15TH AUGUST 2020
75TH ANNIVERSARY OF VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC DAY
On Saturday 15 August 2020, we commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Victory in the Pacific Day.
Whilst we are unable to gather at Bert Crook Memorial to pay our respects due to current COVID-19 restrictions, we would like to acknowledge this important day of Australian history.
Seventy-five years ago, on 15 August 1945, Emperor Hirohito publicly announced Japan’s acceptance of the Allies’ terms and Japan’s unconditional surrender. Nazi Germany had surrendered to the Allies three months earlier. The Second World War was over.
Australian forces were engaged in campaigns across the Pacific – in New Guinea, Bougainville, New Britain, Borneo, and in the Philippines – and Australian prisoners of the Japanese were spread throughout Asia.
While there were many contributors to Japan’s defeat, the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945 brought the conflict to a sudden end. Most had expected the war against Japan to continue into 1946.
In Australia, 15 August 1945 was gazetted as VP Day: “Victory in the Pacific Day”.
But for now, Australians enjoyed what Prime Minister Chifley simply called “this glorious moment”.
Ken McIntyre OAM
CHPRSL Sub Branch
Lest We Forget