On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, a city of over 100,000 people. A third of the city was destroyed, the rest lay in ruins. Three days later, a second bomb totally destroyed the port of Nagasaki. The Japanese government sued for peace on the following day and, on August 14, 1945, Japan accepted the Allied terms of unconditional surrender. With victory in Europe secured, the Allied leaders had prepared for the final struggle in the Pacific. Nearly 80,000 Canadians volunteered to join the Pacific forces and began concentrating at nine stations across Canada in July 1945. Canadian naval participation was to provide sixty ships, manned by 13,500 men. However, the war was over before this help was needed. Preparing for the Pacific Force - Yarmouth NSAfter East Camp was closed on March 30, 1945 and West Camp was winding down, Yarmouth was the home of a training squadron of operational Lancaster Bomber aircraft. The first unit of this group flew into Yarmouth in June of 1945 with Lancaster B Mk X’s which they had ferried from England. They were to be part of 661 Heavy Bomber Wing of Tiger Force, for Pacific operations and were designated #6 (RCAF) Group. Crews immediately took a month leave. Personnel began returning from leave at the end of July, but their units were still being reorganized. Station Yarmouth was still furnishing the quarters of the force in early August, and the training that commenced on August 8 consisted of preliminary lectures but there was still no flying practice. Crews were to train at several Maritime locations on Lancaster X’s which had been on operations in England a short time before. The Group was to have been operational on Lincolns, a sleek version of the Lancaster, in the Pacific by December, 1945. However the dropping of the Atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the cessation of hostilities with Japan negated the use of the plan and Tiger Force Yarmouth was disbanded on September 5, 1945Yarmouth NS and Victory in Japan - August 14-15 1945For the Town of Yarmouth in Nova Scotia the “big JV Day” was on Wednesday. August 15th. Peace was declared during the evening of Tuesday, August 14. Mae Brown wrote in her diary “We had been looking for that announcement ever since Sunday night, everyone just glued to their radios”. On Tuesday night she had received a call from a women suggesting police protection would be needed for the Red Triangle Canteen at the YMCA. “I fairly insulted her, so I was happy the boys behaved so beautifully. A lot of them were drunk but so respectful it was pitiful. I even got my share of victory kisses. The people of Yarmouth celebrated in a small way.” But at the Red Triangle Canteen Mae Brown conducted more drunk lads up and down the stairs all day long. “Only once did I verge onto real trouble. He was a returned man who was crawling up the stairs, he resented being seen, so he took hold of me and said, ‘I don’t like you or anything about you’. I said, I’m so sorry. I feel bad when the boys do not like me, but I like you. He said, ‘Is that so, well perhaps you’re not so bad. Take my arm and we will parade before everyone.’ I did, so that disaster was averted.” The older woman taking cash in the canteen that night encountered one of the older men who said to her, “I wish I had married you. I can see your head on my pillow now, you old battle axe!. That women would tell the story many time later. The red Triangle Canteen would continue operating until November 16, 1945. The Red Triangle Canteen had its official closing on that evening. “About two hundred and twenty-five Yarmouth ladies would be present. Some twenty have faithfully served the servicemen for the five years that the Canteen has been functioning. Hundreds of thousands of men for all parts of the world had sought the hospitality offered at the Red Triangle Club …” (Mae Brown)
Lancasters from 419 and 428 Squadron at Yarmouth, NS after returning from Europe.
Nova Scotia Casualties in the Far East and Pacific Campaigns75 with connection to Nova Scotia would make the ultimate sacrifice serving in the Far East and the Pacific Campaign. They are remembered on Memorials and in Cemeteries in Hong Kong, Burma (Myanmar), Japan, Australia, Philippines, Singapore, Hawaii, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and the United States. List of Casualties
Peter Wiens (back row on right) and crew members in Yarmouth, NS after flying from Middleton-St-George, England