VJ75 Day 2020

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by 4jonboy, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    I’m laying a wreath on behalf of HM Coastguard tomorrow at our local VJ Day service.

    my grandfather was part of the eastern fleet and earned the Burma Star.

    I am also representing the HM Coastguard at the Cenotaph this year in London
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  2. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    As we celebrate VJ Day and the end of WW2 let us not forget the sacrifice of the tens of thousands POWs who suffered brutal and inhuman treatment in the hands of the Japanese. Of my Dad's Regiment, the 35th LAA, 408 (45%) never came home.

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  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Leading Seaman Alfred Charles Dennis of Plymouth enjoys a Victory cigar. He is indicating his approval not only with the quality of the cigar but with the occasion the photograph was taken, on board HMS SHAH on the day the Japanese capitulated (15 August 1945)

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  4. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    VJ Day at Gloucester War memorial at 11-00am. Had a nice chat with a Veteran who served in Cyprus during the EOKA troubles between 1955-59. A few people were wearing their Parent's Burma Star.



    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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  5. ElaineRM

    ElaineRM Member

    My husband and I organised a small ceremony by our War memorial in our little Gloucestershire village this morning. We held the two minutes silence and then walked up to the church so that we could talk together about our families experiences of the Far East War. There were about twenty of us. I was able to tell the others about what I have found out about my father, Capt A J Mills RASC being behind Japanese lines in the Arakan with the 81st West Africans, bringing supplies by Bullock carts amongst other ways.
    My husband, as a baby, his two brothers and mother were civilian internees in the Stanley Camp in Hong Kong, whilst their father was captured as a member of the HK Voluntary Defence Corp, put firstly in Sham Shui Po Camp and then sent on a Hell ship to Japan to work as slave labour. They all survived by some miracle, and were reunited in Manila on the Empress of Australia, neither adult having known whether the other had survived or not. Some reunion, I imagine, after three years and eight months of horror!
    Other Villagers were able to contribute their varied experiences also. It was an unforgettable morning. We must never forget the "Forgotten War " experiences of our families and all who took part. Elaine.
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  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    VJ Day commemorations taking place across NI

    The Red Arrows pass over The Titanic Quarter in Belfast

    Events are taking place across Northern Ireland on Saturday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

    The day commemorates victory over Japan, which finally brought World War Two to an end.

    A national two-minute silence was observed during a socially-distanced memorial event at Belfast City Hall at 11:00 BST.

    A wreath-laying ceremony also took place at the Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum.

    The RAF Red Arrows were seen over Belfast at 14:00 as part of a national flypast.

    Lord Mayor of Belfast Frank McCoubrey lays a wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall

    Belfast Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey laid a wreath at the Cenotaph after the Last Post was played by a bugler.

    Afterwards, Mr McCoubrey said it was frustrating that health restrictions had prevented the occasion being marked with a major event, but said it was important to avoid mass gatherings.

    "We're in difficult times at the moment and there wasn't very many people here but I think it was very, very important that we came out and remembered those who sacrificed their lives to give us our freedom," he said.

    A piper also played outside Hillsborough Castle early on Saturday morning.

    From Belfast City Hall: Mervyn Jess, BBC News NI
    The number of people at Belfast Cenotaph was modest but Covid restrictions played a part in that.

    City councillors lined up beside the memorial as the Lord Mayor led them in the short act of remembrance.

    Elizabeth Montgomery placed a small cross at the memorial in memory of her father who fought in the Chindits in the jungles of Burma

    She said it was emotional and brought back memories of her dad.

    In County Fermanagh, a lone piper played Battle's O'er at Enniskillen Castle at dawn ahead of a scheduled service in the grounds of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.

    Of the 50 former pupils who were killed in the conflict, eight died in East Asia.

    First Minister Arlene Foster, who attended the service, said it had been "lovely" that some of the veterans had been able to attend because many could not join in VE Day due to lockdown.

    "Obviously, we've been making sure that they've been safe and socially distancing, but of course this was the end of the war, in reality - in VJ day - and it's been very important to mark it here in Enniskillen," she said.

    From Fermanagh: Julian Fowler, BBC News NI
    Among six WW2 veteran guests in Enniskillen was 100-year-old Tommy McBrien who served in East Asia.

    He joined the RAF in 1939 to serve as an electrician and was based in Singapore.

    He said he was "one of the lucky ones" who got out of Singapore just 24 hours before the Japanese invasion in 1941.

    WW2 veteran Tommy McBrien was one of a number of soldiers from Northern Ireland who served in East Asia during the war

    "I felt incredibly lucky and relieved to be evacuated, who knows how things might have turned out if I had been captured or wounded as many were," he said.

