Framework

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Fighter planes fly in formation overhead as the surrender ceremony to end World War II is held aboard the warship Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ASSOCIATED PRESS / U.S. NAVY

Spectators and correspondents from all over the world pick vantage positions on the deck of the Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, to watch the formal Japanese surrender ceremony marking the end of World War II.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Filan / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Allied officials and military personnel and Japanese representatives are shown aboard the battleship Missouri for the formal Japanese signing of the surrender agreement.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Max Desfor / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, center in top hat, leads the Japanese delegation aboard the Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the signing ceremony for Japan's surrender in World War II.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ASSOCIATED PRESS / U.S. Navy

Representatives of the Allied nations stand at attention as Gen. Douglas MacArthur speaks before the signing of the Instrument of Surrender aboard the Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ASSOCIATED PRESS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Japanese surrender signatories are shown arriving on board the Missouri in Tokyo Bay. They include Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, in top hat in the front row, who signed on behalf of the Japanese emperor, and army commander Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu, on right.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ASSOCIATED PRESS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, left, watches as Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the surrender document. Lt. Gen. Richard K. Sutherland, center, witnesses the ceremony marking the end of World War II with other American and British officers in background.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: C.P. GORRY / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Allied generals and other military personnel watch Japanese Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu sign the surrender document.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Max Desfor / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gen. Douglas MacArthur signs the document marking Japan's surrender.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ASSOCIATED PRESS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gen. Douglas MacArthur hands the pen to Lt. Gen. Arthur E. Percival after signing the document formalizing Japan's surrender.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ASSOCIATED PRESS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, commander of the Pacific Fleet, is among the signatories of the surrender document.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ASSOCIATED PRESS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Surrender aboard U.S. warship Missouri ends World War II

On Sept. 2, 1945, representatives of the empire of Japan formally surrendered to the Allies aboard the Missouri,  anchored in Tokyo Bay. These images captured by press and military photographers record that momentous day. They show the nervous excitement before the Japanese delegation arrived.

A newsreel video is also available here.

5 Comments

  1. September 2, 2010, 6:08 am

    The photograph that joined history the same as "the shot heard around the world".

    By: Jlm
  2. September 2, 2010, 7:48 am

    Thank You America: We love America!
    THANK YOU AMERICA… (Poem by Gianluca Zanna © 2004)
    If today I don't have to speak German and live under the third reich…
    Thank you America
    If today I don't have to speak Russian and live under that red flag…
    Thank you America
    If today my wife doesn't have to hide her face and she can live like a woman…
    Thank you America
    If today I can drink a beer and celebrate life with no fear…
    Thank you America
    If today I can choose my own God…
    If today I can say what I think without looking behind my back…
    If today I can be the owner of my present and dream about my future…
    If today I am a free man in a free Country…
    I want to say one more time… Thank you America http://www.myspace.com/sbarcodianzio

    By: Marco
  3. September 2, 2010, 2:20 pm

    SURE PROUD OF MY DAD
    By Grant Daniel MacDonald

    I'M SURE PROUD OF MY DAD!
    JUST TO BE THE SON OF SOMEONE
    WHO HAS FOUGHT IN WORLD WAR TWO AND WON ….
    HE WENT OFF TO WAR IN 1941
    HE FOUGHT FOR FOUR YEARS ….
    NEAR DEATH & WITH FEARS!
    WITH HIS FELLOW INFANTRY THEY SET OUT FROM BARRIE.
    AT EIGHTEEN … A PRINCE EDWARD ISLANDER.
    AS THE GERMANS TURNED HIS FELLOW SOLDIERS INTO FODDER.
    ON D-DAY AT NORMANDY TO GERMANY
    SHRAPNEL, BOMBS & BULLETS DID FLY
    TO DEFEND THE WORLD FOR YOU & I.
    TO ME HE IS A TRUE HERO & I'D JUST LIKE HIM TO KNOW
    A HERO SO YOUNG & SO BRAVE
    WITH SO MANY OTHERS IN THEIR GRAVE!
    TO KNOW HIM AS A MAN IS ALOT
    BUT TO LOVE HIM AS MY FATHER
    IS THE GREATEST PRIDE I'VE GOT.

    By: grant
  4. September 5, 2010, 5:15 pm

    I'd be pretty sure you say that about every freakin' person you voted against.

    By: S Blodgett
  5. July 14, 2011, 11:53 pm

    In the caption "TOKYO — Allied officials and military personnel and Japanese representatives are shown aboard the battleship Missouri…" I believe that you are mistaken. Those are not Japanese representatives but officers from the Chinese Kuomingtang Army led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek (who later ruled Taiwan after the Chinese civil war in 1949 when Mao came to power in China). You can tell from their headgear, amongst other things: The Japanese forage caps not only slope up to a lopped-off plateau as it rises from the crown of the wearer's head but also only had a single red "rising sun" emblem on them (as you can see from subsequent photographs of the Imperial Japanese officers standing with the Japanese ministers) while the Chinese forage caps have a white sun on a blue background (the emblem of the Kuomingtang political party) with two buttons below it and slightly resembled French kepis in that they remained vertical above the crown of the wearer's head without sloping inwards. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuomintang and look at the cap in the picture of Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek in uniform on that page. And also this one of him, with his forage cap on his lap, sitting next to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill when he attended the Cairo conference in 1943 (note the identical nature of the uniforms as well as the forage caps of Generalissimo Chiang and the Chinese officer on the USS Missouri): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cairo_conferenc…. The similarity to the caps of the Asian officers standing next to the Caucasian officers of obviously Russian, British, American and French nationality on the USS Missouri is unmistakeable. Besides, after all those years of enmity, it would be very doubtful that any Allied officer would agree to stand beside any Axis military personnel on the day of victory of Japan–they'd ensure the Japanese were on the other side of the table as a very unsubtle reminder that they lost the war.

    By: Kok-Yong Tan

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