December 7, 2012, 70th. Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

On Friday December 7, 2012, we recall the cowardly and treacherous act of Japan attacking without any warning, the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor 70 years ago.

It was fortunate that the US aircraft carriers were at sea undertaking exercises, and so were saved to fulfill an important role in future naval battles in the Pacific.

This brought the Unites States into the war against both Japan and Germany, at that time, I was certain it meant that the Allies would in due course prevail in this struggle.

And so it proved, with the Japanese rushing to the negotiation table to accept unconditional surrender after the dropping of two atomic bombs on the Japanese Homeland.

So on Sunday September 2, 1945 on board Admiral Bull Halsey's Flagship, the mighty battleship USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay,the Japanese delegation meekly signed the Surrender Document. I was there in Tokyo Bay serving as a Lieutenant RAN in the 8 inch gunned cruiser HMAS Shropshire gifted by Winston Churchill to replace her sister ship HMAS Canberra, sunk at the Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942, when Savo commenced I
was on her bridge as Officer of the Watch, and was lucky to escape unharmed.

Sixty years on, whilst visiting Missouri alongside at Ford Island in Hawaii I stood on the plaque to mark the spot where Japan had signed the surrender document back in 1945,

It all seemed so long ago.

Best wishes.


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