Surrender at Rabaul
On September 6, 1945 aboard Royal Navy aircraft carrier
HMS Glory in St George's Channel
between New Britain and New Ireland, the General Officer Commanding First Australian Army
(Lt-General V A H Sturdee) accepted the surrender of Lt-General Imamura
and Vice-Admiral Kusaka, who were in command of about 139,000 Japanese
in New Britain, New Ireland, New Guinea, the Solomons and adjacent
At the head of the gangway the Japanese party was met by the deck
officer (Lt-Colonel L K Shave), the master-at-arms and a guard of Royal
Marines. The party was disarmed and their name cards collected. Soon
afterwards the ship's company paraded in two ranks on the flight deck of
the carrier. On the starboard side of the flight deck had been placed a
table and behind it stood General Sturdee. On either side of him and a
little to the rear were Major-General K W Eather, General Officer
Commanding Eleventh Division, and the commander of the Glory (Captain W
Buzzard, RN). Near by were the interpreter (Captain Worth) and Major N. J.
F. Wright, personal assistant to the GOC, holding the surrender
documents, and high-ranking Navy, Army and Air Force officers.
General Imamura, a squat, middle-aged officer, halted before the table
and saluted. He was instructed to hand over his sword, which he did by
placing it on the table in front of General Sturdee.
The terms of surrender, other orders, and instructions were then read
and translated. On receiving orders to sign the document General Imamura
explained through interpreters that he could not sign also for the
Japanese Navy. This point was quickly settled by the ordering of Admiral
Jininchi Kusaka to sign for the Navy. The Japanese were handed Japanese
lettering brushes for signing. General Imamura added his signature in
English, below the Japanese characters.
Three copies were signed, one for Australia, one for HMS Glory, and the
third for the Japanese. The document was completed by the affixing of
General Sturdee's signature. General Imamura made a speech in Japanese
which was translated sentence by sentence. It was to the effect that the
Japanese appreciated the consideration which had been shown to them and
that they would immediately implement the orders given by the Australian
commander. During the ceremony the flag of the Australian general (a
Union Jack with the Royal Cipher centred) flew from the mast-an unusual
sight on a British ship.
Surrender at Wewak
The General Officer Commanding 6th Division (Major-General H. C. H.
Robertson) called a parade of representatives of every unit of the 6th Division on September 13, when a simple ceremony was staged on the
Wom Airfield at Cape Wom (Wom). The Japanese commander of the Japanese
18th Army, Lt. General Hatazo Adachi arrived aboard a jeep at the southern end
of the runway and moved slowly forward past Australian personnel until they were twenty yards in
front of the table at which General Robertson was seated. The instrument
of surrender was read by the interpreter to Adachi, who then affixed his
signature. It was completed by the addition of the Australian general's
signature. The Japanese officers then handed over their swords, placing
them on the table.
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