70 years ago today, Allied Forces joined together aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) to sign the Instruments of Surrender, marking the Allies’ victory over Japan and the end of World War II. The hundreds of Sailors onboard filled in nearly every open space on the ship’s weather decks to watch the monumental occasion.
Acting on behalf of Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese government, foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed first for Japan, followed by General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of Staff, Japanese army headquarters.
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur signed next followed by Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, as well as other commanders of Allied Forces.
After the surrender ceremony, 450 carrier planes from 3rd Fleet passed in mass formation over Missouri and the 254 allied ships in Tokyo Bay. Minutes later, Army Air Forces B-29 bombers flew by, signifying the Allied victory and the Japanese surrender of all military power.
The Instruments of Surrender Ceremony marked the official end of World War II and would be called V-J (Victory over Japan) day.
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) would derive its namesake from Fleet Adm. Nimitz, who led the Naval war efforts during World War II.
Story by MC3 William Blees