Since 2010 Chicagoboyz has been commemorating the anniversaries every August or September, the two atomic bombings, the acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration by Imperial Japan and the official Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. This year’s commemoration focuses on September 2, 1945, when General Douglas MacArthur as “Supreme Commander Allied Powers” or “SCAP” officiated the Tokyo Bay surrender ceremony with Imperial Japan that ended World War 2.
There are several films of this event. There was the official one MacArthur’s Signal Corps camera crew recorded. There is a film from war correspondent William Courtenay that became a newsreel and there was a color film taken by Commander George F. Kosco of the US Navy.
The most complete version of the ceremony I’ve found was the Newsreel restored by Critical Past in black and white immediately below. It is more historically relevant for me as it includes visuals of all the Allied national military & Imperial Japanese signers of the document of surrender. It runs almost nine minutes.
The National Archives has a less restored version of the same newsreel.
The Naval History & Heritage Command has the color film taken by Commander George F. Kosco of the US Navy of the surrender ceremony.
This Dutch Documentary used a colorized versions of the Courtenay film as well as Kosco original color film with no narration, flowing music and text listing the Allied signers and the time they signed.
As decades of time has gone by, the length of time and content of visual memory has changed. This NBC News piece is typical of how these WW2 surrender commemorations have changed as WW2’s participants have faded from this world into memory.
Finally, I’ll close this year’s Chicagoboyz commemoration with this Smithsonian Channel commemoration.
World War 2 was both the biggest and so far the most destructive war humanity has ever fought. It was also humanity’s only war which has used nuclear devices as weapons of war. With God’s grace, World War 2 will be our only nuclear war.
But it is the doom of men that they forget…