Edge of Valor

A New Todd Ingram Novel from John J Gobbell


About Edge of Valor

Edge of Valor is the latest historical thriller by John J. Gobbell

"Three weeks earlier he was fighting the Japanese, and the Russians were supposed to be friends. Now he doesn’t know who to trust."

Edge of Valor is the seventh historical thriller by John J. Gobbell, and the fifth featuring the World War II exploits of Cdr. Todd Ingram, commanding officer of the destroyer USS Maxwell (DD 525), who saves his ship when it’s hit by a kamikaze off Okinawa. For repairs, they pull into Kerama Rhetto, Okinawa, where news of the war’s end comes. With everyone else, Ingram expects to be shipped home. Instead, he receives orders to fly to Manila where he’s met by Brig. Gen. Otis Dewitt, an Army buddy from his days on Corregidor and now intelligence aide to General Richard K Sutherland, chief of staff to General Douglas MacArthur. On Ingram’s C-54 are sixteen Japanese senior military and civilian diplomats who meet with Sutherland to discuss formal surrender arrangements. Two days later, the terms are agreed with Ingram working with one of the Japanese delegates to ensure enemy mines are neutralized so the allied fleet of over two ships can enter Tokyo Bay. While Ingram is promised he can attend the ceremony in Tokyo Bay, DeWitt, in concert with the State Department, has an ulterior motive and sends him to Karafuto Island (Sakhalin to the Soviets) to defuse a Soviet attack on Hokkaido—the northernmost island of Japan’s Home Islands. Ingram’s old adversary Edward Dezhnev is the brigade commander responsible for laying siege to a Japanese holdout command in Toro, a natural jumping-off place for an attack on Hokkaido.

Also in Toro, DeWitt explains, is Walter Boring, a Red Cross representative with two crates of overwhelming photographic evidence of Japan’s experiments on live human beings in China. Ingram is expected to return Boring and those crates, but how can he when Boring is being protected by the Japanese garrison in Toro, where Dezhnev and his brigade stand ready to overpower them at any moment?

As his shipmates prepare to return to their loved ones, Ingram’s war continues. Three weeks earlier he was fighting the Japanese, and the Russians were supposed to be friends. Now he doesn’t know who to trust.

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"Having skippered his battered destroyer through deadly kamikaze attacks, twice Navy Cross winner Todd Ingram is rewarded by Washington with a new and even more perilous secret mission. And John J. Gobbell will keep his readers up until dawn to discover if Ingram can possibly accomplish or even survive his hair-raising assignment to foil a bold Soviet planned invasion of Hokkaido from Sakhalin—before the ink is dry on Japan's surrender."

"Edge of Valor is eminently readable and a fast-paced, fun story. The plot is complex enough to keep you on your toes as the story plays out. Just when you get complacent, Jack will throw in an unexpected plot twist. He will have you thumbing through your WW II history collection or doing a Google search for more information about some little known and long forgotten historic tidbit that he has woven into his tale. This story is recommended reading for an enjoyable evening or two with a log on the fire, your feet up, and a slow sipping drink."

"Jack Gobbell knows how to tell a story, and Edge of Valor is a corking good one—combining the final days of World War II's war in the Pacific and the beginning of the Cold War. Gobbell skillfully weaves fascinating, well-drawn fictional characters into historical situations and thus makes a learning experience out of gripping drama. Along the way, he gives such real-life characters as Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Adm. Chester Nimitz, Adm. John S. McCain Sr. and even Arturo Toscanini walk-on parts that are often almost as interesting as his main characters. Edge of Valor is, in short, a compelling and well-researched work of historical fiction."

"Far better than a yarn. Edge of Valor has vivid historical characters and heart. Like no other historical novel, it brings to life the new world order that followed WWII and is still emerging as the cause of turmoil in the western Pacific continues to shift."

"John Gobbell's latest book, Edge of Valor: A Todd Ingram Novel is another triumph in this series. It is historical fiction at its best. He is a master of the details of the battle actions of our WWII destroyers and extends his tale to include the beginning of the Cold War with the Soviet Union."


