General Yamashita surrenders the Philippines

General Tomoyuki Yamashita as he surrenders - click to enlarge and read

General Tomoyuki Yamashita as he surrenders – click to enlarge and read

One of the most monumental surrenders in the Pacific War was General Tomoyuki Yamashita. He had joined the Japanese Army in 1906 and fought the Germans in China in 1914, graduated Staff College in 1916 and began a military attaché in Switzerland as an expert on Germany, where he was to meet Tojo Hideki. Tojo soon became very envious of the success and advancements Yamashita was achieving. This was especially true after the campaign in Malaya and bluffing the British into surrendering to his inferior forces in Singapore. Tojo used his influence to have Yamashita transferred to Manchuria before he could even announce his win to the Emperor. The general was sent to the Philippine Islands in 1944. A man who believed in the Samurai traditions and was highly devoted to the Emperor.

Precluding the surrender of Yamashita is an interesting story that lead into the general’s surrender. This has been taken from the Military Intelligence files of the General HQ U.S. Army Forces, Pacific, which were given to me by http://p47koji.wordpress.com and supplied much of the data included here in today’s post. Please click on to enlarge for easier reading.

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30 August, negotiations with the general were drawing to a close, but he remained in his mountain headquarters sending word with thanks to the American Commanders for their “sincere efforts and concerns,” and his regrets that he was unable to contact his forces in Cagayan Valley, Balete Pass and the Clark Field areas. Small groups were beginning to turn themselves in and Major General Yuguchi, of the 103d Division in the Cagayan Valley had already agreed to the surrender terms, but was awaiting word from Yamashita. The 37th Infantry Division was expecting 3,000 to surrender on 2 September. Throughout the Philippine Islands, capitulations were being delivered from Japanese officers.

Initial American contact with Gen. Yamashita

Initial American contact with Gen. Yamashita

Some Japanese soldiers refused to believe that the Emperor had aired a demand for peace and skirmishes were reported on various islands. No American troops were listed as casualties. Those killed during that action with unfriendly combatants were Japanese, Filipino, Korean and Formosan. One civilian news reporter was captured.

General Yamashita arrived for his surrender and behaved as a gentleman officer would, then was led away to Baguio City for confinement, surrender and trial.

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Resources: Pacific War Online Encyclopedia; “The Final Victory”, by Stanley Weintraub; “The Pacific War” by John Costello; General Headquarters U.S. Army Forces, Pacific official Military Intelligence files supplied by http://p47koji.wordpress.com
With special thanks to Koji, I sincerely hope my readers will take a look into his blog as well. Thank you.

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Home Economics building (today) site of surrender

The above is a modern photo of the Home Economics building of the Kiangan Central School where General Yamashita was first contacted. Later, he was sent to Baguio City for the formal surrender.

Yamishita photo is credited to, Dr. Walter Johnson.

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on April 15, 2013, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. I hope you are still manning your website as we located something interesting! We just found a document — an old Service Qualification Record– from my husband’s dad’s files. It states on the bottom of the document “Photographed Yamasito Surrender at Manila.” His name was David Luther Barker, Jr and it says he served with the 5250 Technical Intelligence Company. Would anyone have any information relating to this record?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Greetings and many thanks for the website. I am going through my dad’s WWII photos and found the one of Yamashita’s surrender. My dad had made a point of showing it to me before he had alzheimers and later died. He never told me if he was at the surrender or not. He didn’t talk about WWII until very late in his life. One of the men with his back showing looks a lot like my dad. (you can tell from his uniform being too short and small as he was very tall) The photo is taken from the left side of the surrender and it contains a man holding what appears to be sound equipment. Is there documentation about which Americans were at the surrender? My dad’s name was Abe C Dick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can certainly try to find out, but I can lay odds that they might only have the unit accounted for. Do you know your father’s unit and rank at the time of the surrender? If you give me his hometown name, etc. I can also add your dad to the Farewell Salutes, if you so wish.

