S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Naval & Maritime Continuation Page 2 keywords = naval navy marine maritime nautical ship boat battle cruiser aircraft carrier sub destroyer corvette tall sail brig bark sloop ketch gig launch tender hull ordnance armor history artillery gun cannon rifle airplane bomb shell cartidge casing ammunition ammo Great Eastern Olympia Arizona Missouri Massachusetts Yorktown United States America Regina Maris Pioneer Thomas Jefferson Christeen Oyster Bay Jakobson

Updated:   20 Feb 2017; 23:00  ET
[Page created:nbsp; 25 Oct 2003; converted 07 Mar 2011

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/nav-mar2.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/nav-mar2.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Naval & Maritime Continuation Page 2


Please refer to the HELP section on the main Naval and Marine page.


    On the preceding main Naval and Maritime page:

    Tall Ships.
    Nautical Reminiscences and Miscellany.
    Jakobson's Rail-Marine Tugboats.
    Rail-Marine Service.
    HELP! - requests and offers.

    On the preceding Naval and Maritime Continuation Page 1:

    The USS Franklin.
    Submarines (moved from main page 06 May 02).
    PT Boats.
    Mahogany speedboats (raceabouts, sportabouts, etc.).
    Comet Authenticast ship models.
    Yet More Yarns.

    On this Naval and Maritime Continuation Page 2:

  Tall Ships - continued.   rev (20 Sep 2016)
  Rogue Wave(?).
  Costa Concordia Today   new (26 Mar 2015)
  Ship Models.
  USCGC Eagle Out (for repairs).   new (06 Aug 2015)
  U.S.S. Missouri ("Big Mo", BB-63) at Tokyo Bay Surrender Ceremony   rev (19/20 Sep 2016)

    On the Naval and Maritime Regina Maris Page:

  Regina Maris.   new (29 Aug 2013)


    (continued from Tall Ships) on main Naval and Maritime page.

Glen Cove had acquired Greenport's old "tall" ship, the "Regina Maris" and berths the "Phoenix" (an environmental training ship) [as well as the "Thomas Jefferson" (an hydraulically-operated working side-wheeler)]!  Nearby Oyster Bay houses the oyster sloop "Christeen" {sic}, under restoration.

Regina Maris at Glen Cove   Phoenix at Glen Cove
[Thumbnail images; click on pictures for sharper images.]
(Feb 1999 Photos by and © 1999 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The story of the Regina Maris had grown so complex that I moved it to the Naval and Maritime Continuation Page 2 and then to its own page. (29 Aug 2013)

Driving down (southbound) from Connecticut on the afternoon of 29 Mar 2001, along the lower reaches of the Hutchinson "River" on the parkway of that name, under lowering skies, I was astonished to see a square-rigger tied up across the creek from the gas station just north of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge; I doubled back and around again and stopped and here's what I saw (looking NW, W, and SW, respectively, in reverse order of how I saw her and how the pictures were taken with my trusty digital that just happened to be in the car):

(Photos by SB,III 29 Mar 01 missing!)

She's small but a full-rigged, two-masted square-rigger and thus a brig, with "LISA" on her transom (that's all I could make out) and pretty as a picture (quite literally).

That's just about the same spot where a large Chinese junk used to be moored ca. 1960 or so; she had been sailed across the Pacific by her owner after the Korean "police action" (as I recall)!

Uh, oh!  She's gone (like the pictures)!  Does anyone know where she went?  However, happily, Pete Turecek of Brooklyn also took a fancy to Lisa and also took a photo of her which he is kind enough to share with us:

Brig Lisa
(Photo by and courtesy of P. Turecek - all rights reserved)

WOW!  What's that for'ard of the Lisa?  It's huge.  Could it be one of my favorite boats, a PC-class Sub Chaser?  Did anyone notice?

Nope and yes!  But it's NOT a PC after all; on 20 Oct 03, I heard from a NYC-area boater who believes that it was the hull of a late 1970's or early 1980's Hatteras double cabin motor yacht called "Blue Eyes".  If he remembers correctly, that boat was on the Mianus River in Cos Cob, Connecticut, for a while; the owner took her away after a couple of years, and he never saw her again until she turned up in the Bronx ... with her topsides burned away.  Maybe not as interesting as being a sub chaser ... but he does believe that's what I saw there.  He did, however, find a very nice example of what was some sort of sub chaser or something like it moored off of City Island a few years back .... she had beautiful lines and he'll try to snap some photos if he sees it again.

