The presiding commissioner in mid-Missouri’s Cole County is searching for living crew members of the battleship USS Missouri, who were on the ship during the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay in September 1945.
Commissioner Sam Bushman tells Missourinet a major event is planned for September 2020 at Pearl Harbor, to celebrate the surrender’s 75th anniversary.
“If we can find them, we would like to take them to Pearl Harbor as our guests,” Bushman says. “Everything would be (covered), airfare, hotel and everything.”
Mr. Bushman is involved with the USS Missouri Memorial Association, which is helping to organize the event.
He’s asking anyone who knows of living veterans who were on the ship for the surrender to contact him at the Cole County Courthouse. His phone number is (573) 634-9113.
“There were thousands of sailors present in Tokyo Bay on September 2 (1945). They weren’t necessarily on the battleship Missouri,” says Bushman.
Bushman tells Missourinet that U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley are both expected to attend next September’s Pearl Harbor event.
General Douglas MacArthur was on the battleship Missouri during the September 1945 surrender. At the ceremony’s conclusion, General MacArthur delivered a radio address to the American people.
“Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death — the seas only commerce men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. The entire world is quietly at peace. The holy mission has been completed,” MacArthur’s speech began.
Commissioner Bushman is praising the U.S. Postal Service’s new stamp, which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the battleship Missouri’s commissioning.
Mr. Bushman helped organize last week’s Statehouse ceremony in Jefferson City to unveil the stamp. He watched as veterans wiped tears away, during the ceremony.
“I mean this is our ship, you know it’s the battleship Missouri, it’s part of our state,” Bushman says.
There were two ceremonies on Tuesday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the commissioning and the new stamp: one in Jefferson City and the other at Pearl Harbor.
Retired U.S. Navy Captain David Durbin says the stamp has already been very popular in Jefferson City, with the Post Office re-ordering additional stamps due to demand.
Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Cole County Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman, which was recorded on June 11, 2019 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City:
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