Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Penang Reoccupied after WW2, 1945

The fall of Penang(彼南島) - Japanese Occupation日本統治時代のペナン州

The Battle of Malaya began when the 25th Army of Imperial Japanese Army invaded Malaya on 8 December 1941. Japanese troops launched an amphibious assault on the northern coast of Malaya at Kota Bharu and started advancing down the eastern coast of Malaya. This was made in conjunction with landings at Pattani and Songkhla in Thailand, The 5th Infantry Division(a "motorized" square division), landed on the east coast of Thailand at Singora and Patani on December 8, 1941. They then proceeded south overland across the Thailand-Malayan border to attack the western portion of Malaya. The Japanese also used bicycle infantry and light tanks, which allowed swift movement of their forces overland through the terrain that was covered with thick tropical rainforest, albeit criss-crossed by native paths. The defeat of Allied troops( Indian 11th Infantry Division)at Jitra by Japanese forces supported by tanks moving south from Thailand on 11 December 1941.

The island of Penang was known by the British as Fortress Penang but in reality it was an island garrison, had four anti-aircraft guns and a garrison of 500 untrained troops. The civilians took to the streets to watch not knowing what was to come. After flying over the town the planes turned and bombed in groups of three. The bombs dropped included heavy demolition, light anti-personal and incendiary, nearly all the bombs were dropped on the densely crowded native quarters in Georgetown.

Air attack on Penang island

1941 Dec 10th - 70 Japanese aircraft raid Penang
1941 Dec 11th - 37 Japanese aircraft raid Penang
1941 Dec 12th - 85 Japanese aircraft raid Penang
1941 Dec 13th - air raids continue as British evacuate

The first attack on the island by the Japanese was as early as 11 Dec, in the form of air raids(some reported on 8th, or 10th). During one of the raids, a bomb was dropped on a fire station, which resulted in no firefighting capability from the civilians. The emergency services were mainly run by untrained Chinese and although they tried their best, they were under increasing pressure as many of the local population who had decided to take to the hills got in the way. Some RAF resistance was present, but was largely unsuccessful. The city fell under a state of lawlessness within days, with uncontrollable looting while corpses were left rotting on the streets.

The British started evacuating on the 13th but the orders included only British born personnel and civilians, this caused a feeling of despair among the Asiatic population, and anger towards the British for leaving them to fend for themselves at a time when they wanted leadership. Not all the British left Penang, Dr. Evens of the General Hospital stayed to look after his patients and was later allowed to the Japanese to continue his work. The Straits Echo’s was one of the few offices that remained open under the leadership of the editor M. Saravanamuttu, Sara set up the Penang Service Committee comprising elected members from Penang’s different communities to run the town on Dec 16, 1941(?).

Even after the British had evacuated by Dec 13, the bombings continued and the committee that met twice daily at No. 10, Scott Road, decided that the Union Jack at Fort Cornwallis had to be taken down and replaced with a white flag of surrender.
As there were no volunteers, M. Saravanamuttu and R.S Gopal, his sub-editor, carried out this mission.

On 17 Dec 1941, Japanese troops of Kobayashi Battalion of the IJA 5th Division(歩兵第五師団, Hohei daigo shidan) landed on the island of Penang. There was no resistance, as the British had evacuated the island on 13 Dec 1941. However, the British failed to destroy resources that could be used by the invaders, including a fully functional radio station. The Japanese troops used the radio station to broadcast the cruel message "Hello, Singapore, this is Penang calling. How do you like our bombing?" and proceeded to massacre the Penang residents during a large-scale looting. Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita (山下奉文, November 8, 1885 – February 23, 1946),the Commanding Officers of The Imperial Japanese Army's 25th Army (第25軍 Dai-nijyūgo-gun)called a stop to the atrocities, and executed three soldiers as punishment. Lt. Col. Kobayashi(小林中佐) was also placed under thirty days close arrest as punishment. However, the image of the Japanese as brutal conquerors would forever be carved in the minds of the natives.

Arms, boats, supplies and a working radio station were left in haste to the Japanese. The evacuation of Europeans from Penang, with local inhabitants being left to the mercy of the Japanese, caused much embarrassment for the British and alienated them from the local population. Historians judge that "the moral collapse of British rule in Southeast Asia came not at Singapore, but at Penang". The British withdrawal left the defenseless island in the hands of a State Committee which had to subdue a three-day civil unrest.