Now, back to the Lisa; on 21 Apr 04, I heard from Erik C. Abranson out in Washington state that the brig "Lisa" is now known as the "Poincaré" and, starting last summer (2003), mostly operates harbor trips in Boston harbor, in tandem with her erstwhile sistership Formidable (now fitted with a brigantine sail plan):

Poincaré (ex-Lisa)
(Drawing from Formidable site - all rights reserved)

Erik appended a transcript from his sailing vessel database data sheet {I have reproduced it here with little regard for format}:
Extract from Sailing Vessel Database


NAME:             POINCARE
Meaning of name:  Named after French President Raymond Poincaré
Bow decoration:   Beakhead
Previous names:   "Lisa" of Wlimington, DE (?-2002)
Call Sign:
Sail No.:
Rig:              Brig
Model:            Hard chine hull
Livery:           Black with white checkerboard
Flag:             USA
Port of Registry: Gloucester, MA
Homeport:         Boston
Built:            ~1992
 Keel laid:       in 1986 or later
 Launched:        ~1992
 Commissioned:    ~1993-94
Converted:        No
Architect:        Thomas E Colvin (USA)
                  and James D. Rosborough (Canada) [1]
Builder:          John Leibolt (as Boldt Shipbuilding Ltd), City
                  Island, NY
Construction:     Steel
Deck:             Steel
Superstructures:  Raised fo'c'sle and poop
Major refits:     2002-3
Current Owner:    Willow Farm Inc. (Keating Willcox) (since fall
Operator:         Owner
Previous owners*: John Leibolt
                  Mrs Leibolt and Son
Length Extreme:   21.9 m [72 ft]
Length Hull:      16.8 m [55 ft]
Length on Deck:
Length BP:
Length Waterline: 14.80 m [49 ft]
Beam:             5.5 m [18 ft]
Depth in hold:
Draught:          2.13 m [7 ft]
Tonnages:         40 grt
Rig Height:       16.8 m [55 ft]
Masting:          Steel (masts in 3 sections, fidded)
Sails:            14 (3 headsails, 3 square sails on fore mast; 4 main
                  mast staysails; 3 square sails on main mast and gaff
                  brig sail)
Sail cloth:       White Dacron
Sail area:
Best speed u/sail
Speed u/power:
Engine:           140 hp Yanmar?
Complement:       Crew + 6 passengers
Who sails?:       Paying passengers
Special amenities
Pre0000000sent use:      Day trips (head and charter); festivals
Former uses*:     Originally intended for a school-at-sea programme
Usual Waters:     Harbour tours, Boston, MA
IRTSV Class:      A2
TSR Class:
Certification:    USCG uninspected vessel

* From original to most recent
[1] The original plans for wooden construction were designed by James
    D Rosborough and were modified for steel construction with hard
    chines by Thomas E Colvin.
[2] Has a sistership, the "Formidable", now with modified sail plan
    (brigantine) and under the same current ownership
Wow!  She is both quite modern and of steel construction - surprise!

Speaking of the Formidable, her owner, Capt. Russ Tryder of Pirate Ship Charters, Inc., kindly gave me permission to post this picture of her under (almost) full sail (08 Mar 2011):

(Photo from Formidable site courtesy Capt. R. Tryder - all rights reserved)

Those two are such pretty "little" tall ships.

- - - * - -

Then there's always HMS Bounty (a replica):

From Mark (sabre_fan)

- - - * - -

Speaking of Tall Ships, I was looking at Philadelphia in the Google Maps satellite view and strayed too far east and there, smack dab in the middle of the Delaware River, between the east end of Camden's Arch Street and the west end of Philadelphia's Penn Street, sits a big schooner with gray (or shadowed white) sails set:   new (22 Dec 2015) and rev (19 Sep 2016)


> PhilaTallShip20'
500' view above; 20' view below.

She's not the Gazela Primera; Gazela, berthed in Phladelphia, is a 177' barkentine.  So, what have we here? She's schooner rigged and almost 100' long overall.

