos were shared with us by friends and family on Facebook.
Ernest Thompson, Age 97
Art Albert, Fireman First Class, Age 88 Sky Fredrickson, 1927-2015 Anthony Schulmeister 1915-1993
Otto Wilkinson, Age 90
Robert V. Shultz, RM3C, Age 89
Albert J. Gurtner, Fireman Second Class, A Division 1924-2015
Johnnie Barr, PFC USMC, Age 94
Never forget the Greatest Generation and the day that launched a better future. So whether you lived it, learned it or seen it, we encourage you to share your stories. #ShareMore