End Game

This well-written, nicely researched historical novel begins just before World War II ends. U.S. Navy destroyer Cmdr. Todd Ingram has to deal with the Japanese, the Soviets and his own country’s bureaucracy. First he helps bring surrender documents from Manila to Japan in a dilapidated Japanese cargo plane. Then he helps extradite a Red Cross worker from the Soviets. After a brief trip stateside to help his wife, Ingram returns to locate missing files and help evacuate a Japanese force from Soviet internment.

Background information and the problems of those involved in the war and its end are woven throughout. The interplay of Japanese and Soviet interests as well as the problems of peacetime adjustment make this more than just another war novel

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The story begins on 9 August 1945, a date marking the end of the Japanese Empire and the end of WWII. USS Maxwell (DD 525), flagship of Destroyer Squadron 77 is part of a group of cruisers and destroyers protecting the battleship Iowa, which, after a day of shelling Hitachi, Japan, is withdrawing to the east. What is so important about the date? At 1102 hours Nagasaki, Japan was destroyed by the United States’ second atomic bomb, and Japan was forced to face defeat — but terms of surrender take time to arrange, providing ample opportunities for mischief and intrigue by our ally Joseph As the sun sets on this fateful day, Commander Todd Ingram, the exhausted captain of the Maxwell, and Captain Jeremiah T. (Boom Boom) Landa, the squadron’s commodore, are standing on Maxwell’s bridge watching the sunset. Word of the second atomic bomb has reached the fleet, and everyone is wondering if the war is Joseph Stalin knew Japan has to surrender, and he makes a last minute grab for a piece of the Empire’s pie.

Maxwell’s executive officer, Lieutenant Commander Eldon (Tubby) White, enters the bridge with a message. The Soviet Union has declared war on Japan, invaded Mongolia, and plans to occupy one of the main Japanese islands.

The author weaves a complex tale encompassing the remainder of 1945, starting with events leading up to Japan’s formal surrender. A surrender opposed by elements of the Japanese military because surrendering violated the code of bushido. After the formal surrender, Ingram is sent on a top secret mission without being told its real purpose, and finds himself a pawn in a game between the NKVD and the OSS, with guidance (misguidance?) provided by the State Department. During the mission and afterwards, he encounters Soviet duplicity. In addition to naval action, the tale includes a double agent, two love stories, and lots of intrigue. Edge of Valor is a story built around real events and historical facts — Japanese Unit Interplay between characters is reminiscent of books authored by W.E.B. Griffin.

Edge of Valor is the fifth novel in the Todd Ingram series, which presents the author with a dilemma—how much of the story already told must be retold? In the case of Edge of Valor, the author thankfully provided a list of names and titles at the front of the book. A list I found very helpful.

This is an excellent, accurate, well-written and plotted historical novel. I highly recommend Edge of Valor.

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Just Asking

The Authentic Stuff

Newport Beach author JOHN J. GOBBELL has written five World War II naval novels featuring Cmdr. Todd Ingram, including his newest, "Edge of Valor," about a Russian plot to invade Hokkaido, Japan.

When did you know you wanted to be a novelist?
I had a wife and a couple of kids and a mortgage after I finished active duty in the Navy, but I wanted to be an author. I'd sit down and write this stuff at night. After about five to seven chapters of a book, I thought, this is dreck. I stuck it in a drawer. Thirty years later, I picked it up again and started writing. That was "The Brutus Lie" in 1991.

Favorite World War II movie?
One is called "Wing and a Prayer." It was shot in 1944 and covered the Battle of Midway. I love the engine noise of those TBFs—that was a torpedo bomber they had—and I crank it up on my stereo.

You've said readers send you emails about mistakes.
I made a minor mistake in "The Neptune Strategy." It had to do with the badges that sailors, enlisted men, wear on their arm... There were certain rates (badges) that were (for the) right arm, the balance were the left. I didn't realize this was going on until I started getting e-mails from World War II veterans. People like authenticity.

