August 14 – V-J Day

August 14, 1945, Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) is a name chosen for the day on which the surrender of Japan occurred, effectively ending World War II. Since then, both August 14 and August 15 have been known as “V-J Day”. The term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan’s surrender was made – to the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and, because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945.

In the summer of 1945, what most Americans on duty in the Pacific dreaded was the upcoming invasion of Japan. The atomic explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki canceled that operation when the Japanese quickly surrendered. There was initial suspicion in some quarters that the surrender was a trick; Marines waited two weeks after VJ Day before actually landing. But when American occupiers saw the devastation that bombing had caused and were greeted by deferential Japanese civilians, the knowledge that the war was finally over could sink in. [1]

The final timetable for the end of World War II began with the atomic bombs dropped on Japan on August 6 and 9. On the morning of August 10, news swept the Allied nations of Japan’s acceptance of the surrender terms. This prompted impromptu celebrations throughout the Allied countries. The news though was premature and a few tense days ensued until the surrender was confirmed on the 14th. [2]

The informal surrender occurred on August 14, 1945, followed by the formal surrender on September 2, 1945. V-J Day can be considered any one of three days: August 14 or 15, or September 2, but most observances occur on August 14. [3]

From Pearl Harbor to V-J Day: The American Armed Forces in World War II (American Ways Series)
by: D. Clayton James

Amazon Price: $18.95


[1] VJ Day (
[2] [3] A Commemoration of V-J Day, 14 August 1945, and Japan’s Formal Surrender, 2 September 1945A Commemoration of V-J Day, 14 August 1945, and Japan’s Formal Surrender, 2 September 1945 (

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