August 16-17, 1945 – Mutual Reports via Shortave – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
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August 16-17, 1945 – Even while the rest of the world was knee-deep in confetti and congratulations, things were still tense off the coast of Japan, as the 3rd Fleet waited for the go-ahead to come ashore. Not everyone was on the same page – the majority of Japanese people were unaware they had lost the war when Emperor Hirohito announced the end of hostilities. Some units were still fighting – the Russian incursion was continuing and some Japanese planes were still attacking Allied ships.
In this broadcast, actually two broadcasts – the first one is what is known as a “closed circuit” where a message is being relayed to Mutual in New York about an impending situation getting ready to take place on Ie Shima Island and that a reporter be dispatched to the airbase and get ready for what was acknowledged to be a big story.
The next broadcast comes from a reporter on one of the 3rd Fleet ships, anchored off the coast of Japan, waiting for the go ahead to come ashore and take control of the defeated government.
Contrary to public opinion, not everything stopped on August 14th. Fighting was still going on and would continue until September when the official surrender was signed. Japanese units in China were still engaging Russian troops and there was continued sporadic fighting in Korea.
It all leads the reporter to ask if the war really is over, or if it’s just a bad rumor and that the Allied forces were still going to have to invade the main Island of Japan before any sort of official peace was had.
So while the celebrations were continuing, cautious eyes and alert vigilance were still happening in the Pacific until the war finally ends.
To get an idea of what was happening this day, here are those two broadcast recordings from August 16-17, 1945 from Mutual.
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