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Today in World War II History—Sept. 2, 1940 & 1945

Royal Navy and US Navy sailors inspect depth charges aboard Wickes-class destroyers in 1940. In the background are USS Buchanan (DD-131), and USS Crowninshield (DD-134). On 9 September 1940 both were transferred to the Royal Navy. (Library of Congress)

Royal Navy and US Navy sailors inspect depth charges aboard Wickes-class destroyers in 1940. In the background are USS Buchanan (DD-131), and USS Crowninshield (DD-134). On 9 September 1940 both were transferred to the Royal Navy. (Library of Congress)

80 Years Ago—Sept. 2, 1940: “Destroyers for Bases”: Roosevelt and Churchill agree to trade 50 old US destroyers for 99-year leases on British bases in Bahamas, Antigua, Trinidad, Jamaica, British Guiana, and St. Lucia, as well as land in Bermuda and Newfoundland; Roosevelt bypasses Congress in the deal.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is dedicated.

The Japanese delegation arriving aboard USS Missouri, Tokyo Bay, for the surrender ceremony, 2 September 1945 (US National Archives: USA C-2719)

The Japanese delegation arriving aboard USS Missouri, Tokyo Bay, for the surrender ceremony, 2 September 1945 (US National Archives: USA C-2719)

75 Years Ago—Sept. 2, 1945: World War II officially ends when Japan formally surrenders to Gen. Douglas MacArthur on battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay at 0903.

A US C-54 Skymaster transport plane makes a record 31 hr, 25 min flight from Tokyo to Washington, DC with film from the surrender ceremony.

Ho Chi Minh declares Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi.

To see photos of my tour of the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor, please see “Remember Pearl Harbor—Tour, Day 3.”

Gen. Douglas MacArthur signing the Japanese surrender documents aboard USS Missouri, 2 Sept 1945 (US National Archives: USA C-4627)

Gen. Douglas MacArthur signing the Japanese surrender documents aboard USS Missouri, 2 Sept 1945 (US National Archives: USA C-4627)

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