A young Penangite by the name of Ivan Allan who bravely went to Sungai Petani on Dec 18 with a Japanese named Izumi to convey the news that the British had evacuated Penang

Sara broadcast an appeal on Dec 19(?) from the Penang Wireless Station, urging the Japanese air force to stop bombing the island because the British had left Penang.

Two companies of Japanese troops arrived in sampans at the Church Street Pier at 4pm on Dec 19, Sara, as the committee chairman, appealed to the Commander not to molest the local population. The next day, the Japanese Civil Administrator, Hiroyasu, arrived and formed four different committees comprising Malays, Chinese, Indians and Eurasians. These committees were known as the Peace Preservation Committee

Penang was captured on 19 December 1941, three and a half years of rule of terror followed(to be exact 3 years 8 months). Many of the local populace fled to the interior and plantations to escape from Japanese atrocities, of which many were reported and documented.

Sara’s committee was disbanded on Dec 23 when the Japanese-elected Penang Preservation Committee began functioning.

During this occupation, Penang was governed by four successive Japanese governors, starting with Shotaro Katayama.

Japanese Governors of Penang第25軍。ペナン州知事(日本占領時代ペナン州知事)

•1942–1943: Lt-Gen. Shotaro Katayama Governor of Penang from(1942–1943)
•1943–1944: Maj-Gen. Masakichi Itami Governor of Penang from(1943–1944)
•1944: Lt-Gen. Shinohara Seiichiro Governor of Penang from(1944–1944)
•1944: S.Ikagawa五十川 Deputy Governor of Penang from (1944) only.
•1944–1945: Lt-Gen. Shinohara Seiichiro was Governor of Penang from 1944 to 1945

Air raid by Allies

1944 August - USAF B-29 bombing raid on supported by HMS Ceylon
1945 Jan 11th - USAF B-29 bombing raid on Penang (mission 27)
1945 Feb 1st - USAF B-29 bombing raid on Penang (mission 33)

Japan surrendered on Aug 15 1945日本の降伏

On the morning of August 6 1945, the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets, dropped an atomic bomb (code-named Little Boy by the Americans) on the city of Hiroshima in southwest Honshū, Japan.

On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki was the target of the United State's second atomic bomb attack (and second detonation of a plutonium bomb; the first was tested in central New Mexico, USA) at 11:02 a.m., when the north of the city was destroyed and an estimated 70,000 people were killed by the bomb codenamed "Fat Man".

At 12:00 noon Japan standard time on August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito made a radio announcement to his people announcing the decision to accept the Potsdam Proclamation and surrender to the Allies.

25 Aug 1945 - Emperor Hirohito issued a decree ordering all Japanese forces to demobilize and cease operation.

On August 28 1945, the occupation of Japan by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers began.

The surrender ceremony was held on September 2 1945 aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri, at which officials from the Japanese government signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, ending World War II.

The Allied Plan to capture Malaya - Operation Zipper
During the Second World War, "Operation Zipper" was a British plan to capture either Port Swettenham or Port Dickson, Malaya as staging areas for the recapture of Singapore. However, due to the end of the war in the Pacific, it was never fully executed. Some of the proposed landings on Penang went ahead as planned to probe Japanese intentions, encountering no resistance. The planned deception for this attack was called Operation Slippery, whilst a small Special Operations Executive team led by Tun Ibrahim Ismail which landed in October 1944 managed convince the Japanese that the landings were to be on the Isthmus of Kra, 650 miles to the north.

Operation Tiderace - Operation to capture Singapore
Operation Tiderace was planned soon after the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Emergency planning was put in preparation for the rapid occupation of Singapore at an early date should Japan agree to accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration of 26 July.

While Operation Zipper was executed ahead of schedule, it did so on a much smaller scale, having quickly transferred a proportion of its original strength to Operation Tiderace. The convoy consisted of about 90 ships, which included two battleships, HMS Nelson and the French battleship Richelieu. The heavy cruiser HMS Sussex served as the flagship. HMAS Hawkesbury was the sole Australian warship during the Japanese surrender, escorting the repatriation transport Duntroon.

