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Anchored in Sagami Wan, Japan, outside of Tokyo Bay, circa late August 1945. Mount Fuji is in the background

The war ended on August 15, 1945. West Virginia drilled her landing force in preparation for the upcoming occupation of the erstwhile enemy’s homeland and sailed for Tokyo Bay on the 24th as part of TG 35.90. She reached Tokyo Bay on the last day of August and was thus present at the time of the formal surrender on September 2, 1945. For that occasion, five musicians from West Virginia’s band were transferred temporarily to Missouri (BB-63) to play at the ceremonies.

West Virginia played her part in the occupation, remaining in Tokyo Bay into September of 1945, weathering a storm on the 15th that had winds clocked at 65 knots at one point. On September 14, she received on board 270 passengers for transportation to the west coast of the United States. She got underway at midnight on the 20th bound for Okinawa as part of TG 30.4. Shifting to Buckner Bay on the 23d, the battleship sailed for Pearl Harbor soon thereafter, reaching her destination on 4 October.

The USS West Virginia stands in the background as the Japanese surrender.

  • Glenn Winter

    That is the USS South Dakota bb57 in the background,USS West Virginia bb48 was a couple miles away to starboard of the USS Missouri bb63