Thursday, August 19, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: V-J Day

Note: For some reason, probably my own error, this didn't make the Geneabloggers "Sentimental Sunday" feed, so I'm reposting for "Treasure Chest Thursday." If this is a repeat for you, thanks for your patience. --Liz

Sixty-five years ago Sunday was V-J Day, or "Victory over Japan Day," the day Japan announced its surrender in World War II, at least on the Japanese side of the international date line, where my dad, George Hall, was a U.S. Navy fighter pilot.  It apparently was still Aug. 14, 1945 in the United States.  (However, my trusty Associated Press Stylebook says that V-J Day is considered to be both Aug. 15, the day fighting ended, and Sept. 2, the day of official surrender.)  In any case, I wanted to post a photo of a flyer printed by my dad's aircraft carrier, the USS Hancock, which he kept with his Navy memorabilia (click photo to enlarge it).

"War Over!" flyer, USS Hancock, off Japan, August, 1945, privately held by the Hall family, La.  Digital photo by Liz Hall Morgan, Feb. 2010.

The flyer reproduces the text of the message from the Secretary of Navy which was "read to all hands at 0900, Tokyo time, 15 August by Captain Hickey," and President Truman's address to the American people.  It also states that the chaplains later led the crew in a prayer of thanksgiving and also a prayer for those who gave their lives in the war.

Dad said he was on patrol in the air in his F6F Hellcat at the time Japan's capitulation was announced, and he & his colleagues celebrated by doing a loop or two and chasing each other around the sky, though they were on alert for any Japanese planes looking to make a final attack.  He thought a buddy in his air group (VF-6) shot down the last enemy plane of the war, though I don't know if that was ever proven.

Copyright 2010 by Liz Hall Morgan, all rights reserved.

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