There were a total of seven escort carriers: HMS Ameer, HMS Attacker, HMS Emperor, HMS Empress, HMS Hunter, HMS Khedive and HMS Stalker

HMS Volage, Destroyer(1944-1972)

In August, prior to the Japanese surrender, HMS Volage prepared to support the planned landings in Malaya (Operation Zipper). She was part of the screen for capital ships of the East Indies Fleet sailing to Penang and later (31 August), she sailed from Trincomalee to join the naval forces for the re-occupation of Penang. The Captain then was Cdr. Reginald Trevor Paul,CBE, RN(later Captain).

31st August 1945 - Sailed from Trincomalee to join ships deployed for re-occupation of Penang.

1st September 1945 - At Penang for re-occupation. Volage stayed at Penang into September as radio ship until shore facilities had been established and then supported the landings at Port Dickson. (Operation ZIPPER)
(Note: For details of ZIPPER and the earlier delays until after VJ Day see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET, WAR WITH JAPAN and Final Report of Supreme Commander SEAC (HMSO).

When the day for the surrender arrived, accompanied by the battleship “Nelson”, HMS Volage arrived off Penang. The “Nelson” was too big to enter Penang harbor, so Admiral Hooky Walker transferred to the HMS Volage from the HMS Nelson and met the Japanese officials on board the “Volage”? and signed the articles of surrender. HMS Volage with Admiral Walker on board was the first Allied ship into Penang and the local Japanese surrender was made on the dockside nearby.

That done the Admiral went back to his ship and accompanied the rest of the fleet down the coast to Singapore and the “Volage” was ordered to tie up at Penang to act as the radio communications ship for the occupation forces when they were landed.

10th Sept - When Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, Commander-in-Chief, South East Asia Command, and General Bill Slim, C in C of 14th Army, passed through Penang on 10th Sept 1945,en route to Singapore for the Japanese surrender in the East Indies, they spent a brief period on HMS Volage and Mountbatten addressed the ship's crew.

After four weeks at Penang, HMS VOLAGE returned to Trincomalee and deployed with Flotilla for local duties.

17-8-1945 HMS Nelson sailed from Trincomalee, Ceylon in company with HM Cruisers LONDON, CEYLON and NIGERIA, HM Escort Carriers ATTACKER, HUNTER, SHAH and STALKER, HM LSI PRINCESS BEATRIX and QUEEN EMMA escorted by destroyers. Their mission was to implement Operation ZIPPER (Operation ZIPPER was the landing of troops in Malaya), then proceed to Penang to accept the surrender of the Japanese forces in the area.(Operation delayed until after the Japanese surrender ceremonies in Tokyo on 2-9-1945 had taken place at the insistence of the US Government and delay in London due to demobilisation arrangements for Service personnel in the Far East.)

20th August 1945 - Whilst the politics was finalized, the Force anchored off the Nicobar Islands and provided cover for minesweeping operations in Nicobar islands. HMS Nelson moved to Rangoon to await start of ZIPPER.

Following Japanese emperor announced surrender on 15-8-1945, only on 21 August 1945 the Penang Shimbun published the statement of capitulation issued by the Emperor.

"Operation Tiderace" was instead put into action following the surrender of Japan. Mountbatten ordered British troops to set sail from Trincomalee and Rangoon (Yangon) on Aug 21 for Singapore. The Allied fleet departed Rangoon on August 27, 1945, as part of Vice Admiral Harold Walker's force (HMS Nelson, HMS Attacker, HMS Hunter, HMS Ceylon, three destroyers and three Landing Ship, Infantry).

27th August 1945 - Early hours, sailed from Rangoon flying the flag of Vice Admiral Walker in company with HM Cruiser CEYLON, HM Escort Carriers ATTACKER and HUNTER, HM LSI PRINCESS BEATRIX and QUEEN EMMA escorted by 3 destroyers.

28th August 1945 - The battleship HMS Nelson anchored off Penang to take the Japanese surrender in Malaya. The Allies arrived with a small portion of the fleet sent to Penang as part of Operation Zipper. Late in the day the the force arrived off Penang. The first emissaries of the Japanese forces were made to board the flagship by rope ladder.(Note: This was also the day of the occupation of Japan by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers began in Japan).