    Tommy McBrien pictured with his medals at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School

    Tommy Fisher was on his way to Australia when the train he was on was ambushed by Japanese paratroopers

    Other guests include relatives of the late Tommy Fisher who founded Fisher Engineering in Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh.

    He also served in the RAF in Singapore but he was not so lucky.

    Having been moved to Java, he was on a train heading for a ship bound for Australia when it was ambushed by Japanese paratroopers.

    He returned to Singapore as a prisoner of war before being taken to Japan, where he was sent to work in a copper mine.

    In August 1945, he recalled seeing the vapour trails of American planes and hearing explosions around the time of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.

    On 28 August 1945, an American bomber dropped leaflets, one of which his family still has, informing the prisoners that the Japanese government had surrendered.

    Many Americans were based in County Fermanagh during WW2 and those links will be recalled when a United States Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, a modified Boeing 737, flies over Enniskillen at 12:00 BST.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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  7. Jim Klag

    Jim Klag Member

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  8. Grasmere

    Grasmere Active Member

    The most important thing is the veterans who were able to celebrate VJ75 - after all, they were there and experienced it first hand.
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  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Well said Grasmere. It was wonderful to see some of the veterans have the opportunity to take part in all the various commemorations, unlike their poor VE Day counterparts from back in May. I know in many of their minds it was important to take this opportunity as restricted as it was, because as they will tell you, time waits for no man.
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Some of the BBC VJ-related articles available today

    • WW2 Burma veteran recalls being left in jungle Video in link VJ Day: Burma veteran recalls being left in jungle. John Hutchin, 95, fought with a special operations force, the Chindits, during the Burma campaign. The veteran describes the harrowing moment when his force had to leave him behind.
    • Video experience headlines - BBC News Video in link VJ Day: The forgotten African soldiers. Ghanaian veteran Private Joseph Hammond, who is now 95 years old, reflects on the Burma Campaign of World War Two. He was one of 100,000 Africans who fought for the British Army against the Japanese. The multinational troops are known as the forgotten army, as many feel their sacrifices and contributions received little recognition. Hammond has been called the "Ghanaian Captain Tom" because of his fundraising efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Daughter of WW2 prisoner of war shares last letter L/Cpl James Ambrose, 29, Liverpool King's Regiment, died a PoW in Rangoon Jail, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, after being captured by Japanese forces on 8 November 1943.
    • VJ Day: People celebrate with street parties and kisses Following the end of the fighting in Europe, the Allies told Japan to surrender by 28 July 1945, but the deadline passed without them doing so. It wasn't until the US had dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on 6 and 9 August, that Japan surrendered and ended the war.
    • UK marks 75th anniversary of VJ Day Prince Philip was a young Royal Navy officer aboard a warship in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered. As part of the commemorations, he appeared in a photo montage of veterans which featured on large screens in locations across the country throughout the day. In the montage each veteran was pictured with an image of themselves from their time in service. It is estimated that there were 71,000 British and Commonwealth casualties of the war against Japan, including more than 12,000 prisoners of war who died in Japanese captivity. More than 2.5 million Japanese military personnel and civilians are believed to have died over the course of the conflict.
    • Scotland marks 75th anniversary of VJ Day Whitson Johnson served with the RAF. On VJ Day 75 years ago, he decoded the message that informed his base in Burma that the war was over. "The fighting stopped for everyone," he said. "Not just the British and Americans, but it also stopped for the Japanese as well. All the killing stopped and it stated to get back to normal. It took a year for me to get home." Albert Lamond was with an American fleet sailing to invade Japan when victory was declared. "They dropped a bomb at Hiroshima and it was all called off," said Mr Lamond, 94. "It was the end. It was a relief it was over and it was finished. It was good to get home." Barney Roberts remembers going to sleep without fear for the first time since the war started. "I knew that I wasn't going to get shelled or bombed or torpedoed. I could go to my hammock and sleep. It was an amazing experience after five years living the way we had lived." Jenny Martin, 78, was born in the Changi Prison Camp, in eastern Singapore, and spent the first three years of her life there with her mother, aunt and cousin.
    • 'We owe VJ Day veterans a debt of honour' Reg Gabriel, 77th AA Regiment Royal Artillery was among the prisoners of war captured and forced to carry out labour under horrific conditions. Following a battle in the Java Sea, he and his fellow soldiers were captured and sent to a labour camp for a year before being moved to Japan on what were known as "hell ships" due to the conditions prisoners suffered. There, they worked in mines and in factories and it was at one of these factories in Wakayama where he was forced to spend a winter's night outside naked for what his son called "a minor infringement".
    • 'The price they paid for the society we have today' Hugh Harper joined the RAF in 1938, ended up in a prisoner of war camp in Singapore in 1941. He managed to escape but was captured in Java in Indonesia in March 1942 and then was transported back to Singapore where he "spent a short time in the infamous Changi prison" and then was taken to back to Japan. He arrived in November 1942 and was then sent to work in a shipyard about 20 miles north of Hiroshima. On 6 August 1945 he was going to work in the shipyard and heard a noise and tremor. What he thought was an earthquake was actually the dropping of the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima.
    • Video experience headlines - BBC News Dr Frank Murray, RAMC, became known as the Belfast medic who helped protect the lives of hundreds of Allied prisoners of war in Japanese prison camps.
    • 'I regret atom bombs but they are why I'm alive' Jack Ransom, 118 Field Regiment Royal Artillery, was standing at the gates of Changi jail in Singapore when he discovered his ordeal was over. He had been a prisoner of the Japanese for more than three years, during which time he had been forced to build the infamous Burma railway and carry out other punishing work on rations of just a bowl of rice a day. Jack weighed just six stones and describes himself as looking like a scarecrow, dressed in rags and no shoes. Seventy-five years on, he says he was "bloody lucky" to survive his horrendous punishment as a prisoner of war.
    • Japan marks 75 years since end of WWII The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe marked the occasion by sending an offering to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo, but did not visit in person.
    • A WW2 hero and a reckoning with Japan's past The *last Japanese soldier to formally surrender after the country's defeat in World War Two was Hiroo Onoda. Lieutenant Onoda finally handed over his sword on March 9th 1974. He had held out in the Philippine jungle for 29 years. In interviews and writings after his return to Japan, Lt Onoda said he had been unable to accept that Japan had capitulated. When Hiroo Onoda died in 2014 at the age of 91, Prime Minister Abe's spokesman was effusive in his eulogy. He gave no hint of the futility of his lonely war, or mention of the Philippine villagers he had killed long after Japan's surrender. Instead he described Hiroo Onoda as a Japanese hero. [*See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teruo_Nakamura]
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
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  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for posting these Diane. The one with the daughter and her father's last letter is poignant to me, as James Ambrose was captured alongside my own grandfather on Operation Longcloth and they both perished as POWs in Rangoon Jail:

