[Thanks to Ed Driscoll for the Instalanche!]
[And as a sign of my own senility, I had this taking place 50 years ago, instead of 70. Thanks to Garrett York for the gentle correcting e-mail.]
Seventy years ago today, on August 13, 1945 my father John Webster — as a 21-year-old US Navy radioman on Guam — was involved in sending the message from the US Navy to the Japanese Imperial Navy on how to reach them for surrender talks. A few years ago, my mom showed me a scrapbook she put together before my father’s death in 1997 documenting his life, including his 29-year Navy career. It contains the copy of the transmission he helped send out on 13 August, 1945 — just a few days after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima (8/6) and Nagasaki (8/9).
Here’s the text of the message:
FROM US NAVY HEADQUARTERS GUAM TO IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY
HEADQUARTERS BT IF COMMUNICATIONS DESIRED CALL RADIO GUAM
NPN FREQUENCY 4235 KCS OR HARMONICS THEREOF AND INDICATE
APPROPRIATE CALL SIGN AND FREQUENCIES FOR FURTHER COMMUN-
ICATION IN PLAIN ENGLISH BT SIGNED NIMITZ FLEET ADMIRAL AR
“BT” means “break transmission” and is used to signal the beginning and end of the actual message text. The writing that is showing through from the backside is from the signatures of the other radiomen on Guam involved. They knew the war was about to end. ..bruce..
[This is a slightly edited version of a post I made back in 2013.]