- - - * - -

Perhaps this is as good a place as any to note the existence (n.o.f.) of Charles H. Revson, Jr.'s ferrocrete sail yacht, Fire and Ice{?}, which I saw, and toured, courtesy of Revson, the Revlon heir, in Havre de Grace, Maryland ca. 1952-56.  It had a "paper-thin" (actually more like ⅜" thick) hull and I took pictures of her there but now can't find them - stay tuned.   added (20 Sep 2016)

Rogue Wave(?) - my folks honeymooned in Europe (Mom was Hungarian) and went over on the Bremen in mid-December 1932 and returned on the Conte di Savoia in late January 1933.  While they were coming home, the ship hit a huge wave (whether it was a rogue wave or not is almost immaterial) and I grew up thinking Dad took these shots, one of which is dated 30 Jan 1933, from the bridge:

ContediSavoiaWave1 ContediSavoiaWave2
(From the collection of and © 2007 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed images, click on pictures for larger images]

Well, looking at the prints now, it is obvious they were taken from just starboard of the middle of the bridge and then from the far starboard end and that they were almost certainly the work of the ship's photographer(s).  The sea appears quite calm, lending to the possibility of it being a rogue wave.  It was one big wave, regardless; the Conte di Savoia, sister ship of the Rex (on which the folks also sailed, later), was pretty large, 48,000 gross tons and 814' long, with a rated speed of some 27 knots (during sea trials in early November 1932, she clocked 29.5 knots)!  Note also the earlier photo (left) having the marks of album mounts (odd) right in the image; both pictures are post cards, although measuring only 3½" high and 4½" and 5½" wide and marked on the reverse:

    "Cartolina postale" and "TONELLE".

Now, who can tell me what "T/N" means?  The "N" almost certainly means "Navire" or "Navale" and the "T" might have to do with "Transatlantico" or "Turbina".

Aha!  In a documentary about the sinking of the Andrea Doria in 1956, the launching sequence had this sign up:   new (01 Feb 2017)


"TURBONAVE", eh?  Now, we know - "TURBINE SHIP"!

The Jumbo ship Stellamare capsized in the port of Albany, NY, on 09 Dec 2003, while loading a 308-ton GE generator; some coverage of this is on my Big Crane page 1.

Speaking of capsizing, I have never covered the capsizing of the MV Costa Concordia only 100 feet from the rocky shore outside Giglio Porto on Isola del Giglio in the northern reaches of the Tyrrhenian Sea with the completely-unneccesary loss of at least 32 lives; so much coverage has already been given that fiasco.  However, I am quite fascinated by how the starboard structure of the ship was crushed by her own weight against two rock pinnacles:   new (26 Mar 2015)


and by the "current" (26 Mar 2015) satellite views of her port side, nearly righted from the rocks (16-17 September 2013), in Giglio Porto:


and "simultaneously" laid up at the Porto di Prà (Voltri Porto) in Pegli near Genoa (after 27 Jul 2014):

(Images cropped and processed 26 Mar 2015 by S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Obviously, there is a VERY significant time gap between views (10 months - or a time warp).  You can clearly see where the starboard side was crushed and that the sponsons are still attached (or were when the satellite overflew Pegli).

O. K; we're finally getting somewhere.  The hulk has been stabilized sufficiently to move her away from Pra-Voltri to the Cagni mole on the main waterfront of Genoa:   rev (20 Sep 2016)

(Images cropped and processed 20 Sep 2016 by S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The next step is to restore sufficient buoyancy to remove the sponsons and place her in drydock for final dismantling.

On 11 May 2015, following initial dismantling but still kept afloat by the salvage sponsons, the hull was towed 10 miles (16 km) to the Superbacino dock in Genoa for removal of the upper decks:   added (20 Feb 2017)

Superbacino - click on thumbnail to see the incredible length up close!

The last of the sponsons were removed in Aug 2016 and the hull was taken in to a drydock on 01 Sep 2016 for final dismantling.   added (20 Feb 2017)

Small Die-cast Ship Models - in addition to the large collection of Comet AUTHENTICAST 1:1200 U.S. WWII ship models and 1:108 U.S. WWII tanks listed elsewhere, the same collection included many ship models by other makers, namely Wiking 1:1250, Tri-ang 1:1200, Hansa 1:1250, Mignot 1:1200, Mercury, Anguplas 1:1200, and Europa Linea; the whole ship collection has been sold.

