Return to Naval Historical Center home page. Return to Online Library listing

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- EVENTS -- World War II in the Pacific -- Japan Capitulates --

Allied Fleet off Japan, 15 August - 2 September 1945
Overview and Special Image Selection.

Though "cease fire" orders were issued on 15-16 August, the fighting forces were uncertain that the Japanese would stop fighting so abruptly after nearly four years of brutal combat. Therefore, the combined U.S. British fleet remained at a high degree of alertness. However, the days passed without serious incident as carrier planes actively patrolled over Japan to monitor the situation and to seek out prisoner of war facilites.

On 27 August, units of the fleet entered Japanese waters for the first time. Guided by local pilots, the ships anchored in Sagami Wan, just outside of Tokyo Bay and within view of Mount Fuji. A day later, some of the fleet went into Tokyo Bay itself, though almost all of the aircraft carriers remained at sea, ready to provide air cover "just in case". Fleet Admiral Nimitz, who had directed much of the Pacific War, arrived on 29 August and made USS South Dakota his flagship. Aboard USS Missouri, which flew Admiral Halsey's flag, preparations were underway to host the formal surrender ceremonies on 2 September.

This page presents a special selection of pictures showing the Allied fleet operating off Japan, aerial patrols over Japan, the fleet's entry into Sagami Wan and Tokyo Bay, and Fleet Admiral Nimitz' arrival in Tokyo Bay.

The following pages offer more extensive visual coverage of these subjects:

For views of other aspects of Japan's surrender, see: Japan Capitulates, August - September 1945

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: 80-G-278815

Task Force 38, of the U.S. Third Fleet


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.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 86KB; 740 x 615 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: NH 96781

USS Missouri (BB-63)
(at left)

Transferring personnel to USS Iowa (BB-61), while operating off Japan on 20 August 1945.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 87KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-339354

Surrender of Japan, 1945


A Curtiss SB2C-4 "Helldiver" bomber on patrol over Tokyo, 28 August 1945.
Photographed from a USS Shangri-La (CV-38) plane by Lieutenant G. D. Rogers.
Note light traffic on the city streets, also burned out areas and damaged buildings.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 117KB; 605 x 675 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-344500

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.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 95KB; 740 x 605 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-490487

Surrender of Japan, 1945


U.S. and British warships anchored in Sagami Wan, outside of Tokyo Bay, Japan, on the day the Allied ships entered Japanese waters, 27 August 1945.
Photographed from USS South Dakota (BB-57) as the sun set behind Mount Fuji's distinctive cone.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 111KB; 740 x 605 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: NH 50232

USS New Mexico (BB-40)


Anchored in the Tokyo Bay area, circa late August 1945, at the end of World War II. Mount Fuji is in the background.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 72KB; 740 x 615 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-700862

USS Missouri (BB-63)


Close up view of her bow, with Mount Fujiyama framed by her stem and anchor chain, in Sagami Wan or Tokyo Bay, Japan, circa 30 August 1945.
This photograph was released for publication on 5 September 1945.
Note Missouri's port anchor, paravane and anchor chains, and jack flying above her bow. British and U.S. battleships and cruisers are in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 62KB; 570 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-490425

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.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 86KB; 740 x 615 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 


The following pages offer more extensive visual coverage of the subjects shown above:

For views of other aspects of Japan's surrender, see: Japan Capitulates, August - September 1945


Return to Naval Historical Center home page.

22 February 1999