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      • I would find any information you find interesting as well. As mentioned in earlier comments, my uncle, Dr. Walter Johnson, was company clerk, and passed away last August. I wish he were still here to ask. If the man in the picture was Abe C Dick, he would have known. He had an incredible memory for names and other details.

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        • It is a shame we will never know for certain if it is Mr. Dick. I’ve been scouring all sorts of military records, but am unable to locate the info we need. I’m sure Mr. McNutt appreciates your reply.

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          • Bill Dick and Rick Fahrenbruch

            Greetings and many thanks.   I talked to my sister and she reports that Dad told her that he was at the surrenderof Yamashita.  I am not sure how he was chosen to be there.    In Japan he was with the 128 Infantry Regiment32 Division, but I am not sure if the same was in the Philippines.    Late in life he told us that he was on  a trainnear Hiroshima several weeks after the atomic bomb.    My brother in law (phd in physics) says that the nuclear danger was nearly gone by that time.   Bill    

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            • For such an important event, one needs to know that every man will follow as planned, because they knew Yamashita was coming – no surprise. I’ll keep trying.

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    • I apologize for taking so long, but I’ve been running into brick walls in researching the photos of Yamashita and his surrender. I finally discovered that the photo was public domain simply because no one knows WHO the photographer was. [I thought perhaps we could find the archives of whatever newspaper or mag he worked for]. All I do know is, Yamashita walked down this hill toward an area occupied by Company I/128th Infantry Regiment/32nd Division. (which I suppose you already knew). I’m very sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance.

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  3. My father told me that he had been taken off the front lines as the war in the Phillipines slowed. He said he was made an MP,and that at some point he was taken up in the mountains for an undisclosed duty. It turned out to be security at Yamashitas surrender. He said that there weren’t a lot of people there and that the general came down the road on foot, accompanied by staff and troops.
    Some years later, i had married and was talking to my father-in-law. He related the exact same story, only with himself as shore patrol. Having served in Viet Nam, I know that stories are often embellished and sometimes picked up and repeated with different players.
    If the stories are true, it would be remarkable that the parents of an as yet unborn couple, stood in the same clearing and witnessed such a historic event.
    I would love to see more photos, do you know where I might find them?

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    • Trying Googling Yamashita’s surrender, then when the suggested web sites come up, click onto Images (usually up top by the first response. The AOL images should go on for many pages. Good luck Paul, maybe you’ll spot your dad or father-in-law!

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    • I just saw this entry today. My uncle, Dr. Walter Johnson, (see March 16, 2014 comment), who took the group picture, related a very similar story, of being moved due to the slowing of the war and being assigned to the remote area, and the details of the general, staff, and troops coming out of the jungle. I don’t know that he had any other photos than the ones shared here. He passed away last August.

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  4. Very interesting article. Just found via Google search. I didn’t see photo credit for Yamashita’s surrender but did recognize it as my uncle’s, Dr. Walter Johnson. He was company clerk and really wasn’t supposed to be there but his captain allowed him to stay because he had brought his camera.

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  5. A very nice tribute and educational. Thanks for liking my post today. Sally

    Like

  6. You have a great blog. Wish I had more time and hours in the day to read all my subscriptions!

    Like

    • I understand and I thank you. Some days I don’t have the time to give as much detailed attention to my readers as I should, but I sure try, they’ve become friends.

      Like

  7. and I thought that WW2 Japenese officer never surrender

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  8. Tremendous photo collection, gpcox. I had not seen these before. And as always, well researched, factual report on history. (In your collection of photos such as these, I’d be curious if any contain Niseis.). These first few days after the capitulation, I – if I were a soldier would have been frightened of losing my life due to Emperor loyal Bushido. I’m sure everyone had there trigger fingers at the ready. Nevertheless, I am flabbergasted to this day how Yamashita could not commit seppuku. Thanks again and for your mention of my blog.

