Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Ship ceremony marks war anniversary

Veterans and their families marked the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War on board the ship where Japan formally surrendered in 1945.

The battleship Missouri now houses a museum and is permanently moored at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, just behind the USS Arizona, which sank in the Japanese attack that pushed the US into the war in 1941.

Senator Daniel Inouye told the crowd that the two ships were the bookends of the Second World War.

The Hawaii Democrat said the Arizona represented the sacrifice and resilient spirit of the American people.

The Missouri spoke of America's triumphant victory, while the two ships together sent a strong message that Americans endure hardships, persevere and emerge victorious, he said.

Don Fosburg, 84, a radioman aboard the USS Missouri during the war, recalled friends and family who were killed.

"You start thinking about all the guys who didn't make it. I had a cousin who was on Bataan and didn't survive. His brother was blown up off the coast of Africa," he said. "You start to thinking about the guys that you knew. You can't help but do that. And maybe you think you're pretty lucky."

Japan formally signed surrender papers on board the Missouri when it was anchored in Tokyo Bay on September 2 1945.

Mr Fosburg remembered the mood being calmer than some two weeks before that occasion, on the night of August 15, when sailors cheered after a fellow radioman got word Japan had agreed to unconditionally surrender.

"He woke me up, 'They've accepted the surrender. The war is over!' Then it went through the ship, and it was quite a bit of celebration," Mr Fosburg said. "It woke everybody up."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph