15 August 1945: USS Concord Fires Past Shot of WWII – 15 August 2015 Marks the 70th Anniversary


Other war ships claimed to have fired the past shot of Globe War II, but that difference goes to the USS Concord CL-10, a 4-stack gentle cruiser named for the Massachusetts town in which the initially requested shot of the American Revolution- “the shot read &#39round the entire world “-was fired.

“I had no idea I was current for this historic celebration,” Thaddeus Buczko of Salem, Massachusetts, informed me in a recent interview, “until finally I go through about it numerous a long time later in a veterans&#39 magazine.” At the time, 19-12 months-outdated Buczko was serving in the US Navy aboard the USS Bearss (pronounced “barce”). The Bearss was 1 of the destroyers that tasked Task Drive 92 serving in the Northern Pacific Ocean, along with the light-weight cruisers Harmony, Richmond, and Trenton.

By 15 August 1945, Nazi Germany had surrendered to the Allied Forces in Europe (8 Might), and atomic bombs experienced been dropped on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki, Japan (9 August). Did Buczko and his shipmates have a feeling that the war was ending? “No,” Buczko claims. “We heard that the Germans experienced submitted, but we were all the way about in the Pacific. We ended up still at war. to happen future. We were being even now less than orders. ”

On 15 August 1945, Endeavor Pressure 92 bombarded delivery and shore installations in the Japanese Kuril Islands. The Concord was tasked with opening fireplace on Shasukotan Island, firing “salvo immediately after salvo” with her six-inch “twin guns” and the five-inch guns of the Activity Force&#39s destroyers, which include the Bearss , according to the account by Fred A. Lumb that Thaddeus Buczko study yrs afterwards.

Lumb proceeds: “At past Capt. CA Rumble, commanding the Harmony and the small undertaking team, cave the ceasefire order. in forward fireplace command, observed to it that a single additional spherical was fired by the Concord. “Mainly because the last shot experienced mis-fired just right before the ceasefire went into effect, the ship had to receive special authorization from the Job Force Commander to fire one particular past time fairly than retrieve the ammunition manually. That was the very last shot of the war.

Ensign Robert P. Crossley of the Harmony explained what happened next: “News of Japan&#39s acceptance of the Potsdam Surrender phrases … was been given aboard the Concord by radio as she steamed towards the Aleutians subsequent the Navy&#39s remaining offensive strike in opposition to Japanese territory .. The shot heard &#39round the planet from the Musket of the Minutemen of Concord and Lexington on April 19, 1775 had re-echoed with even bigger fury and indicating as this happy bearer of the minuteman tradition fired the ultimate naval gun salvo of Planet War II, a number of seconds soon after 8:06 pm (Japan time). ”

Fred Lumb concludes: “In the hour, Ens. Robert Crossley was in the coding home, just off the radio shack, typing Harmony&#39s assert to possessing fired the previous American shot of the war.” The Navy before long confirmed their claim.

The crew aboard the Bearss received the information of Japan&#39s surrender by loud speaker, with pretty several information. Buczko remembers, “Even when we had been informed that the Japanese experienced surrendered, we surprised if the Japanese ships and pilots out there knew it.

As for listening to the war was in excess of? “We had been all just issue-of-simple fact,” Buczko claims. We were being incredibly fatigued. There was no elation, no jubilation, like you hear about anyone in the States. “In the Aleutian Islands, the Bearss and the Harmony fixed problems to the ships, re-supplied, re-armed, and organized for orders. boarding parties. “We knew we have been likely in,” Buczko points out, “but we did not know when or how.”

On 2 September 1945, the Japanese and Individuals signed the formal surrender doc aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

In the Aleutian Islands, orders came for the Bearss and the Hood, one more destroyer in the Task Pressure, to rendezvous with a Japanese ship carrying the emissaries who would indicator US Naval Crisis Profession Purchase No. 1. The Get would turn more than the Ominato Guard District Location to the United States, precisely: “That part of the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido between Latitudes Forty Degrees and Thirty minutes and Forty-two Degrees North and involving Longitudes 139 degrees and 142 degrees East is bareby declared the Ominato Guard District Crisis Profession Zone. ”

The Bearss and Hood rendezvoused with the Japanese delegation&#39s ship in the Tsugaru Straits, “a fifteen-mile-large physique of drinking water separating the northern coastline of Honshu and the Island of Hokkaido,” Quartermaster Edwin E. Douglass wrote in his account of the day .

QM Douglass continues: “The Japanese crew experienced painted a white cross on their ship&#39s funnel, the emblem of surrender. us assurance her intentions had been strictly tranquil loving. ” Even so, when a single of the Hood&#39s smaller boats went out to transportation the emissions to the Bearss, the Bearss and the Hood circled the Japanese ship, guns educated on their opportunity concentrate on. The Bearss also took on US Marines and media personnel. Though anyone boarded the Bearss , Buczko was leading-facet manning two 36 “look for lights, observing it all, but owning” no thought of ​​what was likely on, “he remembers.