    Family 2

    Scrool to the second story on the above page.
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  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  13. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Id'd via Twitter an article by Professor Ashley Jackson, on how VJ-day was celebrated and for me this discovery:
    Link: Victory over Japan Day: Celebrating the end of World War II | Feature from King's College London

    There is a second article: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/the-british-empires-war-against-japan-a-reflection A broad, strategic overview.

    I assume the British bombers were operating from RN aircraft carriers, as I have not heard much about long-range RAF bombers being there. Ah, perhaps another thread is best.

    Then via the BBC's 'History Today' magazine a podcast Q&A (34 mins) 'Victory in the East':
    Link: Victory in the east
  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I had the honour of representing the Chindit Society and families at a short ceremony at our memorial on the Victorian Embankment in London. This was early last Saturday at 7.45am and was part of a six memorial tour that morning.

    Chindit Memorial VJ Day 75 .jpg
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  15. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    VJ Day in Little Italy in lower Manhattan, NYC.

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
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  16. John Ulferts

    John Ulferts Member

    Here's a VE Day story of sorts from my book Always Remember - World War II Through Veterans' Eyes https://www.amazon.com/Always-Remember-World-Through-Veterans-ebook/dp/B07NP1MY4Z. Harry Koty had an enviable post-war occupation assignment -
    After VE Day, the 97th Infantry Division was one of the first to be sent back to the United States so that they could be redeployed in the Pacific. Harry Koty was given a short furlough, then it was off to Ft. Bragg where he received several weeks of additional training. Koty was already enroute to the Pacific, having been shipped out from Seattle on a Russian ship, when the atomic bombs were dropped and Japan surrendered. Instead of enduring more fighting, the 97th Infantry would now become an occupation force.
    Koty was given an enviable assignment. Because of a shortage of military police, he was taken out of the infantry and made an MP.
    “Believe it or not, I had the best duty in Japan,” Koty recalled. “They stationed me on guard duty at the Geisha houses and for three months I lived with about 15 Geisha girls.”
    None-the-less, the 24-year-old Koty found he had a challenging duty:
    I had to keep the young GIs most of them were 18 or 19-years-old out of the houses because there was a lot of venereal diseases going on at the time because there were also big shortages of medicines of all kinds because of the air raids.
    Although Japan had been devastated by Allied bombing, the Geisha girls were spared from the severe food shortages that gripped the rest of Japan:
    Somehow the well to do Japanese businessmen would get steaks and other good food for the Geisha girl and I ate the steaks and all right along with them. It wasn’t a bad assignment at all for a young Ohio boy.
    Harry Koty Mainz, Germany.jpg Harry Koty.jpg
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