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If you have read the first four books in the Todd Ingram series, you will have followed Commander Ingram’s World War II exploits from the siege of Corregidor, through Guadalcanal and the Solomons to the Indian Ocean onboard a Japanese submarine. The Edge of Valor finds Ingram off the Japanese home islands as the war was in its last days. Atomic bombs have devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan is threatening to come apart as behind-the-doors negotiations determine surrender terms and the shape of post-war Japan. As the United States and Russia jockey for position in the post-war world and the Navy is planning a triumphant entry into Tokyo Wan, mysterious orders directly from MacArthur himself shove Ingram into the center of a deadly vortex.

Author Jack Gobbell is painstaking in his effort to get his facts accurate. Good research is absolutely vital to developing an air of authenticity and believability to wrap around an historical novel. This attention to technical and historic detail is all too rare, even in today’s “Google Age.” Yet Gobbell gets it right. He deftly weaves a complex tale around Stalin’s last minute declaration of war against Japan and invasion of Karafuto, or Sakhalin to the Russians, as a stepping stone to Stalin’s plan to occupy northern Hokkaido. Mix in the discovery of the Kwantung Army’s Unit 731 and their horrific biological experiments; add MacArthur’s role in hiding the facts behind Unit 731 so the U.S. could use data from the experiments, and let simmer. Your stew is a fact-based account of a treacherous and little-known part of history.

Read the whole review here.

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This is author John J. Gobbell's fifth action/adventure novel set in World War II and continues the exploits of Todd Ingram. A deftly crafted and complexly woven storyline populated by memorable characters all presented by an extraordinarily talented writer, "Edge of Valor" is a compelling and wonderfully entertaining read which is highly recommeded for community library collections. It should be noted that "Edge of Valor" is also available in a Kindle edition ($16.99). For those to whom this is their first introduction to this talented author, his prvious and hightly recommended Word War II combat novels includes: "A Code for Tomorrow" (9780312205119, Kindle $7.95); "When Duty Whispers Low" (9780312986759, Kindle $7.95); "A Call to Colors" 9780891418900, Kindle $7.95); "The Neptune Strategy" (9780312988401, Kindle $7.95).

Gobbell's exciting fifth Todd Ingram novel (after 2004’s The Neptune Strategy) finds Ingram commanding the destroyer USS Maxwell, which comes under Kamikaze attack off the coast of Japan shortly after the second atomic bomb falls on Nagasaki. Following the Japanese surrender, Ingram thinks the end of the war in the Pacific means an imminent return to his wife and son stateside after years of combat, yet he quickly discovers otherwise. While Ingram’s next assignment is to escort top Japanese military officials and diplomats on a flight to the Philippines to negotiate peace with Gen. Douglas MacArthur, his old comrade from Corregidor days, Brig. Gen. Otis DeWitt, has bigger plans for the war-weary commander. DeWitt dispatches him to Sakhalin Island, where the Soviets are preparing to launch an attack on Hokkaido. The heroic Ingram gets involved in plenty of intrigue as he seeks to thwart the Soviet threat. History and military buffs will be well rewarded.

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This book is the fifth in the Todd Ingram series though it is not necessary to read them in order. In it as the war with Japan is ending, another foe is apparent as the Cold War begins. Todd Ingram’s background makes him the most likely candidate for a difficult and as it turns out, dangerous assignment so instead of heading for home and family at the end of the war; he finds himself the focus of intrigue, espionage and combat in a frozen place being disputed by a reeling Japan and the Soviet Union. John Gobbell paints a rich picture of U.S. Navy life from an officer's perspective, reflecting his own navy service. He draws on that knowledge and has researched the time period to produce another enjoyable tale for his many fans. Edge of Valor, like the other books in the Todd Ingram series, puts the reader in the action with vivid descriptions and lifelike dialog. Gobbell provides an undercurrent of the issues of the painful separation from family so familiar to military personnel and especially those who serve at sea. Old issues haunt some of the characters and affect their behavior in ways all too familiar to most veterans and Ingram and his family are not immune to them. Characters familiar to readers of Gobbell's previous works appear in sometimes new and tangled roles, resulting in unexpected twists as Ingram becomes aware that this post-war situation has become personal—someone is trying to kill him. Any U.S. Navy veteran should appreciate this book but especially the destroyer sailors and I recommend it very favorably.

