66 years ago today, the instrument of surrender for the War in the Pacific was signed onboard the USS Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay. The Missouri was chosen as the site not only because it was the flagship of Halsey’s Third Fleet, but also in honor of President Harry S. Truman who was from Missouri. The mighty American battleship was anchored near the spot where another American, Commodore Mathew C. Perry, had anchored his own fleet in 1853. MacArthur requested that the Navy send the flag that had flown over Perry’s flagship, USS Powhatan, to the Missouri. The flag was flown from the US Naval Academy Museum in Maryland to Japan for the ceremony. This was at the request of General Douglas MacArthur, who was a direct descendant and cousin of Perry. In the image below you can see the flag hanging behind General MacArthur. Note that the flag is flying backwards. This was due to the fragile state of the flag and because of preservation efforts done by the Navy.
A single table was erected on the deck. Two copies of the instrument of surrender were laid on the table, one in English, the other in Japanese. The Japanese were permitted a small delegation to sign the instrument of surrender.
The surrender ceremony lasted twenty-three minutes and was first signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu at 9:04 a.m.
General MacArthur was the first to sign for the Allied forces at 9:08 a.m.
At 9:22 a.m., Air Vice-Marshall Leonard M. Isitt of New Zealand was the last person to the sign the instrument of surrender. Following his signature General MacArthur made some short closing remarks:
Let us pray that peace, be now restored to the world. And that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed.
Of the American ships in the bay, none was an American carrier. Admiral Halsey had kept the carriers at sea just in case some Japanese did not want to honor their Emperor and government’s instructions. As MacArthur finished speaking, more than a thousand of American carrier planes and hundreds of B-29 Superfortresses roared over the Fleet anchored in Tokyo Bay. The Second World War was over.
Wingnuts can view the ceremony on YouTube.
Wing Commander has two events that borrow from the September 2 ceremony, the 2668 False Armistice and the 2669 Treaty of Torgo / Ko-bar Yagar.
The False Armistice ceremony shares a considerable amount with the September 2nd ceremony which is not too surprising given William Forstchen background in history. Whereas the 1945 ceremony took place onboard the USS Missouri, the 2668 ceremony took place on an unnamed frontier orbital base. A single two meter table was placed in the middle of the base’s hangar. On top of the table sat two copies of the armistice, one in standard English and one in Kilrathi. Like the Japanese, the Kilrathi did not have any dignitaries there to witness the event beyond the party that was to sign the instrument of surrender. The Confederation, just like the Americans, had a large contingent of personnel and members of the press to watch the ceremony.
Baron Jukaga nar Ki’ra, representing the Empire of Kilrah, signed the armistice and proceeded to give a brief closing remark that very closely mirrored MacArthur’s on remarks in 1945.
Friends, this armistice is but a start. Let us truly come to realize that the universe is big enough for both of us and that a permanent peace can be arrived at. These proceedings are now ended.
The False Armistice lasted until the discovery of the Hakaga supercarriers by Commodore / General James Taggart and Captain Ian St. John which forced the Kilrathi to move up the time of their offensive into the Sol System. The Earth Defense Campaign saw the Battles and Destruction of Warsaw and Sirius as well as the Battle of Earth where Admiral Tolwyn and General Grecko’s bold and suicidal plan, along with timely intervention by Landreich forces, prevented the radiological destruction of Earth’s biosphere by Kilrathi nuclear bombardment.
On September 24, 2669, Colonel, later Commodore Christopher Blair dropped the Temblor Bomb on Kilrah, destroying the planet. Soon after the Terran Confederation and Empire of Kilrah signed the Treaty of Torgo, know to the Kilrathi as the Treaty of Ko-bar Yagar, on the deck of the TCS Victory in the Torgo system. The Kilrathi had actually captured the system from the Confederation following the loss of the TCS Behemoth.
Much like the ceremonies on the USS Missouri and an unnamed frontier base, a simple table was the only furniture. Baron Melek, retainer to the deceased Prince Thrakhath, signed for the Empire of Kilrah. Crown Prince Thrakhath had been killed by Christopher Blair during the raid of Kilrah. Admiral Tolwyn signed for the Terran Confederation. Again the Terrans had a large delegation while the Kilrathi brought only a few. A flyby by four Hellcats took place at the end of the ceremony. The war was over.