An untold story of the perils of war.
It was a time of jubilation. The Japs had capitulated almost a month before.
The great naval fortress of Tokyo Bay had been opened. There were hundreds of American ships of all sizes in the formerly impregnable redoubt of the enemy. There were Battleships, Cruisers, Light Cruisers, Aircraft Carriers, Destroyers, Tenders, LSM’s, LST’s, PT’s, Submarines, and all kinds of auxiliary and cargo vessels. Hundreds of ships and vessels. And all armed.
For the defeated Japanese it must have been awesome … and terrifying. Not only the ships of the United States of America, but of Britain, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union and many others. And on the largest and most magnificent of all, the awesome battleship USS Missouri, the instruments of surrender were being signed under the direction of a master of presence, history and formality, General of the Armies, Douglas A. MacArthur. A most solemn and measured ceremony designed to inflict the most severe loss of face upon the Japanese and to give the greatest possible glory to the Victors. One of the most impressive ceremonies in recorded history.
The world held it’s breath … then it was done … the greatest conflict in history, World War Two was over. The word was instantly flashed by radio to all peoples everywhere … and to the fleet in the harbor.
The sailors were hysterical with relief and excitement after years of terror, struggle, privation, fear and bloodshed, it was over, they had won and it was wonderful … heaven. Someone fired his machine gun into the air in celebration, then, another fired his, and then another. Soon every weapon in that great armada was firing into the air in the jubilation of the moment. And then, when the bullets and shells fell back into the bay, 315 American sailors lay dead or wounded … Fate cares not for the puny struggles and victories of man, but only for the rules known to the ancients and the laws of nature. What goes up must come down.