From a forwarded email.
Interesting photos of the preparation of Surrender of Japan in August 1945. (Officially signed on the USS Missouri in the Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945).
Let the surrender begin. B-25J Mitchell bombers of the 345th Bomb Group (The Apaches) lead two Green Cross Mitsubishi G4M “Betty” medium bombers into the island of Iejima (called Ie Shima by the Americans). The 345th Bomb Group (the 498th, 499th, 500th and 501st Squadrons) was based on Iejima and was given the task and the very special honour of escorting the Bettys from Tokyo to the rendezvous with United States Army Air Force C-54s, which would take the Japanese officers and envoys on to Manila to meet with no less than Douglas MacArthur himself. Photo: USAF
The two Bettys (ironically and deliberately given the call signs Bataan 1 and Bataan 2 by the Americans) fly low over the East China Sea, inbound for Iejima wearing their hastily painted white surrender scheme and green crosses. One can only imagine what is going on in the conflicted minds of the Japanese airmen as they fly over their own territory in the company of the hated enemy, headed for an event of profound humiliation in front of thousands of enemy soldiers.
These two Bettys would become the most photographed Green Cross surrender aircraft of the end of the war. Photo: US Navy
A photograph taken from the same 345th Bomb Group Mitchell that is depicted in the first photograph, looking back at another B-25 Mitchell and a B-17. Above, P-38 Lightnings provide top cover. The top cover was needed, because some Japanese officials had ordered the remnants of the Japanese Army Air Force to attack and bring down their own bombers rather than surrender. Instead of flying directly to Iejima, the two Japanese planes flew northeast, toward the open ocean, to avoid their own fighters.
Photo via warbirdinformationexchange.org
The Betty was officially known as the “Type-1 land-based attack aircraft;” but to its Japanese Navy crews, it was lovingly known as the Hamaki ( Cigar), the reason for which is obvious in this photograph (also because one could light it up fairly easily). The Betty was a good performer, but it was often employed in low level, slow-speed operations such as torpedo attacks, and it had a tendency to explode into flames when hit by even light enemy fire, leading some unhappy pilots to call them the “Type One Lighter” or “The Flying Lighter.” We can clearly see that the Betty’s traditional armament: nose, tail, waist and dorsal guns, have been removed as demanded by the Americans.
The B-17 in the distance is from 5th Air Force, 6th Emergency Rescue Squadron carrying a type A-1 lifeboat. The A-1 was dropped by parachute and was motorized. It seems that American authorities did not want to lose these men in the event of a ditching.
Photo via warbirdinformationexchange.org
As thousands of American soldiers, airmen, sailors, dignitaries and press photographers on the island of Iejima look to the sky, the two 345th Bomb Group B-25J Mitchells escort the two white Green Cross Bettys over the airfield before setting up for a landing. Photo: James Chastain, 36 Photo Recon Squadron
As thousands of suspicious, curious and anxious young men look on, the Japanese pilot brings his Mitsubishi Betty down on to the bleached coral airfield of Iejima. Note the all-metal Douglas C-54 waiting for their arrival. Photo via Pinterest
It is plainly obvious that in August of 1945, on the island if Iejima, it was brutally hot the day the Green Cross Bettys landed. Here, one of the two aircraft drops on to the runway as soldiers, the formal welcoming committee and pressmen wait, finding shade where they could. Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center The second of the two Green Cross Bettys makes its final approach while press photographers and reporters capture the long-awaited moment. Photo: James Chastain, 36 Photo Recon Squadron
As the second Betty alights on the coral airstrip, every eye on the island is trained on them. One cannot even imagine what this scene looked like to these Japanese as they looked out from the aircraft windows at a sea of mistrust and a new, grim reality. Photo: James Chastain, 36 Photo Recon Squadron
Another view taken farther back at Iejima shows the two massive and beautifully kept Douglas C-54 aircraft waiting for the passengers of the landing Betty. Image via wwiivehicles.com
With its clamshell canopy open and her Captain standing up to direct his co-pilot through the crowd, the first Green Cross Betty to land at Iejima taxis past a seemingly endless line of enemy soldiers. The scene is one of abject humiliation and intimidation. That pilot must surely have felt the mistrust of the thousands of pairs of eyes burning as he rolled by. Photo: USAAF
A close-up of the Betty taxiing along in front of the thousands of suspicious American servicemen. This had to be intimidating to the Japanese, especially to the lone pilot standing up and accepting the glares of all. Photo: USAAF
Sunday, August 19th 1945
I don’t know how long it will be until I can mail this letter. I am writing it now, while things are fresh in my mind. I have just seen what is probably the most important event in the world today. It was the arrival of the Japanese envoys on their way to Manila to sign the preliminary peace agreement with Gen. MacArthur.
