USS Midway to hold V-J Day celebration Saturday

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SAN DIEGO — A free celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific will be held Saturday aboard the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum.

The event will celebrate V-J Day, which marks the allied victory over Japan, which announced on Aug. 14, 1945, that it had accepted surrender terms.

Japanese and allied representatives signed the official surrender documents on Sept. 2 of that year, aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, bringing a close to nearly four years of brutal battles with the U.S.

Japan had been fighting in China since the 1930s. The U.S., which had a strong isolationist sentiment at the time, was brought into World War II when Japanese carrier aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, sinking or damaging 18 warships and killing about 2,500 military personnel and civilians.

The Pacific War went on to include major sea battles in the Coral Sea, near Midway Island, the Solomon Islands and the Philippines; years of fighting on land in far-flung locales like New Guinea; and an island-hopping campaign that brought the Allied military machine to mainland Japan’s doorstep.

World War II veterans are scheduled to attend Saturday’s celebration, which will feature a performance by a swing band. Actors will portray stars who entertained the troops, such as Bob Hope, Judy Garland, the Andrews Sisters, Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda.

Doors open at 6 p.m. The show will go from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. A fireworks show is scheduled to begin shortly after 8 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to wear attire from the era.

The celebration is scheduled to continue Sunday with a flyover of World War II aircraft at 11:20 a.m., and a performance by the Navy band at 1 p.m.

Weapons of any type, alcoholic beverages, food, glass containers, coolers, tables, chairs, and wagons or carts are not allowed aboard the ship.

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