2nd Sept, 1945 - At Penang lying off Georgetown, for the official surrender of Japanese forces. The Japanese commander Rear Admiral Uozomi was met by Capt. Clifford Caslon, RN(who later retired as Vice Admiral) and the Chief of staff, Captain Abbott, and led below to the Vice Admiral Walker’s cabin were the articles of surrender where signed

Yet even before the Singapore event, the Japanese had already surrendered at Penang in a ceremony on September 2 1945 aboard the battleship HMS Nelson. (In fact, the British had landed in Penang in late August but had held back on the surrender formalities until the American General MacArthur had finalized the official surrender negotiations in Tokyo.). HMS Nelson was the flagship of the fleet, and "the articles of surrender" were signed aboard the battleship on September 2, 1945.

Japanese surrender party signed off the war aboard HMS Nelson lying off Georgetown. Rear Admiral Jisaku Uozumi signs the surrender document aboard the HMS Nelson on September 2, 1945. He fainted shortly afterwards and was rushed to hospital. Note the Distinguished Service Cross ribbon on Uozumi's uniform, which he had earned as Britain's ally in World War I

On board the Royal Navy Nelson-class battleship HMS Nelson Japanese officers surrender the port and city of Penang, Malaya (Malaysia) to the Allies.

Naval vessels of Task Force 11 of the Eastern Fleet underway en route for Penang. Anchored in the Andaman Sea off the Nicobar Islands the force awaits the arrival of Japanese envoys. A Japanese launch draws alongside HMS Nelson. Japanese officers come aboard. In a state room British and Japanese officers take seats at a long table. Admiral Walker stepped ashore from Volage accompanied by Captain Commander Durlachar, leading Naval and Royal Marine delegation to the table. The surrender is signed by Vice-Admiral Walker and IJN Commander Submarine Squadron Eight, Rear Admiral Uozumi Jisaku and the Governor of Penang,Lt-Gen. Shinohara Seiichiro(篠原誠一郎)

Japanese officers named on the dope sheet include Commander Sakai, Lieutenant-Commander Yamaguchi and Captain Aidaki.

Notes: Other vessels in Task Force 11 included the Ceylon-class cruiser HMS Ceylon, the escort carriers HMS Hunter and HMS Attacker, the Paladin-class destroyers HMS Paladin and HMS Petard and two LSIs (Landing Ship Infantry).

3-9-1945 - Royal Marines land at Penang on 3-9-1945, after the Japanese have surrendered. Japanese officers lined up on the quayside. Captain Hilton DSO (naval officer in charge) coming ashore. Flag hoisting ceremony - Union Jack flag is raised, military band plays. Liberated Malayan population rejoicing. Sailors and Marines drive through streets in Japanese military vehicles - lots of waving and flags in carnival atmosphere. Japanese prisoners of war are marched through the street. British officers also inspected the captured Japanese seaplane base.

Lt. J. BLEASE, RN, of Johnshaven, Montrose, Scotland, and SLt. (A) I. MACGREGOR, RNVR, of South Queensberry, Scotland, examine plans of Japanese seaplane at Penang seaplane base, Glugor. He is escorted by surrender liaison officer Lt. Cdr. NAGAKI


(Please click the picture for the movie.)

The official British party reached Penang on 1 September, and after a meeting between the Commander-in-Chief of the East Indies Fleet and Rear-Admiral Uzumi on 2 September, a detachment of the 480 Royal Marines landed on 0800 hours at Weld Quay ,and occupied and takeover the island on 3 September 1945.

