Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

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Japanese Surrender

The Pacific War had lasted 1,364 days, five hours, and 44 minutes.  On September 2, 1945, the bloodiest and most destructive war in history ended.   Upon return to civilian life, the amount of U.S. Navy Sailors reduced from four million to less than 600,000 by mid-1946.   The rapid demobilization also reduced combat vessels from 1,164 ships to 284 by 1950.   The most lasting legacies bequeathed by those who gave their lives in World War II were the defeat of Fascism and the growth of strong and independent nations in Europe and Asia. 

Image: 80-G-701293:  Japanese Surrender, September 2, 1945.  Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, signs the Instrument of Surrender as United Statese Representative on on board USS Missouri (BB-63).   Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.