The Japanese ship guided the Bears and the Hood by means of the greatly mined Tsugaru Straights into Matsu Bay for profession responsibility. “When we plunged in,” Buczko recalls, “I recall observing Japanese people today abandoning the metropolis in haste for the mountains, have their possessions or using just about anything with wheels. I consider there had been in fear of the occupation forces.”

The United States and Japan signed Crisis Occupation Get No. 1 on 9 September 1945 aboard the USS Panamint , the flagship of Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, Commander, North Pacific Pressure and Space. Amongst the Get&#39s directions, the Japanese would present:

  • Lists of all Japanese “land, air, and anti-craft units, showing areas and strength in officers and gentlemen”
  • Lists of all plane (military services, naval, and civil), naval vessels, and merchant ships, their sort, condition, and areas
  • Thorough facts, such as maps, of “all mines, minefields and other road blocks to movement by land, sea or air”
  • “Destinations and descriptions of all navy installations and institutions … with each other with plans and drawings of all this sort of polices, installations and institutions”
  • “Areas of all camps and other sites of detention of all United Nations prisoners of war”

Even further stipulations concerned minesweeping, and the provision of transportation, labor, products, and amenities as directed by Admiral Fletcher.

In his introductory remarks to the Occupation Get, Admiral Fletcher expressed his hope that the occupation would progress devoid of “any incident that would only improve the sufferings of the Japanese folks.”

Concluding his personal account of the signing, QM Douglass wrote: “A different drastic and useless war had finished, one more lesson had been learned testifying that male wraps himself in a blanket of concepts and luxuries, then with a match sets the environment on fire, getting he was destroying him as nicely with the trying to get of management and fame. ”

The officers and crew of the Bearss held a flag increasing ceremony at the Ominato Foundation. QM Douglass noticed, “The ancient empire now stands to benefit the flags of the United Nations.” A destroyer and her crew obtained a &#39nicely carried out&#39 as the stars and stripes had been elevated about Ominato, proving that nations put together would be oppress all who intend to destroy the human race. ”

Heading Property and Conclusions

Soon after a period of occupation obligation, the USS Concord sailed for Boston to participate in Navy Day on 27 October 1945. In accordance to the Navy, she was the very first Navy cruiser named for a Massachusetts city or town to stop by the Commonwealth because the surrender of Japan . Some 18,000 men and women lined up in Boston to board the ship and view the turret of the “twin six” that fired the previous shot of the war. (The gun and mount are now on watch at the Naval Museum in Washington, DC) Guests also noticed a bronze duplicate of the renowned Harmony Minuteman Statue, a memento of the very first “shot listened to &#39round the environment” of the Revolutionary War and the ship&#39s “mascot.”

The Harmony obtained one Battle Star for her assistance in the Kuril Islands Operation. Right after browsing Boston, she returned to her dwelling port of Philadelphia the place she was decommissioned on 12 December 1945 and bought 21 January 1947.

Adhering to her occupation obligation, the USS Bears sailed for Hakodate, Hokkaido, to Yokosuka in Tokyo Bay, and then returned to the States via the destroyer base in Hawaii to San Diego, California. From there, the Bearss passed via the Panama Canal and arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, on 23 December 1945. She experienced participated in 8 sea strikes with no cruelties. The Bearss was brought back again into service in 1951, decommissioned in 1963, and historically bought for scrap.

Immediately after a 30-working day go away, letting him to return dwelling to Salem for Xmas of 1945, Thaddeus Buczko (currently, age 89) was assigned to the plane provider USS Midway until eventually he retired from lively obligation.

He went on to acquire a BA from Norwich College (with honors) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Military. Even though pursuing his legislation diploma at Boston University, in June 1949 Buczko was commissioned by the US Military to provide as a Reserve Officer with the 304th Armored Calvary Regiment. He was recalled to lively responsibility in 1952, through the Korean War, where by he served as a Device Tank Commander with the 3rd Armored Division and as Assistant Employees Decide Advocate for the Division. Immediately after the war, Buczko served with Civil Affairs units (army authorities). He commanded the 357th Civil Affairs Space B Headquarters. He also served as Chief of Employees of the 94th Military Reserve Command, which was supervised of additional than 12,000 citizen-soldier reservists in above 100 reserve units in New England. In 1979, Buczko retired at the rank of Colonel soon after 30 many years of services in the Army. For his support, he gained the Legion of Benefit medal.

Thaddeus Buczko has served as a Salem Metropolis Councilor, Massachusetts Condition Consultant, Publish Master of Salem (appointed by President John F. Kennedy), Massachusetts State Auditor, and 1st Justice of the Essex County Probate and Spouse and children Court docket. He is credited with bringing Pope John Paul II to Boston in 1979. He proceeds to keep in Salem.


Resource by Bonnie Hurd Smith