This collection of pictures features images from August 17–30, 1945.
August 27, 1945, the Allied Fleet started making its way toward Tokyo Harbor. Japanese locals help guide the Fleet in the following days.
August 29th and 30th saw the liberation of Allied POWs, the first steps toward disarming Japan, and the arrival of General MacArthur in Japan, in advance of Japan’s official surrender.
View related images via the features “VJ Day in Pictures,” “August 1945: Liberation of POWs in Images,” and “September 2, 1945: Formal Surrender of Japan in Images.”
Maneuvering off the coast of Japan, 17 August 1945, two days after Japan agreed to surrender. Taken by a USS Shangri-La (CV-38) photographer. The aircraft carrier in lower right is USS Wasp (CV-18). Also present in the formation are five other Essex class carriers, four light carriers, at least three battleships, plus several cruisers and destroyers. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Japanese military and civilian envoys wait to board a USAAF C-54 aircraft at Ie Shima airfield, Ryukyu Islands, 19 August 1945. The delegation had come to Ie Shima from Japan in specially-marked aircraft, en route to General MacArthur's headquarters in Manila to receive instructions concerning surrender and occupation arrangements. The officer in the center foreground is the delegation's head, Lieutenant General Torashiro Kawabe, deputy chief of the Japanese Army general staff. Credit: U.S. Naval Historical Center.
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (top right) watches from a balcony above a crowd of soldier spectators as the sixteen-man Japanese delegation arrives at City Hall, Manila, to make surrender arrangements. Photo is dated 20 August 1945. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
USS Missouri (BB-63) (at left) Transferring personnel to USS Iowa (BB-61), while operating off Japan on 20 August 1945. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Sailors on the bow of USS Nicholas (DD-449) watch the Japanese destroyer Hatsuzakura steaming in company off Tokyo Bay, 27 August 1945. The Japanese ship had brought out several naval officers and harbor pilots for a conference on USS Missouri concerning the entry of the Third fleet into Sagami Wan and Tokyo Bay. Note radars, depressed gun barrels, Japanese naval ensign and other details of this Tachibana class destroyer. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
A Japanese naval officer boards Missouri with charts of Sagami and Tokyo Bays, for a piloting conference with Admiral William F. Halsey's staff, 27 August 1945. This conference was held to prepare for the entrance of U.S. Third Fleet and British Pacific Fleet ships into the bays for the Japanese surrender ceremonies. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Japanese officers' briefcases are searched for possible weapons, in the wardroom of USS Nicholas (DD-449), as the destroyer carried them to confer with Allied representatives concerning the entry of U.S. and British warships into Sagami Wan and Tokyo Bay, 27 August 1945. Nicholas's Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Raynha Townshend, USNR, is in the left center. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Two U.S. Navy officers examine a Japanese officer's sword, on board USS Nicholas (DD-449), 27 August 1945. The Japanese were on board to provide piloting services for Third Fleet ships entering Sagami Wan and Tokyo Bay. Note other Japanese swords and sword belts on the table in the foreground. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
USS Cumberland Sound (AV-17) Ship's Commanding Officer, Captain Etheridge Grant, USN, (center), checks charts with a Japanese Navy pilot and Lieutenant Rogers, USN, (at right), as the seaplane tender prepares to enter Tokyo Bay, 28 August 1945. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Lieutenant Commander Edward Porter Clayton, USN, (center, back to camera) Commanding Officer of Underwater Demolition Team 21, receiving the first sword surrendered to an American force in the Japanese Home islands. The surrender was made by a Japanese Army Coast Artillery Major (standing opposite LCdr. Clayton) at Futtsu-misaki, across Tokyo Bay from Yokosuka Navy Base on 28 August 1945. Members of UDT-21 had landed from USS Burke (APD-65), whose boats are beached in this view. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Admiral William F. Halsey, Commander, Third Fleet (right) Welcomes Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz aboard USS South Dakota (BB-57), in Tokyo Bay, 29 August 1945, after Nimitz flew in from Saipan. Both attended the Japanese surrender ceremonies on USS Missouri (BB-63) a few days later. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Marines go ashore for initial occupation of Japanese facilities, probably near Yokosuka, circa 30 August 1945. Taken by a USS Iowa (BB-61) photographer. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, U.S. Army (second from right) with other senior Army officers, upon his arrival at Atsugi airdrome, near Tokyo, Japan, 30 August 1945. Among those present are: Major General Joseph M. Swing, Commanding General, 11th Airborne Division, (left); Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland (3rd from right); General Robert L. Eichelberger (right). Aircraft in the background is a Douglas C-54. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Yokosuka Navy Base, Japan A Japanese working party rigs the gangway as USS San Diego (CL-53) docks at Yokosuka on 30 August 1945, to take part in the U.S. occupation of that facility. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan Rear Admiral Robert B. Carney, U.S. Third Fleet Chief of Staff, at the surrender of the Yokosuka Naval base to U.S. forces, 30 August 1945. He received the surrender on behalf of the U.S. Navy. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Japanese Vice Admiral Michitoro Tozuka, Yokosuka Naval Base Commander, photographed just after he had surrendered the facility to Rear Admiral Robert B. Carney, U.S. Third Fleet Chief of Staff, on 30 August 1945. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
Brigadier General William T. Clement, USMC (left), Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN (center) and Admiral William F. Halsey, USN (right) Go over plans at the Yokosuka Naval Hospital, which had been taken over for treatment of released Allied prisoners of war, 30 August 1945. Credit: Naval Historical Center.
U.S. Marines destroying rifles, light field guns and other weapons at Futtsu-misaki, on Tokyo Bay across from Yokosuka Navy Base, in a first step toward disarming Japan, 30 August 1945. Initial landings had taken place on that day. Credit: Naval Historical Center.