Japanese forces were evacuated to concentration center at Glugor, and later to the mainland. The Offier in charge at Penang was Capt TJN Hilken(who later become British military governors 1945-1946, Thomas John Norman Hilken)

Rear Admiral Bazudi, Commander of Japanese forces, Penang, signs the surrender document watched by Lt-Gen. Shinohara Seiichiro, the Japanese Lieutenant Governor of Penang (right) and the Admiral's chief of staff, Captain Hidaka.(photo dated 4-9-1945)

A formal ceremony to signify British repossession of Penang took place on Swettenham Pier on 5 September 1945

Japanese forces in Penang finally surrendered to British forces on 6 September 1945

Victory March In Penang , Sept. 8. 1945, Enthusiastic crowds lined the streets to watch the victory march of 600 officers and men from British cruisers and destroyers , the Royal Indian Navy sloop "istna. Vice- Admiral H. C. T. Walker took the salute from the nuance gate of the... (The Straits Times, 11 September 1945, pg 2)

His Majesty's Ships - H.M.S. Nelson(1921-1950)

HMS Nelson- Nelson-class 16in gun Battleship

The Nelson class was a class of two battleships (Nelson and Rodney) of the British Royal Navy, built shortly after, and under the terms of, the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. They were the only British battleships built between the Revenge class (ordered in 1913) and the King George V class, ordered in 1936. HMS Nelson was named after British admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson of the Battles of the Nile and Trafalgar.

Motto: “Let him bear the palm who has deserved it.”

At the outbreak of war in 1939 H.M.S. Nelson was one of British Royal Navy two most modern battleships, though it is now over 19 years since she was completed. A ship of 33,950 tons, she mounts nine of the heaviest guns in the Royal Navy, of 16-in. calibre.

In December 1939 she was mined in a Scottish loch, and with great difficulty and hazard was brought south to Portsmouth for dry docking and refit. During the first half of 1941 she was engaged in escorting convoys bound for the Cape. In the summer she joined Admiral Sir James Somerville's Force H in the Western Mediterranean, and in September was hit forward by a torpedo from an enemy aircraft while escorting a convoy to Malta. She went to Gibraltar for temporary repairs, and in December sailed for Rosyth with survivors of the aircraft carrier Ark Royal. Back in the Mediterranean, she was again engaged in a fierce convoy action there in August 1942. She was one of the fleet supporting the landings in North Africa in Nov. 1942, and in July 1943 helped to cover the invasion of Sicily. The conference between General Eisenhower and Marshal Badoglio, resulting in the Italian surrender, took place on board her in September 1943.

On 29 Sep 1943, Marshal Pietro Badoglio (Italy) and General Dwight D Eisenhower (USA) signed the Italian instrument of surrender on board Nelson in Valletta Harbour, Malta.

She received damage from a mine during the Normandy landings in June 1944, and was sent to Philadelphia for modernization and repairs.

In November 1944 Vice-Admiral Sir Arthur Power became Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station(1944-1952) which had been formed from the former Eastern Fleet. (Note: Power was present at the final surrender of the Japanese in Singapore on 12th September 1945 in HMS Sussex).

Returning in January 1945 she proceeded to the East Indies, where she wore the flag of Vice-Admiral H.T.C. Walker(later Sir Admiral Harold Thomas Coulthard Walker,CB,KCB,RN). On 12th, July 1945, HMS Nelson joined Eastern Fleet(1941-1944) at Trincomalee, Ceylon.

The Japanese forces in Penang formally surrendered aboard HMS Nelson at George Town, Penang, on 2 September 1945.

She is now flagship of the Training Battleship Squadron, Home Fleet.

Admiral Walker left to board his flagship H.M.S. Nelson on 8-9-1945 , to lead the way to Singapore with his fleet cruiser London and assault ships to Port Sweettenham.

HMS Nelson
8th Took passage to Singapore, calling at Port Swettenham en route.

10th Arrived at Singapore.

12th At Singapore when the Japanese Forces in South East Asia officially surrendered.

Singapore or Syonan-to(昭南島)


Three days after the emperor's announcement on 15-8-1945, General Seishiro Itagaki, commander of the Japanese 7th Area Army, flew to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to meet Field Marshal Count Terauchi, Commander of the Japanese Southern Army and forces in South-east Asia. But on Aug 20, Itagaki signalled Mountbatten that he would abide by his emperor's decision and was ready to receive instructions for the Japanese surrender of Singapore

With the Japanese surrender and Allied troops deployed in Malaya, Walker's fleet then sailed to Singapore to join up with the main convoy. When Penang surrendered without resistance, the fleet sailed for Singapore on 2 September, passing the Raffles Lighthouse at the Southern entrance to the Straits of Malacca. The fleet arrived in Singapore on 4 September 1945, meeting no opposition. However, the French battleship Richelieu struck a magnetic mine at 0744 on 9 September while passing down the Straits of Malacca. She eventually limped into Singapore at 1200 on 11 September.

