Royal New Zealand Air Force
News of the acceptance by the Japanese of the Allies' surrender terms came to units in the Pacific, after a week of conflicting rumours, as something of an anti-climax. For several days hopes were alternately raised and lowered; and when finally the announcement was made that the war was over, there was little evidence of elation. The predominant sentiment was a desire to get home as quickly as possible, now that there was no need to stay longer in the heat and discomfort of the tropics.
Units in the forward area remained at a state of readiness, and daily patrols were flown over the enemy's positions. Squadrons operating over Rabaul and New Ireland reported no untoward incidents. The Japanese, having been ordered to lay down their arms, showed no further interest in Allied aircraft. Over Bougainville, however, aircraft were fired on from the ground on several occasions in the days immediately following the surrender.
Although operations ceased on 15 August, the formal surrender ceremonies did not take place until the following month. At the main surrender, which took place on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September, New Zealand was represented by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal Isitt, who had flown up from New Zealand. In the South-West Pacific, Air Commodore G. N. Roberts was the senior New Zealand officer present when General Imamura, Commander of the Japanese South-East Army, surrendered to General Sturdee on HMS Glory, off Rabaul. Two days later, at Torokina, he again represented New Zealand when Lieutenant-General Savige, commanding the 2nd Australian Corps, received the surrender of Lieutenant-General Kanda and the Japanese troops on Bougainville.