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The Japanese Surrender Document <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)The Japanese Surrender Document
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
A copy of the signature page of the Japanese Surrender Document signed on the deck of the U.S.S. "Missouri" by all the various representatives of the combatant nations. The Document was signed 9:08 a.m., September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Harbor.

In addition to the U.S. representative, the document was signed by China, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, Australia, New Zealand, France and Canada. Five pens were used and the Japanese delegates used ink brushes.

Click here if you would like to read about the official surrender of the German military.

The Japanese Surrender Proceedings <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)The Japanese Surrender Proceedings
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
"We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored."

Those were the words of General Douglas MacArthur when he opened the Japanese Surrender Proceedings on board the deck of the American battleship, U.S.S. "Missouri" on the morning of September 2, 1945. This report was filed by Yank correspondent Dale Kramer, who amusingly noted that all concerned were dressed in a manner fitting the occasion, with the exception of the American officers who (oddly) seemed unable to locate their neckties that morning.

Click here if you would like to read about the atomic blast over the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

Click here to read articles about post-war Japan.

Click here to read about August 28, 1945 - the day the American occupation began.

VJ Day in San Francisco <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ Day in San Francisco
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
"Some of the highlights: Firecrackers, hoarded in Chinatown for eight years, rattled like machine guns... Servicemen and civilians played tug-of-war with fire hoses... Market Street, the wide bar-lined thoroughfare that has long been the center of interest for visiting GIs and sailors, was littered with the wreckage of smashed War Bond booths ... A plump redhead danced naked on the base of the city's Native Sons monument after servicemen had torn her clothes off. A sailor lent the woman a coat, and the pair disappeared."
VJ Day in New Orleans <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ Day in New Orleans
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
In a city prone to revelry, New Orleans had prematurely celebrated the end of World War Two on three previous occasions; not willing to go down that path a fourth time, the residents were in a state of disbelief when the news of the Japanese surrender began to circulate all over again. However, when it was understood that this time the rumor proved true everyone seemed grateful for the rehearsal time.
VJ-Day in Washington, D.C. <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ-Day in Washington, D.C.
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
When World War Two finally reached it's end, the small, quiet and usually well-behaved city of Washington, D.C. gave a big sigh of relief, forgot about "Robert's Rules of Order" for the day and shrieked with joy:

"One officer, standing in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House, waved a fifth of Rye at arms length, repeatedly inviting passers-by to "have a drink on the European Theater of Operations."

Click here if you would like to read an article about 1940s fabric rationing and the home front fashions.

VJ-Day in London <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ-Day in London
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
"...There were crowds in Piccadilly Circus and Leicester and Trafalgar Squares. Quite a few people got rid of their waste paper by throwing it out the windows, a sign that the need for saving such things for the war effort was just about over."
VJ Day in New York City <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ Day in New York City
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
"...On, on, on it went into the night and the next night as the biggest city in the world went its way toward picking up the biggest hangover in its history. It was a hangover few would ever regret."

Click here if you would like to read an article about the VE Day celebrations in Europe.
Click here if you would like to read about the VE Day celebrations in the United States.

VJ Day in Honolulu <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ Day in Honolulu
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
"In Honolulu, where the war began for the U.S., the first news of it's ending reached a sleepy-eyed Chinese-American radio technician shortly after 1200 hours (12:00 a.m.) when he had just finished making his regular weekly check on KGU's station transmitter and was ready to leave for home."

"Stand by for important news about the Potsdam ultimatum."

"Flight nurse, WACs and GIs all streamed from their barracks and joined the howling procession..."

VJ Day in Paris <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ Day in Paris
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
"The GIs had managed to keep their VJ spirit bottled up through most of the phony rumors, but when the real thing was announced the cork popped with a vengeance. A spontaneous parade, including jeeps and trucks and WACs and GIs and officers and nurses and enlisted me, snaked from the Red Cross Club at Rainbow Corner down to the Place de l'Opera and back..."
VJ Day in an American P.O.W. Camp  <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ Day in an American P.O.W. Camp
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
A short column filed by an eye-witness in Manila who described well the profound sense of melancholy that descended upon the W.W. II Japanese prisoners of war when they had learned of the Japanese surrender.

Click here if you would like to read an article about the Japanese surrender proceedings in Tokyo Bay.

Click here to read more articles about the liberation of Paris in 1944.

VJ-Day in Rome <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ-Day in Rome
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
A smattering of opinions on the subject of VJ Day (they all seemed to have been in favor of it) were offered up by a collection of Rome-based American soldiers composed of assorted hues and ranks.
VJ-Day in Pasadena <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ-Day in Pasadena
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
A quick dispatch filed by YANK MAGAZINE correspondent Larry McManus from the pristine halls of a Pasadena military hospital (previously the Vista del Arroyo Hotel) where total bedlam broke out when the word was announced that the Japanese had cried "uncle":

They went wild...they slid down banisters, they chinned themselves on the hospital's chandeliers. The remark most of them made was, 'No Pacific trip now!'"

VJ-Day in Boston <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ-Day in Boston
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
"Boston's peace celebration exploded suddenly after the official news of Japanese surrender poured out of the countless radios. All morning and afternoon while many other cities were already wildly celebrating, the Hub, with true New England caution, waited soberly for confirmation."

"But the staid attitude was swept away...The most general impulse seemed to be to shout, sing and hug passers-by. For men in uniform the celebration seemed to be more of a kissing fest than anything else..."

VJ-Day and the End of the War <br />(Yank, 1945)VJ-Day and the End of the War
(Yank, 1945)
If you've been looking for a manifesto that would serve as a document of intention for the entire mass of Americans who make up "the Greatest Generation", you might have found it.
While the other articles on VJ-Day on this site illustrate well the pure joy and delight that was experienced by so many that day, this editorial cautions the G.I. readers to remember all that they have learned from the war while laying the groundwork for the policy that would check Soviet expansion all over the globe.
Peace Comes to the United States <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)Peace Comes to the United States
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Even though the war had ended some four months earlier, the American people were still receiving envelopes from the Department of War about the deaths and maimings of their sons when this article appeared.

These columns reported that peacetime took some getting used to, but day by day, the nation was slowly swinging into its post-war stride.

What if the Atomic Bomb had never been invented? When would the war have ended?

Articles about the daily hardships in post-war Germany can be read by clicking here.

A Failure to Spread the Word <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1951)A Failure to Spread the Word
(Coronet Magazine, 1951)
Here is a classic story about the failures in global communication during the pre-Twitter era. This article explains how there was a fifteen hour lag between the Japanese surrender and the time in which Tokyo heard that their offer had been accepted by the Allies.

"In the midst of a routine radio-teletype conference between GHQ officers in Manila and the War Department in Washington, the teletype suddenly began printing:

'Stand by for important message **** from Marshall to MacArthur ****you are hereby notified of Japanese capitulation ****'"

It all centered on one skanky, bullet-pocked, bomb-damaged Radio Operations Room in Manila.

VJ - Day in Berlin <br />(yank Magazine, 1945)VJ - Day in Berlin
(yank Magazine, 1945)
"The city that had seen its own brand of fascism and international banditry tumble only a few months before had little energy left for reaction to the fall of Japan. The American Forces network broadcast the first authentic VJ news at 0210, and most of Berlin's polyglot occupation population, as well as most native Berliners, were asleep."
VJ Day in Alaska <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)VJ Day in Alaska
(Yank Magazine, 1945)