September 2, 1945
This was the day World War II ended in the Pacific. The Japanese surrendered aboard the USS Missouri, the battleship my dad Robert V. Shultz was on at the end of the war. View a video showing about the ceremony.
Here are my Dad’s words about that day:
It started out as a gray day, sort of cool. Ships everywhere and lots of small craft. Busy, busy. Plying to and from the ships. Battlewagons, Cruisers, Tin Cans, Supply ships, Service Craft were everywhere. Must have been the biggest assembly of ships ever. Lots of war planes too. Heavy patrolling. Everyone on board was in awe of the scene. We were in Tokyo Bay, at anchor, the first real port city since leaving Pearl Harbor in December while we were still on Condition Easy. All guns manned, but you knew it was over. The defeat was complete. It was hard to believe what we heard about the big bombs.
I wondered what it was like back home. What did they think; how did they feel? The whole world was focused on one ship, one event. We were it. It was hard to believe.
Dignitaries and aides by the dozens started coming on board. All by water taxi as we were carefully at anchor, almost the middle of this huge bay. The hum of the hundreds on board and the constant roar of warplanes could be heard. Never before and never again. It was excitement, excitement. Heavy-duty thrill.
Then MacArthur set the tone, very somber guy. Hollywood casting could not have matched his role, his presence, and his words. Born and bred for destiny and history. I really thought it was something to be there. The sun broke out as if on cue.
A day to remember.
Enjoy a video by Douglas County TV done in 2004 in which Robert Shultz was interviewed.