    Like

    • I do have some Nisei photos for that post (maybe two) about the MISers in the Pacific and my father’s interaction with them, But, I’m afraid that will be after we get my father out of the army and I get into Intelligence, Spies, Enemies at home, etc.

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  9. Another story I had never heard before. Awesome post!

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  10. Thanks for this and the Koji blog too.

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  11. I always enjoy your old photos but the modern photo of the house really ties it together, making it very REAL to those who didn’t actually live through it. Thank you for a great post.

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  12. singleseatfighterpilot

    I have greatly enjoyed the posts on behalf of The Pacific Paratrooper. The character of many of our citizens has been eroded to the point t!hat the very survival of our nation is at stake. Such was not the case 70 years ago! Neither is the sacred memory of our fallen heroes, in Afghanistan, diminished by a feckless President or a society of free-loaders. We are not worthy of the sacrifice of these men!

    Like

    • I often feel the same way, that’s why I am trying to keep ALL the memories alive, all the stories told and perhaps that way we will honor them by imitation.

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  13. There’s something almost unworldly about reading a photograph copy of the actual declassified report. Brings everything closer, makes it chillingly real and fleshes out the man behind the story. I especially loved his reference of “this American officer,” as he tells the story so matter of fact. Amazing! Thank you!

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    • I know what you mean about the reality. On the bottom of each page it has instructions for the document to be kept in a safe, etc. Eerie. I suppose the intelligence dept. was sort of nonchalant, sort of – the facts, ma’am and only the facts.

      Like

  14. I do not understand why Gen. Yamashita was hanged rather than afforded the dignity of a firing squad as was Gen. Homma.

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    • I’ll dig a little deeper and see what I can find, but quite a few were hanged; actually the firing squad was rarer.

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      • Historically, hanging has been the most common method in Japan since the Occupation. They are done secretly and out of the public eye. The last three were just carried out two months ago.

        While war crime verdicts were military, my guess is MacArthur wished to follow Japan’s cultural expectations. Just an opinion… I’m sure gpcox will have facts.

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        • Thanks for the additional info, Koji. I can’t know everything, so I appreciate the help of the readers and want them to add to the site what they can. I always hope you will feel free to let us know what you known.

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  15. Pierre Lagacé

    I learned something new today thanks to you. I hope readers discover Koji’s blog with his posts about WWII. Of course his recipes look good also.

    Pierre

    Like

    • You beat them, ever give them a try? Great.

      Like

      • I do not support any aggression, but I don’t support U.S for declaring our INA as a part of the axis power rather they did a great job fighting against the imperial British forces which was supported by U.S.A indirectly in favour of British imperialism. Our basic fundamental right for freedom had been denied by the British for over two centuries. When time came U.S.A instead of supporting India’s freedom struggle they stood by the side of British imperial forces. It should be kept in mind that U.S.A won the war by making India as their military base, which India could not resist because we were dependent. We once again say in clear words that the role of U.S.A in handling our freedom issues against British imperialism is doubtful and biased. Freedom is the birth right of every human being. Today we are facing aggression from Chinese Army and in this respect U.S.A remain silent upon this important issue though they are criticizing China on Tibet issues and on other issues. We pledge to protect our motherland and we will win the race. We again say that we are against any sort of imperialism.

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        • I can readily appreciate your feelings on being suppressed by the British, but I don’t believe you understand exactly what we are doing here. This web site is a reporting of what transpired during WWII. If the US did not support you back in the 1940’s for independence it might have been because they were too busy fighting in the ETO, PTO and CBI for EVERYONE’S freedom. If you read further, when I become more international in my reporting, you will see where I give your Indian units credit for their bravery. The history of your SIKH Regiments earned numerous medals for their bravery, but some Sikhs also aided the Japanese. I do not report here the history with my own opinions’ influence (I save my own opinions for this comment area) and I do not always agree with the decisions of our presidents. I can not alter history to suit everyone’s needs – facts are facts.

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  1. Pingback: Travel to Baguio City’s Past and Present | thecuriousmiss

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