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Edge of Valor is John Gobbell at his finest, with a rapidly-paced historical thriller that will have readers turning pages at a furious rate. His portrayal of the war years in the Pacific and on the home front is brilliant and authentic down to the last detail.

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August, 1945. The surrender of Japan should have brought a close to the war, and to the need of Commander Todd Ingram’s presence in the Pacific. But when he is called away from his duties aboard the USS Maxwell to go on a top secret mission, he is troubled. He wants nothing more than to go home to his wife in California.

Of what use would the commanding officer of an American destroyer be among a crew of pilots, Marines, and representatives of the state department escorting Japanese dignitaries? What role could he play in dissuading Soviet intentions to occupy not only territory on the mainland, but also the island of Hokkaido? When he sees his Russian contact, all is made clear. This is the very man he had come to call friend years ago in San Francisco. It’s also the very man who tried to have Ingram’s wife killed. With NKVD threats against his life, the prospect of WWIII, and the onset of the Cold War, the world itself seems at stake. And Ingram finds himself in the middle of it.

This is the fifth installment of the Ingram series. I haven’t read the others, but Gobbell does a good job of getting the reader up to speed. As a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, he is able to bring tremendous insight, information, and authenticity to play in his writing. He obviously loves military life. The novel is full of banter among the ranks, banter between the ranks, and banter between the military branches. His enthusiasm for his characters perhaps shows through too much, and the pacing is a bit off. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable read, and it was good to meet the likes of MacArthur and be there for the official surrender ceremony.

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About John J Gobbell


Upon graduating from the University of Southern California, John was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. He served as a deck and ASW officer aboard the USS Tingey (DD 539), a revered Fletcher-class destroyer and battle of Leyte Gulf veteran. He did a WESTPAC cruise and fought the battle of YANKEE STATION forming a protective destroyer screen around the carrier USS Hancock (CVA 19) in the South China Sea.

Read more about John J Gobbell at his official website: JohnJGobbell.com

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What is the Todd Ingram Series?

Todd Ingram Adventures LogoThese are stand-alone action adventure novels featuring Navy Lieutenant Todd Ingram. Historically accurate, they are set in World War II's Pacific Theater and portray some of the critical naval battles in that period.

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USS Missouri (from Wikipedia.org)

USS Missouri (BB-63) ("Mighty Mo" or "Big Mo") is a United States Navy Iowa-class battleship and was the third ship of the U.S. Navy to be named in honor of the US state of Missouri. Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the United States and was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II.

After trials off New York and shakedown and battle practice in the Chesapeake Bay, Missouri departed Norfolk, Virginia on 11 November 1944, transited the Panama Canal on 18 November and steamed to San Francisco for final fitting out as fleet flagship. She stood out of San Francisco Bay on 14 December and arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 24 December 1944. She departed Hawaii on 2 January 1945 and arrived in Ulithi, WestCaroline Islands on 13 January. There she was temporary headquarters ship for Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher. The battleship put to sea on 27 January to serve in the screen of the Lexington carrier task group of Mitscher'sTF 58, and on 16 February the task force's aircraft carriers launched the first naval air strikes against Japan since the famed Doolittle raid, which had been launched from the carrier Hornet in April 1942.[5]

Missouri then steamed with the carriers to Iwo Jima where her main guns provided direct and continuous support to the invasion landings begun on 19 February. After TF 58 returned to Ulithi on 5 March, Missouri was assigned to the Yorktown carrier task group. On 14 March, Missouri departed Ulithi in the screen of the fast carriers and steamed to the Japanese mainland. During strikes against targets along the coast of the Inland Sea of Japan beginning on 18 March, Missouri shot down four Japanese aircraft.[5]

Raids against airfields and naval bases near the Inland Sea and southwestern Honshū continued. When the carrier Franklin incurred battle damage, the Missouri's carrier task group provided cover for the Franklin'sretirement toward Ulithi until 22 March, then set course for pre-invasion strikes and bombardment of Okinawa.[5]