USCGC Eagle Out (for repairs) - Phil Gilson sent me this link, http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg4/yard/8Min-EAGLE_In_Yard-HIGH.wmv, to a fantastic time-lapse video of the USCG Barque EAGLE (WIX-327) going into drydock at the USCG Yard in Baltimore in 2010 for emergency repairs to her rudder.  What with two blizzards, an impending bridge closure, and ice in the Patapsco, it was quite an operation, so interestng that I took a bunch of screen shots to post here. (06 Aug 2015)

For those who don't know, the USCGS Eagle (WIX-327) (formerly SSS Horst Wessel) is a 295-foot (90 m) barque, used for sail training, the only sailship still on active government service in the U. S, and one of the only two sailships still in commission in the U. S. armed forces (the other being the USS Constitution).  The yard, between Curtis Creek and Arundel Cove off Curtis Bay in northern Anne Arundel County, Maryland, just south of the Baltimore city limits, is the only such Coast Guard facility and dates back to Apr 1899.

Here then, is the Eagle, "America's Tall Ship", as she approached the drydock on 15 Feb 2010 through when she left it on 24 Feb 2010:

Eagle-in EagleTug
(screenshots from USCG video)
Swinging around || Marine tugs at work

Eagle_in Eagle-High
(screenshots from USCG video)
Up, up, and awaaaay! || High and dry

Eagle_High EagleTow
(screenshots from USCG video)
Ready to roll (onto the marine railway) || Wheeled tug at work

EagleDone EagleDrop
(screenshots from USCG video)
Workin' on the railway || All done

EagleDown EagleOut
(screenshots from USCG video)
Down we go! || And awaaaay we go!

The Eagle had been extensively refitted at the yard before:

(undated USCG photo)

The villain of the piece:

(screenshot from USCG video)
[That prop is a mess!]

Even more amazing, I checked out the yard on Google Maps and there she sits, facing south alongside the marine railway (with all those turquoise-covered gizzies) off Hamlet Avenue:

Eagle_up Eagle-up
(screenshots from Google Maps 2015)

Embarassing, perhaps, but still wildly funny (to me) was my belated realization that what I had originally spotted facing south in the floating drydock was NOT the Eagle at all but a much smaller sailship, with the Eagle high and dry alongside the marine railway:

Eagle_xx Eagle-xx
(screenshots from Google Maps 2015)

So, then, what WAS that smaller ship?

The figurehead (a replica) up close and the fantail:

EagleEagle-up EagleStern
(screenshots from USCG video)

and a side view of the eagle figurehead:

(Wikipedia image)

So much for the Eagle and her little cousin.

Hey, TUESDAY the 4th of Aug 2015 was the 225th Anniversary of the Coast Guard - aye, Coast Guard, we are for you!  Happy Birthday!  And it all started right here on the shores of Massachusetts with the first lifesaving stations established by President George Washington (followed by Alexander Hamilton authorizing the building of ten revenue cutters).

Say, could the "little cousin" have been the USS Constellation, in from nearby Baltimore for replanking in 2014/15?   added (20 Sep 2016)

Well, the Eagle measures out at 295'.  The 1797 frigate Constellation was struck and broken up for scrap at the Gosport Navy Yard in Portsmouth Virginia in 1853 - at the same time, the keel was laid for what became known as the sloop of war USS Constellation (1854), 25 guns but totally different rating system by then.  The USS Constellation was a 38-gun frigate, one of the "Six Original Frigates" authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794.  She was distinguished as the first U.S. Navy vessel to put to sea and the first U.S. Navy vessel to engage and defeat an enemy vessel.  Constructed in 1797, she was modified several times in succeeding decades, and supposedly rebuilt beginning in 1853 as the sloop of war USS Constellation (1854).  NOT SO!  Some of her timbers and fitments were used for that 1854 sloop Constellation, which is 199' o'all.   added (01 Feb 2017)

So, the smaller ship in drydock might very well be Baltimore's Constellation.

The Iowa-class battleship U.S.S. Missouri ("Big Mo", BB-63) is well known (at least to those who remember WWII) as the site of the formal surrender of the Empire of Japan to the Allies.  After a long and illustrious active career, she was donated to serve as a museum ship in Pearl Harbor, positioned to "guard" the sunken U.S.S. Arizona.  Her fo'ard starboard deck, just abaft the #2 turret, the site of the surrender ceremony, is marked with a circular bronze tablet.  All this is "old hat" to me BUT - - -

1. - just exactly where was the Missouri anchored in Tokyo-wan (Tokyo bay) at the time of the ceremony?

2. - why were her forward turrets facing approximatelty 30° to starboard?

