The last imperial conference of WWII took place on the
morning of August 14, 1945, Japanese time. The Allied terms were accepted on August
15 and the announcement of surrender was made by the leaders of the Allied nations.
The official Instrument of Surrender was signed by the
Japanese on September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri as it was anchored in Tokyo Bay.
However, even before this signing, capitulations had begun.
The first Pacific Japanese garrison
in the Pacific Ocean areas to surrender was that
at Mille Atoll, in the southeastern Marshall Islands, August 22 on board the
escort USS Levy DE 162. The U.S. flag was formally raised over
Mille on August 28.
Levy held her second
onboard surrender ceremony when the Japanese capitulated Wake Island on September 3.
While the surrender ceremony was being held aboard USS Missouri, island garrisons were continuing to surrender.
In the Caroline Islands, USS Amick DE 168
accepted the surrender of the entire Palaus Group, Palau Islands.
Also on September 2, the
Commanding General of the Imperial Japanese Forces on Rota, Mariana
Islands, surrendered in a ceremony aboard
USS Heylinger DE 510.
The surrender of Jaluit Atoll, the nerve
center and strong point of Japanese administration in the Marshalls, was
completed on September 5 on board USS
McConnell DE 163 with Baron and Wingfield present in the lagoon.
On September 6 another territory in the Marshall Islands
to surrender was Wotje Atoll. USS Baron DE 166 was the
staging area for the ceremony. A few hours later, Admiral Shochi Kmada, IJN,
surrendered unconditionally all Japanese forces and territory in Maloelap Atoll aboard USS Wingfield DE 194 anchored off
On September 8, (a Japanese holiday celebrating the bombing of Pearl Harbor),
the American Flag was hoised over Kusaie, eastern-most Carolines, following the
surrender ceremony aboard the destroyer USS Hyman. USS Ricketts DE 254
arrived two days later and was stationed at the atoll to aid in establishing a
US military government and repatriating enslaved civilians to their home
Three days after the capitulation of Kusaie,
on September 11, USS Farquhar DE 139
was present for the surrender of Japanese
garrisons on Ponape Island. Rare photos
tell the story of this historic event.
USS Sloat DE 245 staged the surrender
ceremony of Woleai Atoll, Caroline Islands, on September 19.
Search units went ashore on several islands
to the south and west of the Paleus and found that Japanese Army personnel on
Tobi, Sonsorol and Merir had no knowledge of the cessation of hostilities until
informed by the American searchers. The capitulation was received aboard
USS Carroll DE 171 on October 6.
From October 6 to December 31, 1945, other Japanese garrisons on bypassed islands scattered throughout the western Pacific and on the Asiatic