Missouri joined the fast battleships of TF 58 in bombarding the southeast coast of Okinawa on 24 March, an action intended to draw enemy strength from the west coast beaches that would be the actual site of invasion landings. Missouri rejoined the screen of the carriers as Marine and Army units stormed the shores of Okinawaon the morning of 1 April. An attack by Japanese forces was repulsed successfully.[5]

On 11 April, a low-flying kamikaze, although fired on, crashed onMissouri's starboard side, just below her main deck level. The starboard wing of the plane was thrown far forward, starting a gasoline fire at 5 in (127 mm) Gun Mount No. 3. The battleship suffered only superficial damage, and the fire was brought quickly under control.[5] The remains of the pilot were recovered on board the ship just aft of one of the 40 mm gun tubs. Captain Callaghan decided that the young Japanese pilot had done his job to the best of his ability, and with honor, so he should be given a military funeral. The following day he was buried at sea with military honors.[8]

About 23:05 on 17 April, Missouri detected an enemy submarine 12 mi (19 km) from her formation. Her report set off a hunter-killer operation by the light carrier Bataan and four destroyers, which sank the Japanese submarine I-56.[5]

Missouri was detached from the carrier task force off Okinawa on 5 May and sailed for Ulithi. During the Okinawa campaign she had shot down five enemy planes, assisted in the destruction of six others, and scored one probable kill. She helped repel 12 daylight attacks of enemy raiders and fought off four night attacks on hercarrier task group. Her shore bombardment destroyed several gun emplacements and many other military, governmental, and industrial structures.[5]

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Pacific Theater (from Wikipedia.org)

In Allied countries during the war, "The Pacific War" was not usually distinguished from World War II in general, or it was known simply as the War against Japan. In the United States, the term Pacific Theater was widely used, although technically this did not cover the South West Pacific Theatre (under the command of GeneralDouglas MacArthur), the China-Burma-India Theater, or usually the Southeast Asian Theater. However, theaircraft carrier task forces of the U.S. Pacific Fleet did carry out large air raids on Vietnam – at Haiphong,Camranh Bay, and Saigon in early 1945.

Japan used the name Greater East Asia War (大東亜戦争 Dai Tō-A Sensō?), as chosen by a cabinet decision on 10 December 1941, to refer to both the war with the Western Allies and the ongoing war in China. This name was released to the public on 12 December, with an explanation that it involved Asian nations achieving their independence from the Western powers through armed forces of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.[22] Japanese officials integrated what they called the Japan-Sino Incident (日支事変 Nisshi Jihen?)into the Greater East Asia War.

During the American military occupation of Japan (1945–52), these Japanese terms were prohibited in official documents, although their informal usage continued, and the war became officially known as Pacific War (太平洋戦争 Taiheiyō Sensō?). This latter term has later come into limited use in Occidental countries. In Japan, theFifteen Year War (十五年戦争 Jūgonen Sensō?) is also used, referring to the period from the Mukden Incidentof 1931 through 1945.

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Tokyo Bay (from Wikipedia.org)

Tokyo Bay (東京湾 Tōkyō-wan?) is a bay located in the southern Kantō region of Japan, and spans the coasts of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture. Tokyo Bay is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the Uraga Channel. Its old name was Edo Bay (江戸湾 Edo-wan?). The Tokyo Bay region is both the most populous and largest industrialized area in Japan.

The only natural island in Tokyo Bay is Sarushima (0.055 square kilometres (0.021 sq mi)) at Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. Sarushima was one of the locations fortified with coastal artillery during the Bakumatsu period and was subsequently incorporated into the Tokyo Bay Fortress during the Meiji period. The Imperial Japanese Navy maintained a degaussing station on the island until the end of World War II. The island is now uninhabited and is a marine park.[7]

Many artificial islands were built as naval fortifications in the Meiji and Taishō period. After World War II these island were converted to residential or recreational use. Odaiba, also known as Daiba, was one of six artificial islands constructed in 1853 as a fortification to protect the Tokugawa shogunate at Edo, and was known as the Shinagawa Daiba. After World War II Odaiba was incorporated into Tokyo and redeveloped for commercial and recreational use.[8] After World War II Yumenoshima was planned as a solution to dispose of the large quantities of garbage from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. The island was constructed between 1957 and 1967 hosts numerous recreational facilities. Hakkei Island (0.24 square metres (2.6 sq ft)), formerly Landfill Number 14, was constructed in 1985 and is home to Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.[9] Other artificial islands include Heiwa, Katsushima, Shōwa, Keihin, and Higashiōgi islands.