An aerial view of the Missouri, taken during the Japanese Surrender Ceremony on 02 Sep 1945 from a USAAF B-29 Superfortress; the Fletcher-class destroyer alongside is probably either USS Nicholas (DD-449) or USS Taylor (DD-468) from Destroyer Squadron 21, used to transport the attendees of the ceremony:

(National Archives/Wikipedia image)

One fact that I never before realized, what with all the small craft in the harbor, at least four destroyers, the U.S.S. Buchanan (DD-484), U.S.S. Lansdowne (DD-486), the U.S.S. Nicholas (DD-449), and the U.S.S. Taylor (DD-468) were detailed as "water taxis", ferrying participants and press to and from the Missouri.  Japan's delegates were taken aboard the Lansdowne.

Overcast skies and low clouds shadowed the ceremony but the clouds lifted and the sun broke though just in time for a planned massive overflight as the ceremony ended.  Participants, press, and the crews of over 280 ships, not to mention the citizens of Tokyo, were treated to/stunned by massed formations of 450 U. S. Navy carrier-based planes from the Third Fleet's carriers, stationed off-shore in reserve - just in case:   rev (19 Sep 2016)

USNFlyOver1 USNFlyOver2 USNFlyOver3
(National Archives/Wikipedia images)

They were followed a few minutes later by U. S. Army Air Forces high-flying Boeing B-29 Superfortresses:

USAAF-FlyOver1 USAAF-FlyOver2
[Two versions of same photo.]
(National Archives/Wikipedia images)

for a supposèd total of some 2,000-2,800 planes!

Now, the Navy flights are well-documented but from whence cameth the B-29s?  Guam?  Tinian?  Saipan?

I have only been able to find two B-29 flights, one lone "rogue" flight of 330th Bomb Group K-16 "City of Kanakakee" (a.k.a. "Lucky Strike"), s/n 42-94029, from Guam, piloted by Capt. Vivian Lock, who dropped out of formation and buzzed the Missouri during the ceremony, and another "rogue" flyover, one of a pair of stray B-29s that were "sightseeing" in the area, piloted by Capt. George Bertagnoli.

The 330th definitely came from Guam but did other B-29s fly from Saipan or Tinian?

Seek and ye shall find!  From the USAF's Historical Studies Office (AFHSO), the straight skinny (ever-so-slightly edited):   new (20 Sep 2016)

- - - * - -

Immediately after hostilities ceased, General Carl (Tooey) Spaatz directed the 20th Air Force elements, based both on Tinian and Guam, plus the 7th Fighter Wing based on Iwo Jima, to provide a "display of air power ....continuous and increasing between 19 August and VJ day".  Operational plans called for almost daily flight over the Tokyo plain by B-29s drawn in rotation from the five wings assigned to the 20th and by Iwo Jima-based fighters of the 7th Fighter Wing.  These mission, like the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay, were postponed by weather and other complications.  The first flyover, a low-level flight flyover of 98 B-29s was staged on 30 August in conjunction with the landing at Atsugi airfield of the 11th Airborne Division, with General Douglas MacArthur.  A similar force flew over the next day, and on 02 Sep, as the ceremonies were conducted aboard the Missouri, a force of 462 B-29's circled in the air.  An additional flyover was scheduled for the 4th but was cancelled when XXIV Corps occupied Korea on 29 and 30 Sep; 140 B-29 flew over the ceremony.  In addition to the 799 B-29 sorties, the "show of force" project involved 117 sorties by Very Long Range (VLR) fighters from Iwo Jima.

20th Air Force Wings:

58, 73, 313, 314, and 315.  The 330th BG was assigned to the 314 Bombardment wing, 457 Bombardment Squadron.

The USAFHSO added this footnote to Lock's plane:  42-94029, on a Sunset Project Mission, the redistribution of excess aircraft to the United States, crashed on Johnson Island in early Nov 1945 on the way to Hamilton AFB, California; 42-94029 had flown 26 Combat Missions.

My sincere thanks to the USAFHSO for this record of history.

- - - * - -

From the L. A. TIMES, a 2015 interview with James L. Starnes, navigator of the battleship Missouri, who was 24 years old when he learned he would play a key role in the ceremony to mark the end of World War II.

After the Japanese conceded defeat, President Truman announced that "Mighty Mo," the behemoth 58,000-ton flagship of the 3rd Fleet, would host the signatories of the instrument of surrender in Tokyo Bay.

"My job was to make sure we did not screw up," said Starnes, 94, who performed the role of officer of the deck the morning of Sept. 2, 1945.

A former lieutenant commander in the Navy who now lives in a retirement community in Stone Mountain, east of Atlanta, Starnes is one of the few remaining veterans who organized the ceremony on the Missouri 70 years ago.

