End of War in Europe
Ottawa on VE Day
The end of the war in Europe occurred May 8, 1945. Somehow the information was delivered to us in the classroom and all hell broke loose when we were informed.
Someone is Happy – Lucky Airforce Pilot
Matlot gets his Squeeze – (note he is wearing a Dickie )
I guess we took our timing from the teachers and the adults who came to the school with the news. We were laughing and shouting and some were crying but all were in jubilation at the news. Even though we were young we sensed the meaning of this monumental event.
Ah when women were built like women and not like skeletons
We knew the lights would go on again and rationing would soon end and our boys would be returning home. It was a very happy day. We were dismissed and headed out on the road singing and yelling and having a gay old time.
The style of the Working Girl in 1945
May 8, 1945, was a day to celebrate. It was VE-Day, the long-awaited moment when the Allied forces triumphed over Nazi Germany to claim victory in Europe.
But the joy brought by news of peace was dampened by the memory of fallen comrades and the ongoing war in the Pacific.
From the liberation of Holland through the German surrender, celebrations in Canada and the servicemen’s return, CBC Radio and our daily newspapers described Canadian celebrations as the war ended in Europe.
End of War in Pacific
USS Missouri enroute to the Surrender Ceremony
In a few days after the war in Europe ended we learned that many of our Alder Point servicemen had volunteered for duty in the Pacific War. Fortunately that ended while many were preparing to go or were en-route.
I remember we all talked about Russell Serroul who we knew was a prisoner of war of the Japs having been captured in the overthrow of Hong Kong early in the war. Poor Russell when he did return he was like a skeleton. This poor man must have suffered terribly and was not in good health the rest of his life passing away at a relatively young age.
Here is what we listened to on the radio:
On September 2, 1945 aboard the Battleship Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, representatives of Japan met with the Allies to sign the surrender. One of them, Admiral Tomioka, wondered over the lack of signs of contempt from the Americans for him and his fellow defeated Japanese. In his speech at the surrender ceremonies, MacArthur said: The energy of the Japanese race, if properly directed, will enable expansion vertically rather than horizontally. If the talents of the race are turned into constructive channels, the country can lift itself from the present deplorable state into a position of dignity.
Japs arrive to Surrender
Hirohito, listening to his radio, was impressed. His aide, Kase Toshikazu, told him that it was ‘rare good fortune’ that a man of such calibre and character had been designated supreme commander to shape the destiny of Japan. Hirohito agreed.
The war was now officially over. China had lost 2.2 million military men – one in every 200 of its population in 1940. Japan had lost 1,506,000 military men – one in every 46 of its 1940 population. According to Wikipedia, China lost 19,605,000 people, military and civilian, (3.78 percent of it population). Japan lost 2,621,000 (3.67 percent of its population).
I shall always remember the seriousness of General MacArthur who said in his final words of his speech aboard the Battleship Missouri at the surrender ceremonies and with the most senior Japanese military and civilian officials present, “these proceedings are now ended,” and with that he left the deck without a further word. I was flabbergasted and in awe when I eventually saw this event on film and was able to see and hear the General uttering those immortal words.
Japan Surrenders to the Allied Powers
The War in the Pacific ended August 14, 1945 (U.S. time/date) and August 15, 1945 (Japan time/date). This difference due to International Date Line.