Japanese Surrender of Aguijan Iskand
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Island Surrender

Researched and  provided by

QMCS Larry Richter, USCGR, Ret.

Military Researcher



A number of years ago I brought to the attention of the Historians Office, the surrender of the Japanese military garrison on Aguijan Island, September 4, 1945, 2 days after the official surrender of the Japanese. Aguijan Island is about 5 miles off the SW tip off Tinian. The Japanese surrendered aboard a US Coast Guard 83 footer. I had read a story about the event but no where in that story did the author, Maj James Holton USAAF, give the hull number or the name of the Coast Guard vessel.
The historians office at the time knew nothing about that event.

Based on researching that event I came up with the USCG CG83434 as the 83 footer that hosted the surrender on 4 September 1945. The 83434 and 83525 were both stationed in the Tinian area and both crews were good friends. Through a memo I obtained from the historians office about transferring personnel from each boat home, due to the war being over and some of the crew having enough points to get out, I was able to contact the widow whose husband (Lt. (jg) Robert Tyrol, USCGR) was skipper of the 83434. She sent me pictures (I sent copies of them to the Historians Office) of the surrender and said it was her husbands boat, 83434, that did in fact host the surrender. The surrender was signed aboard the 83 by Rear Admiral Marshall R. Greer, USN, COMM Fleet Air Wing 18, Tinian. 2nd Lt. Kinichi Yamada from the Japanese military garrison on Aguijan Island signed for the Japanese.

I had a number of conversations with her and with the pictures it seemed reasonable that the 83434, Tyrol's boat, was the one that did host the surrender; I was about 99% convinced that the 83434 was the host vessel. I did send the information to the Historians Office and you did post it on the official CG web site under Daily Chronology.

Recently, with that small doubt, I started to look for more conclusive evidence about the event knowing that the 83525 ...could ...maybe have somehow been involved. Years ago I had been in touch with the Navy about the event and they thought it was the 83525 although they said it could be they were not correct. They welcomed my pictures and information I had gotten from the widow of the skipper of the 83434. They said they would put it in the file.

With a two star admiral, Rear Admiral Marshall R. Greer, USN, signing for the United States, I began to wonder about any type of paperwork he may have generated about that event. I got in touch with NARA....passed the information to them telling them what I as looking for. Low and behold, they did find a secret, now declassified memo written and signed by Admiral Greer on 5 September, 1945, one day after the surrender signing, Subject: Surrender of AGUIJAN Island. It went to Commander MARIANAS and then up the chain finally to Commander U. S. Fleet. There were five enclosures and 5 paragaraphs covering the surrender.



1. At 1148K on 4 September 1945, Second Lieutenant K. Yamada, Imperial Japanese Army, officially surrendered AGUIJAN Island to Rear Admiral M. R. Greer, United States Navy. The ceremony took place on board the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter No. 83525 lying off AGUIJAN Island.


Shown in one of the photographs along with Yamada and his aide was Lt. Tyrol, skipper of the 83434. As to why he was in that picture I have no clue. I am thinking that his boat the 83434 may have been there also and somehow he managed to get in the picture. None of the pictures Lt. Tyrol's widow sent me show Lt. (jg) Frank Judson, USCGR, CO of the 83525 in any of those surrender pictures.

BUT, we now know for 100% sure based on Admiral Greer's memo that in fact the CG83525 hosted the surrender not the 83434 as I had previously thought.


Aboard the 83525, the two Japanese with their backs to the camera and signing are left, aide to 2nd Lt Kinichi Yamada (to the right). Rear Admiral Marshall Greer, USN and COMMFLTAIRWING 18, Tinian and signing for the US is in his whites. The officer with the garrison cap and black stripe around the top is Maj James Holton, USAAF, writer for the Tinian Times

left to right: Maj James Holton, USAAF and writer for the Tinian Times, 2nd person.....unknown ,3rd person is Lt. (jg) Bob Tyrol, USCGR skipper of the CG83434 , 4th person with the large binoculars around his neck is Brig Gen Fred V. H. Kimble, Islander Commander on Tinian, Next is 2nd Lt. Kinichi Yamada who signed for the Japanese, Next is Yamada's aide, And to the very right unknown.

 

Keith D. West wrote:

 My dad, Harley K. West (d. 1992), served on the 83525 and passed along to me several photos of the surrender and the evacuation of the island. Several of the photos are very professional-looking (the story I recall my dad telling is that there was a magazine photographer -- LIFE ? -- in the entourage and he passed his "seconds" on to the sailors).

I would be happy to share copies of these photos with  your organization if there is any interest. I've attached one to this message. The caption on the reverse (in my dad's handwriting) says "Right to left. Smiley, Lt. Yamada and Tuffy. Taken off Aguijan."

BELOW: Here's more photos from Keith.

Top Left Part of Tinian harbor. Aguijan in the background.

Middle Left Approaching Aguijan on the day of the surrender.

Bottom Left Aguijan during evacuation of Japs. Jap flag was flying from the structure at upper right.

Top Center The Japs that came aboard to sign the surrender of Aguijan Is.

Top Right Koshino and Yaben (sp?) Two Japs taken at Aguijan

Bottom Right CG 83434

 

******Post Script*******

The 83525 was returned to the USA and sold. The last known owner named her Adams  Dream, The owner apparently  abandon her in an inlet near San Francisco. The  CA Reclamation  Deot. needed  to clean up the wreck and discovered its historic past. They contacted the CG and this website to see if the CG wanted the historic cutter. (They did not.) [See pics below.]

****PS 2****

                                                                                                                            

From: David Livingston, Contra Costa Sheriff

Historic Coast Guard cutter pulled from Delta.

By Mike Taugher, Contra Costa Newspaper

Posted: 11/14/2011 03:58:14 PM

A Coast Guard cutter that hosted the surrender of Japanese

forces at the end of World War II is to be pulled Wednesday from the Delta,

where it has been abandoned for 10 years, according to state recycling

officials.

Two days after Japanese leaders surrendered aboard the U.S.S. Missouri on

Sept. 2, 1945, a Japanese second lieutenant aboard the cutter USCG 83525

surrendered the garrison on the island of Aguijan Island, southwest of Saipan in

the Northern Mariana Islands.

The cutter, an 83-footer, was abandoned in Fishermen's Cut a decade ago,

according to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.

Parts of USCG 83525 that can be salvaged and have historic value will be

moved to a Coast Guard station in Rio Vista and displayed as a monument,

according to a news release from state recycling officials.

 

                                                                                                                 

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Guess Adams Dream was a wet one.......

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For more interesting history of surrender click here