Five years after joining the Navy Reserve's officer-training program as a student at Emory University in Atlanta in 1940, Starnes was responsible for working out the logistics of the ceremony to mark the formal end of the six-year war that had killed more than 60 million people. End of World War II

At first he prepared for an elaborate, formal affair with ceremonial dress and gleaming sabers.  "We thought, well, this has never happened before," he said. "We'll have a big celebration, put on the white uniforms and polish up our swords."

Before the ceremony, however, Starnes got word that Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of the U.S. Army in the Pacific, wanted officers to wear their daily service clothes — khaki button-up shirts with open collars and no ties.  "We fought them in our khaki uniforms, and we'll accept their surrender in our khaki uniforms," MacArthur was reported to have said.

In the run-up to the big day, Starnes' main responsibility was working with the ship's captain, Stuart "Sunshine" Murray, and the admiral's staff on getting all the various parties — the Allies and the Japanese, as well as nearly 200 correspondents and photographers from all over the world — on and off the battleship.

Starnes likened the job to conducting a symphony orchestra.  The timing had to be precise, so there was a lot of fine-tuning: MacArthur made it plain he didn't want Japanese dignitaries on the Missouri's deck more than five seconds before 9 a.m., but he also didn't want them to arrive late.

Rehearsals were staged again and again to work out how long it would take members of the Japanese delegation to disembark from their small boat, come up the gangway, cross the quarterdeck and then reach the surrender deck.

Of particular concern was the Japanese foreign minister, Mamoru Shigemitsu, who had an artificial leg — his right leg had been blown off by a Korean independence activist in Shanghai several years before.  Young sailors with swab handles strapped to their legs stood in for Shigemitsu in practice to make sure that the ceremony would be able to accommodate him.

On the morning of Sept. 2, clouds loomed over Tokyo Bay and the mood aboard the gray battleship was somber as the U.S. Marine band played "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Just before 9 a.m. as planned, Starnes — dressed in pressed khakis, with a pair of binoculars around his neck — waited to meet the Japanese delegation, including Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu, chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff.

Once reaching the deck, the Japanese had to walk past eight seamen, each one more than 6 feet tall.  Starnes had picked them out in a calculated effort to emphasize Allied superiority and intimidate the Japanese delegation.

When the Japanese — some wearing tails and top hats — saluted and asked for permission to come aboard, Starnes said, "Permission granted."

There was no anger or hostility, Starnes said. "This was peacetime," he said. "It was a very formal, very dignified ceremony."

Just before proceedings got underway and the surrender documents were brought onto the battleship, it became clear that the elegant mahogany table, a present from the British fleet, was too small to hold both documents during the signing.

With only minutes to go, a humble folding table was grabbed from the crew's mess, where cooks had just finished cleaning up after breakfast. Hurriedly, Capt. Murray grabbed a green tablecloth, stained with coffee spots, to drape on top.

Thousands of men, from the military's top brass to regular crewmen, watched as officials signed the documents formalizing the surrender of the Empire of Japan; the Allied copy was bound in leather, the Japanese copy in canvas.

There were a few hitches — the Canadian representative signed on the wrong line — yet for the most part the 23-minute ceremony, broadcast around the world, ran smoothly.

"Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always," MacArthur told the assembled crowd.  "These proceedings are closed."

MacArthur then turned to Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey. "Where are the damn planes?" he asked, referring to the plan to have 450 carrier planes from the 3rd Fleet, followed by B-29 bombers, fly in formation above the battleship.

Suddenly, as the Japanese were escorted off the deck, a swarm of U.S. aircraft roared overhead.  "They were so low they made the sky black," Starnes said.

When it was all over, Starnes said, he felt tremendously elated.  "I'd gotten through all of it — I had a lot of friends who died — and here it was all over."

Yet throughout, Starnes remained stoic, carrying out his business.  "I was on duty," Starnes said.  "I wasn't in a position to jump up and celebrate.  I had to write the log after the ceremony."

After the war, Starnes enrolled in Emory University's Lamar School of Law and went on to have a successful career in real estate and banking.  A decade ago, he traveled to Pearl Harbor to celebrate the 60th anniversary of V-J Day aboard the Missouri, and last year he published a short book, "Surrender: September 2, 1945," chronicling his wartime experience.

"A lot of people have looked at me as a hero," Starnes said. "I wasn't a hero. I was just a participant who happened to be in a particular spot at a particular time."

See also the main and second (continuation) pages.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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