The following account is from personnel recollections, old letters that my parents saved and some ship histories.
Aug. 6th and 8th 1945. Atomic bombs dropped on Japan.
Aug. 14th 1945. Japan accepted surrender.
Sept. 2, 1945. Official surrender by Japan in Tokyo Bay.
When this took place our ship, USS ANAQUA AN-40 and 7 other Net Tenders were at Ulithi anchorage. Others were AN-44 (Corkwood), AN-45 (Cornel), AN-46 (Mastic), AN-47 (Canotia), AN-48 (Lancewood), AN-49 (Papaya) and AN-59 (Terebinth). This was the largest Navy anchorage in the Pacific. See Map opposite. It was all sea and sky. You had to look for land. The lagoon inside the thin ring of reefs and low islands was so large (twenty miles by about eight miles) that ships at one end of the anchorage were invisible from the other. It could comfortably hold 700 ships. On the tiny islands there was a short airstrip (Falalop), a small hospital and post office (Sorlen), and a fleet base (Asor). On the northern end was a tiny flat sandy little island called Mogmog, a recreation area used for R&R by battle weary seamen. Ulithi was a service area for all types of ships, served by Tenders, Repair Ships, Tankers etc. It was a temporary US community in the Mid-Pacific in which all the homes, offices, warehouses, churches, theaters, fuel stations and repair shops were GRAY SHIPS anchored at sea.
No sooner were Japanese surrender terms accepted with no peace treaty signed and no occupation forces in Japan, then demobilization orders arrived.
Practically all our crew were reservists. We suddenly felt like our lives were given back to us.
Ships were no longer under blackout conditions and remained brightly lit at night. Movies could be shown on deck in the evening. Censorship of our letters sent home ended Sept. 4th, so we could tell our families were we were and anything else we wished to say.
Every day ships were steaming out of the anchorage homeward bound, a part of the demobilization process.
Based on the point system many men were eligible for discharge immediately. Points were given for months in service, months overseas, age and family status, whether single, married or married with children. In less then a month 7 of our crew of 54 left for the states to be discharged.
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