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Crewmembers crowd the decks and upper works of the battleship USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945, as representatives of the Japanese government and military wait for the beginning of the surrender ceremony that would officially end World War II in the Pacific theater.  

Among the Japanese officials were Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu, chief of the army general staff. Senior commanders participating in the ceremony on the Allied side included Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Adm. William F. Halsey, Adm. Sir Bruce Fraser (United Kingdom), Gen. Sir Thomas Blamey (Australia) and representatives of China, the Soviet Union, Canada, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand.  

Missouri was chosen to host the ceremony because it was the flagship of Halsey’s 3rd Fleet and in that capacity had led the victorious Allied armada into Tokyo Bay just days before. The “Mighty Mo” went on to see combat service in the Korean War and Operation Desert Storm, and since 1998 has been a museum and memorial ship anchored on Battleship Row at Pearl Harbor’s Ford Island.   

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