Today was the day when all the Jap Generals & Admirals from the other islands came to Okinawa to surrender to the 10th Army. My driver has been hauling them back & forth all day. They have an old house fixed up just a couple hundred yards from my tent which they are using for a sort of headquarters. I expect they will be over there all night reading & signing documents. But I don’t see much of them. The MP’s keep every one pretty much away.
On the actual day of the official ceremony, 7 September 1945, Lt. Reinhart T. Kowallis wrote home to his wife Norma about the event. He said:
Today was the day the Japs signed the surrender papers for the Ryukyus. It took place out under the flag pole over by the General’s quarters. Tanks were lined up all along the road and over head squadrons of planes were flying over. Everyone and their dogs were there. Ray & I got a ring side seat up on the hill. As the Jap Generals were brought over the band played “The Old Grey Mare.” None of the Japs looked very happy. I wonder why.
From his ring side seat, Lt. Kowallis took the photos shown here and developed them himself.
These last two photos are not ones from Lt. Kowallis' collection, but are official government photos of the Japanese delegation at the signing table on the parade grounds and of the ceremony from an aerial view.
You can read more about the Battle of Okinawa on Wikipedia, PBS.org, and History.com.
Other good sites for information on the Battle of Okinawa during 1945 include:
- The Hawai'i Nisei Story site
- History.net's site
- MilitaryHistory.com's site
- US Army Center for Military History site
- Marines in World War II Commemorative site
- Japan Capitulates
[Note: Be sure to visit my earlier blogs on the people of Okinawa, casualties of war, capture of a Japanese soldier, LDS servicemen and women in Okinawa, more faces from Okinawa, 10th Army Photo Interpretation Group, and Shuri Castle.]