The captain of the second Mitsubishi Betty also stands up to direct his co-pilot through the crowds waiting and watching. We can tell this is a different Betty as the previous one has a window panel just behind the nose glazing under the chin of the aircraft. This one does not have that particular window pane. Photo: Fred Hill, 17th Photo Recon Squadron
With his twin Kasei 14-cylinder engines thundering, the Japanese pilot guides the Betty through the crowded taxi strip. Photo: Fred Hill, 17th Photo Recon Squadron
Guiding his co-pilot from his perch above the Betty, the commander of the second Green Cross Betty commands him to swing round into position near the awaiting C-54 transports of the Americans. In doing so, he blasts the crowd of American sailors and airmen. We can see in this photo that all of the men in the background have their backs turned against the dust storm. Perhaps this was the one satisfying moment for the Japanese crews in this most humiliating of days. Photo: Fred Hill, 17th Photo Recon Squadron
One of the two Bettys comes to a stop across from the waiting Douglas C-54 aircraft that will take the envoys to Manila. Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center
The second Green Cross Betty to land at Iejima begins to unload its passengers and crew, while American soldiers crowd around. The distinguishing features that help us tell this Betty from the other are the different glazing panels on the nose and the fact that this does not have the Radio Direction Finding (RDF) loop antenna on the top of the fuselage. Photo vialeighrobertson.net
The two Green Cross aircraft are stared at by thousands of American soldiers, who watch from the gullies surrounding the airstrip, hoping to get a close look at the once hated, now defeated, Japanese airmen. Note the RDF loop antenna at the top of the fuselage. Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center
American soldiers and airmen, in daily working gear, gawk at the once-hated Mitsubishi G4M Betty painted white like a flag of surrender and no longer wearing her proud red rising sun roundels known as the Hinomaru. Instead they are required to wear green crosses — Christian symbols if there ever were any. With her RDF loop, this is clearly the first of the two Bettys. Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center
Moments after the second all-white Betty shuts down on the leshima ramp in the blistering sun, she is surrounded by airmen and plenty of Military Police (MPs). While some of the Japanese stand on the ground, a young airman steps out of the doorway carrying two large bouquets of flowers as a peace offering to the American delegation. The offer of the flowers was rejected by the Americans who felt that it was too soon to make nice with the once haughty Japanese who had treated Allied POWs so roughly. It would be like Auschwitz survivors accepting flowers from the SS, but you have to feel sorry for the young man bearing the gift. Photo viawarbirdinformationexchange.org
Looking more than a little worried and even terrified, the young Japanese soldiers look about them to see only angry, disdainful faces. The soldier on the left is the one who has just had his gift of flowers rejected and is no doubt looking for a place to hide. Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center
Japanese officers and leaders, with a mandate to negotiate their surrender, cross from their Mitsubishi Betty to awaiting C-54 aircraft which will take them to Manila. The truth is there were no negotiations. Surrender was unconditional. But they were there to accept the orders of surrender. The formal signing of the surrender would take place aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945 (two weeks later). Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center
Formalities on the ground were quickly performed; and within 20 minutes, the eight official commissioners were guided up a ladder into a massive Douglas C-54 transport aircraft, a luxurious accommodation when compared to the Japanese Bettys. They were then flown to Manila in the Philippines to meet with MacArthur. Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center
After the Japanese delegates boarded the American C-54 Skymaster at Iejima, they were flown 1,500 kilometres over the South China Sea to Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Here, we see General Douglas MacArthur watching the arrival of the Japanese entourage from the balcony of the ruined Manila City Hall. Most of the city’s fine old Spanish-style buildings were destroyed in the battle to retake the city from the Japanese in February and March of that year. Americans and Filipino citizens look on warily. More than 100,000 Manilans and 1,000 Americans were killed battling the Japanese, so this crowd would not be considered to be welcoming. Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center