With the stroke of a pen, President Harry S. Truman brought WWII to a screeching halt. He authorized the release of two Atomic Bombs over the nation of Japan that showed the world the United States would not relent in their endeavor to keep our soldiers from invading the Japanese Islands.
It was a well-known fact such battles would take the lives of thousands more Americans. You see, our parents could have been among those who died on a battlefield in Japan and we would never have been born. President Truman made the one and only choice he could have made.
That August day was one of the most important days in the history of America and the world. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito was heard on the radio for the first time ever when he announced the surrender. August 15, 1945 was officially named as Victory over Japan day and World War Two war was finally over.
On September 2, 1945, on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, General Douglas MacArthur and Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed the official Instrument of Surrender that was prepared by the War Department and approved by President Truman. It set out in eight short paragraphs the complete capitulation of Japan.
Below are three from Jackson Parish who were aboard their ships in Tokyo Bay and witnessed this historic event.
Petty Officer 3/C NEWTON RAY COOK, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Cool, Alexandria La, husband of Maxine Pixly, Jonesboro, La. Attended Gibsland High. He Entered the Navy in 1944 and trained in San Diego, Cal and Seattle, Wash. Served in New Guinea, New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, Leyte, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Saipan, Tokyo Bay and Japan. He was awarded APO Ribbon, 2 Battle Stars, GCM and Victory Medal. Discharged in 1946.
S 2/C TOMMIE M. STEWART, son of Mrs. Belle Stewart, Dodson La., He attended Weston High and entered the U. S. Navy in 1943, trained in San Diego. He served in S. Pacific on USS Idaho. He was in Tokyo Bay when Peace Treaty was signed. He was awarded APO Ribbon with 7 Battle Stars and Phil. Lib. Ribbon. Discharged in 1945.
S 1/C JOSEPH E. JONES, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Newt Jones, Jonesboro, La, graduate of Jonesboro Hodge High. He entered the Navy in 1944 and trained in San Diego. He served on USS Shangrila in Hawaii, Panama, Okinawa and Tokyo Bay when the Peace Treaty was signed. He was awarded the APO Ribbon.