Yesterday evening we received orders that we were to be ready to disembark landing parties at 8 hours notice. During early hours this morning further orders were received and soon after 0500 Landing parties began mustering on the QD [Quarter deck] to receive further equipment in preparation for embarking during the forenoon. At 1030 we stopped engines & a high speed transport lay off our port quarter while landing craft ferried the troops across. Despite the wild motions of the craft when alongside, all personnel & gear passed safely down the scrambling nets and, as far as we know, up into the transport without incident. The departing force did manage to take with them the hammocks of 4 men going on draught, but better that than leaving something behind, I imagine! At the last moment, orders were received to reduce the HQ Staff, and two Mids & several ratings & marines were left on board, much to their chagrin.
On Sunday [19th], apart from divisions & church, hands were employed provisioning ship. Japanese Peace envoys arrived at Manila for conferences with, or rather to receive orders from, General MacArthur’s representatives in the afternoon.
Extract from the memoirs of Lt A Canham:
“…hundreds of ships of the fleet were prepared to enter Tokyo Bay to accept the surrender. But guarding the entrance to the harbor was a small island with a very modern battery of six-inch guns. Newfoundland was ordered to send a landing party ashore to “spike the guns.” Being a young lieutenant I was put in charge of the landing party and we were issued rifles and helmets and a borrowed American landing craft and went ashore at dawn. Expecting the worst, we were pleased to be met by a smiling Japanese officer waving a white flag in one hand and a Japanese-English dictionary in the other. We went through the gun emplacements and magazines, destroying everything that could be used against the fleet. We then hoisted the White Ensign and the Stars and Stripes at the entrance to the harbor. A very proud and happy moment!”