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Approaching War’s End

by Nov 30, 2019

Annotated partial view of 1945 USN Tokyo Bay Approach Chart. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command

Seventy-four years ago today…

(The following excerpts are transcribed from Missouri’s World War II Action Report for the period August 16 – Sept 2, 1945)

27 August 1945

Mostly fair, broken to scattered low clouds, moderate southeasterly winds, seas calm.

0710: Japanese destroyer sighted on horizon bearing 310 degrees T, distance 30,000 yards; all hands to battle stations as a precaution.

0723: USS Nicholas (DD449) left screen to approach Japanese ship and transfer pilots and officials.

0855: Following Japanese officials were transferred to the Missouri from the Nicholas: Captain Otam, Naval Dept., Captain Takasaki, Yokosuka District Naval Station, Commander Furutani, Imperial Navy.

1025: Passed O Shima to port, distance 2 miles.

1327: Anchored in Sagami Wan, Honshu, Japan; secured from General Quarters.


USS Missouri anchored in Sagami Wan. Fujiyama visible in the distance. US Navy photograph

28 August 1945

Partly cloudy, high scattered clouds, moderate to fresh southwesterly winds, heavy swell.

Anchored in Sagami Wan. Orders received to proceed to Tokyo Bay, at 0500 29 August.

29 August 1945

Partly cloudy with low scattered clouds, moderate southwesterly winds, calm sea.

0456: Underway for Tokyo Kaiwan.

0512: General Quarters sounded.

0600 Condition ZEBRA set for passage through mine fields.

0925: Anchored in Berth F71, Tokyo Kaiwan, Japan.

0935 Secured from General Quarters, retaining Condition I in the AA battery.

30 August 1945

Mostly clear skies with a few high and low scattered clouds, light haze, moderate winds, anchored at berth F71, Tokyo Kaiwan.

1020: Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, Commander British Pacific Fleet aboard for conference with the Commander THIRD Fleet.

31 August 1945

Partly cloudy, scattered clouds, fresh southwesterly winds; Anchored in berth F71, Tokyo Kaiwan

1 September 1945

Partly cloudy with occasional showers; anchored to berth F71, Tokyo Kaiwan.

2 September 1945

Mostly cloudy with high broken and low scattered clouds, light haze, moderate NE winds veering to east, conditions improving after 0700.

Anchored in berth F71, Tokyo Bay.

0707: USS Taylor (DD468) alongside to port bringing 170 newsmen and cameramen to witness the formal surrender of the Japanese Imperial forces.

0803: USS Buchanan (DD484) alongside to port transferring various general officers of the Army and foreign representatives aboard to witness surrender ceremony.

0805; FADM Nimitz came aboard and his personal flag was broken at the mainmast.

0838: USS Nicholas came alongside to port with General MacArthur; boarding at 0843 as his personal flag was broken at the mainmast alongside the personal flag of FADM Nimitz.

0856: Japanese representatives, headed by the Foreign Minister, Mr. Mamoru Shigemitsu, begin boarding the Missouri.

0902: Formal surrender ceremony commenced with the presentation of the Instrument of Surrender to all parties.

General MacArthur signs the Instrument of Surrender, September 2, 1945. This image has been produced by splicing two images, left and right, together. Images source: National Archives