The actual surrender was on 4-9-1945, Lieutenant-General Alexander Christison, Mountbatten's representative, and Major-General Robert Mansergh met General Seishiro Itagaki aboard HMS Sussex, in Keppel Harbour to discuss the surrender. The surrender by Lt-Gen Itagaki and Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudone(Commanders of the IJN 10th Area Fleet,1st Southern Expeditionary Fleet and the 13th Air Fleet) was accepted on board. By 1800, the Japanese had surrendered their forces on the island. An estimated 77,000 Japanese troops from Singapore were captured, plus another 26,000 from Malaya

On Wednesday, 5 September, 1945 at 1130am., HMS Sussex entered Singapore Harbour carrying the Flag of the Rear-Admiral Cedric Holland. General Seishirō Itagaki, the commander of the garrison at Singapore was brought on board, where he signed the formal surrender of the army, thus completing Operation Tiderace, the allied plan to recapture Singapore. It was captained by Capt. Antony Fane de Salis, DSO, RN.

On Friday, Sept 7, the British Military Administration declared that apart from
$1,000 and $10,000 notes, which had to be handed in and accounted for, all prewar Malayan and Straits Settlements currency notes and coins would be legal tender. Overnight, the Japanese military's 'banana' money became worthless.

The first post war issue of The Strait Time was on 7 September 1945. The last edition prior to Singapore surrender to Japanese was 15-2-1942.

General Itagaki's First Refusal - General Sesishiro Itagaki(板垣征四郎), Japanese commander of Singapore, refused to surrender, reports Router, until his superior officer, Field-Maivhal Count Hisaichi Terauchi(寺内寿一), Commander of the Japanese Forces m the South East Asia area, ordered him to lay down his arms "for the honour of his country and the Japanese forces(The Straits Times, 7 September 1945, Page 1)

The formal surrender was finalized on 12 September 1945 at Municipal Building of Singapore (now known as City Hall). Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander of Southeast Asia Command, came to Singapore to receive the formal surrender of Japanese forces in South East Asia from General Itagaki Seishiro on behalf of Field Marshal Hisaichi Terauchi, commander of the Japanese Southern Army Group who had suffered a stroke earlier in the year.

Accompanied by the Deputy Supreme Commander Wheeler, Lord Louis Mountbatten was driven to the ceremony by a released prisoner of war. As the car drove by the streets, sailors and marines from the East Indies Fleet who had lined up the streets greeted them. At the Municipal Building, Mountbatten was received by his Commanders-in Chief and all high-ranking Allied Officers in Singapore. Also gathered in front of the Municipal Building were four guards of honour, from the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, Australian paratroopers, and the Indian army. Lord Mountbatten led an inspection of the officers before proceeding to the chamber where the ceremony was to be held. During the inspection, a fleet of band was playing the song 'Rule Britannia!'concurrently with the firing of seventeen-gun salute by the Royal Artillery.

The Instrument of Surrender was signed by General S. Itagaki, who signed on behalf of Aisarchi Terauchi, Field Marshall Count, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Japanese Forces, Southern Region. Terauchi was not able to attend the surrender ceremony as he had fallen ill due to a stroke. He surrendered personally to Mountbatten on 30 September 1945 in Saigon. He also surrendered his two swords; a short sword forged in the 16th century and a long sword forged in the 13th century. Mountbatten later presented the short sword to King George VI.

The Japanese signed a total of 11copies of the Instrument of Surrender; one each for the British, American, Chinese, French, Dutch, Australian, Indian and the Japanese governments; and one each for King George VI, the Supreme Commander and the South East Asia Command's records.

