15TH AUGUST 2020
75TH ANNIVERSARY OF VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC DAY
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