|Aerial demonstration over Missouri, September 2, 1945. U.S. Navy|
On September 2, 1945, the USS Missouri culminated her World War II service by hosting the surrender ceremonies between the Allied powers and the Empire of Japan.
The following brief history of that momentous day is excerpted from USS Missouri at War by Kit and Carolyn Bonner.
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With the horn blowing and the Missouri’s whistle also on full, Admiral Halsey had his four-star flag was broken out on the mast. Unfortunately, the whistle was somewhat corroded, and its deafening noise would not stop for two minutes. The significance of the flag was that it was rarely flown, so as not to alert wary kamikazes that the Missouri had high-ranking staff aboard.
At 11:11 a.m., the noise died down as the actual belief that it was true began to sink in: forty-four months and seven days of war were finally over. This meant not being frightened every day, even if it was a latent fear.
The war in the Pacific should never have taken place. It was the brainchild of Imperial Japanese Army hotheads against conservative civilian leaders and many high-ranking naval officers. It was also in retaliation for perceived racial discrimination by America and the Washington Naval Arms Limitation Treaty. That treaty did treat the Japanese military in a very cavalier fashion.