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September 2, 1945 (from Wikipedia.org)

The surrender of the Empire of Japan on September 2, 1945, brought the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and anAllied invasion of Japan was imminent. While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan's leaders, (the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, also known as the "Big Six"), were privately making entreaties to the neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms favorable to the Japanese. Meanwhile, the Soviets were preparing to attack the Japanese, in fulfillment of their promises to the United States and the United Kingdom made at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences.

On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Late in the evening of August 8, 1945, in accordance with the Yalta agreements, but in violation of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and soon after midnight on August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union invaded the Imperial Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Later that same day, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb, this time on the city of Nagasaki. The combined shock of these events caused Emperor Hirohito to intervene and order the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War to accept the terms the Allieshad set down in the Potsdam Declaration for ending the war. After several more days of behind-the-scenes negotiations and a failed coup d'état, Emperor Hirohito gave a recorded radio address across the Empire on August 15. In the radio address, called the Gyokuon-hōsō ("Jewel Voice Broadcast"), he announced the surrender of Japan to the Allies.

On August 28, the occupation of Japan by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers began. The surrender ceremony was held on September 2, aboard the United States Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63), at which officials from the Japanese government signed theJapanese Instrument of Surrender, thereby ending the hostilities. Allied civilians and military personnel alike celebrated V-J Day, the end of the war; however, some isolated soldiers and personnel from Imperial Japan's far-flung forces throughout Asia and the Pacific islands refused to surrender for months and years afterwards, some even refusing into the 1970s. The role of the atomic bombings in Japan's surrender, and the ethics of the two attacks, is still debated. The state of war between Japan and the Allies formally ended when the Treaty of San Francisco came into force on April 28, 1952. Four more years passed before Japan and the Soviet Union signed the Soviet–Japanese Joint Declaration of 1956, which formally brought an end to their state of war.

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Supplemental Images

Signing the Instrument of Surrender Agreement

2 September, 1945
USS Missouri (BB 63)
Anchored Tokyo Bay, Japan
35°N 27’38 139°E 50’20

“…The issues involving diverse ideals and ideologies have been determined on the battlefields of the world and hence are not for our discussion or debate.”

Thus spoke General Douglas MacArthur in a rather austere ceremony on the Missouri’s 01 or veranda deck. His words were also broadcast via an international radio network to the people of the world. He was saying in essence that democracy had won out over Imperial Japan’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Further, he prayed that peace be restored and that God may preserve it forever.

With over 200 ships present, the ceremony started about 0900 that morning and concluded twenty minutes later. The first two signatures were the most important. They were: Japan’s Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu who signed for Japan’s Imperial government including Emperor Hirohito. The next to sign was General Yoshijiro Umezu, representing all Imperial Japanese armed forces.

After that, General MacArthur signed as Supreme commander of Allied Forces; Admiral Chester Nimitz signed for the United States. Eight Allied representatives signed for: Great Britain, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, China, the Soviet Union, and The Netherlands.

Finely crafted, the peace was tenuous at first. Fear and anger still ranged on both sides. Some Americans were trigger happy and wanted to open fire on anything that moved. Fear in Japan’s Home Islands was likewise rampant. And many Japanese hotheads wanted to continue the fight to the “…last bullet…” the “…last drop of blood.” Japanese civilians had been told time and again; the Allies would rape their women and plunder their villages. Indeed, Japanese women were warned: “Don’t go out in the evening. Hide all your valuables such as watches and rings. If rape is attempted, don’t yield, show dignity and cry out for help if at all possible.”

But cool heads prevailed. Peace, and reason, and cooperation were restored. Japan returned to the community of free nations and has contributed mightily ever since.

The following photographs of the ceremony are official U.S. government from many sources. They are assembled in chronological order for sake of continuity.

Gallery List

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