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Talley shares rare WWII surrender papers with public
Memorial Day - Tom Davis.jpg
Tom Davis places a wreath in front of the monument at Warren County Memorial Airport during last year’s Memorial Day ceremony. This year’s event has been canceled, but it’s still a time to remember the men and women who have died in military service for America.

Charles E. Talley reached out to the Southern Standard to share some rarely seen documents with fellow veterans and the public.

Mr. Talley has a deep appreciation of Memorial Day and all those who have served in the military. At 20 years old, he joined the Tennessee National Guard in 1948 until he was discharged in 1957. He started out as a private peeling potatoes, working guard duties and radio section to a supply sergeant.

With the local Memorial Day ceremony being canceled due to continued COVID-19 concerns, this year will be different. “I will spend the day thinking of all our veterans and their service and not forgetting them. I want to thank everyone for their service,” said Mr. Talley.

Talley was cleaning out and settling a family estate when he found the German and Japanese surrender papers among old items. 

“Not many people have seen these,” said Talley. “I want to share them with everyone.” 

One document is the Japanese Instrument of Surrender and the other the German Instrument of Surrender. This year marks the 75th anniversary of World War II ending.

On Sept. 2, 1945, representatives from the Japanese government and Allied forces assembled aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay to sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, which effectively ended World War II. The document was prepared by the U.S. War Department and approved by President Harry S Truman.

The terms called for “the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated.” 

However it also preserved the Japanese Imperial House.

Signing for Japan was Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Amy General Staff. General Douglas MacArther, Commander in the Southwest Pacific, signed for the United States and accepted the surrender in his capacity as the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz also signed for the United States.

Then representatives from eight other Allied nations signed, including the Republic of China, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. The ceremony took less than 30 minutes.

Signed at Rheims, France, at 0241 on the 7th day of May, 1945, hereby surrender uncon-ditionally to the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and simultaneously to the Supreme High Command of the Red Army all forces on land, at sea, and in the air who are at this date under German control. The German Instrument of Surrender was the legal document that effected the extinction of Nazi Germany and ended World War II in Europe.