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Ponape Island Liberation - USS FARQUHAR DE 139

USS FARQUHAR DE 139 and USS Hyman DD 732 sortied to Ponape for the official Japanese surrender that took place aboard Hyman 11 September 1945.

FARQUHAR remained at Ponape as station ship, assisting in the occupation and repatriation until late December.

Jim Klepper, DE 139 crewmember, recorded the events of this historic surrender.  His photos preserve an important part of history for you will find only a rare mention of this event written in history books.

Also, 50 years after this historic surrender it was still remembered.  Ray Novotny, Jr., provided the following information and photos:

"My father, Ray Novotny, Sr. was a plankowner aboard the HYMAN and was present for the surrenders at Kusaie and Ponape. He is writing a book on his WWII Navy experiences.

For the 50th Anniversary of the surrender on Ponape, the surviving crew of the HYMAN were invited to return to the island. My dad, along with about a dozen shipmates and their wives traveled to Ponape for the Liberation Ceremony on 11 Sept. 1995. While there, the Postmaster General of Micronesia presented my father with a set of limited edition postage stamps commorating the liberation of the islands. The set includes four U.S. Navy warships which carried out the liberation:
-the Cruiser Portland (CA-33) where Japanese Lt. General Shunzaburo Mugikura relinguished control of Truk (now known as Chuuk) on 2 Sept. 1945
-the destroyer USS Tillman (DD-641) which took the formal surrender of the Japanese garrison on Yap on 5 Sept.
-the destroyer USS Soley (DD-707) docked in the shadow of Lelu Island in sight of the Japanese surrender of Kosrae (formerly Kusai) aboard the Hyman on 8 Sept. The Soley stayed outside the harbor just in case the Japanese had any treachery planned. The Soley then stayed behind while the Hyman sailed to Ponape.
-USS Hyman (DD-732) where Lt. General Masao Watanabe surrendered control of Ponape (now Pohnpei) on 11 Sept. The FARQUHAR stood guard outside the reef in the event of a Japanese ambush. (My dad mentions this in his book).
Shortly after their return, my dad had an article about the 50th Anniversary trip to Ponape published in his hometown newspaper, The Park Ridge (IL) Herald."

Ray Novotny, Jr.
February 2006

 

Click on a photo for a larger view
 


Lt. General Masao Watanabe, IJA,
arriving to negotiate the surrender


Watanable boards USS Hyman


The negotiation begins


The instrument of surrender is signed


USS Hyman crewmembers
watch the surrender proceedings



Capt. D. E. Walters, USS Farquhar,
posting surrender notice at Ponape


Japanese garrison officials meet
with USS Hyman officials


USN occupation of Ponape


Capt.Monn,division commander on Hyman, prepares to assume his duties as military governor


Members of the Japanese garrison
with US Naval officials

 
The US Flag is raised over Ponape


Ponape Liberation Ceremony 11 Sept. 1995
 


Limited edition postage stamps
commemorating the liberation of Caroline Islands

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