Japanese Representatives

General S. Itagaki (7th Area Army)
Lieutenant-General H. Kimura (Burma Area Army)
Lieutenant-General A. Nakamura (18th Area Army)
Vice-Admiral S. Fukudome (1st Southern Expeditionary Fleet)
Vice-Admiral Shibata (2nd Southern Expeditionary Fleet)
Lieutenant-General T. Numata (Chief of Staff to Field-Marshall Count H. Terauchi, Commander-in-Chief, Southern Army)

Allied Representatives

Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten (Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia)
Lieutenant-General R.A Wheeler (Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, representing U.S.A.)
General Sir William Slim (Commander-in-Chief, Allied Air Forces, South East Asia Command)
Admiral Sir Arthur Power (Commander-in Chief, East Indies Fleet)
Major-General W.R.C Penney (Director of Intelligence, South East Asia Command)
Brigadier K.S. Thimayya (representing the Indian Army)
General P. Leclerc (representing France)
Major-General Feng Yee (Head of the Chinese military mission to South East Asia Command)
Air Vice-Marshall A.T. Cole (representing Australia)
Colonel D.C. Boorman van Vreedon (representing the Netherlands)

The surrender officially ended the Japanese Occupation of Southeast Asia.

The surrender ceremony finally ended with the hoisting of the Union Jack flag and the playing of the national anthems of all the Allied nations. This was the same flag used by General Percival when he surrendered to the Japanese and had been kept concealed in the Changi prison during the occupation.

It was reported that the Union Jack which was hoisted on the Padang yesterday(12th Sept) morning was one which had been hidden in the Changi prisoner of war camp from the Japanese in 1942(The Straits Times, 13 September 1945, Page 1)

A British Military Administration was formed to govern the island until March 1946.

General Itagaki departed for Japan shortly afterwards to face his trial and execution as a war criminal. Field Marshal Hisaichi Terauchi died of another stroke while in a prisoner of war camp in Malaya after the end of the war on 12-6-1946. His cemetery was however in Japanese Cemetery Park, Singapore.

British Military Administration(BMA)

Japanese forces in southeast Asia officially surrendered on September 12, 1945, and a British Military Administration(BMA) was established.

R.A.F Take Charge In Penang - The Royal Air Force took over charge of Penang from the Royal Marines last Thursday(14th Sept)at a public parade held on Victoria Green. Penang’s new garrison commander is Wing Commander Alan Yates. (The Straits Times, 17 September 1945, Page 2)

By Proclamation No. 1 (1945), the Supreme Allied Commander of Southeast Asia established the British Military Administration which assumed full judicial, legislative, executive and administrative powers and responsibilities and conclusive jurisdiction over all persons and property throughout such areas of Malaya. Major-General Ralph Hone was given the post of Chief Civil Affairs Officer responsible for the Peninsula.

For the purpose of streamlining the administration, postwar Malaya was divided into 9 regions with Perlis-Kedah, Negeri Sembilan-Melaka, and the other states as regions in their own right. The regions were controlled by a Senior Civil Affairs Officer (ranked either Colonel or Lieutenant-Colonel). The official power of some of the pre-war civilian governments' entities were suspended, including the rights of the Malay rulers.

BMA was an interim government from September 1945 to March 1946. The Federated Malay States, the Unfederated Malay States as well as the Straits Settlement including Singapore were placed under temporary British military rule.

The BMA ended when all the Malay States and the Settlements of Penang and Malacca joined Malayan Union. Singapore became a Crown Colony. On April 1, 1946 the Malayan Union officially came into existence with Sir Edward Gent as its governor. Straits Settlements, comprised of Penang, Melaka and Singapore, were officially dissolved.


1. Red Star over Malaya: resistance and social conflict during and after the Japanese occupation of Malaya, 1941-1946,by Boon Kheng Cheah, NUS Press, 2003
2. HMS Volage - destroyer,
3. HMS Nelson - Nelson-class 16in gun Battleship
4. HMS Sussex - British heavy cruiser, WW2
5. Japanese surrender, by Heirwin Mohd Nasir, written on 29-Sep-1997, National Library Board Singapore
6. East Indies Fleet War Diary 1945,
8. The Japanese occupation of Malaya: a social and economic history
, by Paul H. Kratoska, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1998
9. Japanese Imperial War Propaganda in the Penang Daily News,
10. How Strong is Japan, LIFE Magazine dated 16 Aug 1943
11. The end of the war:Singapore's liberation and the aftermath of the Second World War, by Romen Bose, Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2005

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