August 12, 1945: “Just received word the war is over.”
See/read letter written August 12, 1945 by William M. Brant. "Just received word the war is over," he wrote.
Wm. M. Brandt, William M. Brant, William Brandt, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, WWII handwritten letter, Carolyn Porter, August 1945, V-J Day
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August 12, 1945: “Just received word the war is over.”

C. H. Brandt
RR6 (Pennsylvania)

August 12, 1945

Dear Family,

Hello folks & how are all of you this fine Sunday. Just fine I hope as that is the way I feel.

We didn’t get our mail yet today. But I feel sure it will be in yet.

I sure bet there is some high times going on back there. It is only a matter of a few hours anymore till we will know what Japan is going to do. The way it looks that time has come which most of us are all looking for. I guess some of those big money men & women dosn’t [sic] want to see it come to an end.

I still have some of your letters here to answer will start with the one of the 20. Yes everything is going along the same as usual.

Where did you add more to the yard back of the house towards the barn.

You should be hearing from me regular for a week or so now. The only time you can’t is when we are under way.

Yes it is warmer here than it ever was back there. I never sweated there like I do now it runs off just sitting still.

Yes we are ahead of you in time. I can’t tell you how much.

I saw you bought another beef. “Just received word the war is over.” The horns are blowing shooting flares, and a high old time all around. Even if it does take quite a time to get back we are all happy any way. Well maybe I will be on the market for the hind quarter of it. But don’t hold it till we are sure of it.

Well I guess they figure they won’t need those bombs that they are putting off at the depot.

I guess by this time the farmers are thinking of starting their fall plowing.

Dolores I see you finally got one year older. I would have loved to have been there for just a little bit of that dinner. I did think about it but was impossible to get a thing & I guess you won’t know what happened to me that I am writing this much.

Did you raise your potatoes yet. I guess the way you say there wasn’t enough rain at the right time to do them much good. Pauline seemed to have quite a good crop.

Mother I bet you won’t be able to do the milking any more – more than likely you will be afraid of them with what happen you [sic].

You were very lucky to get hold of a new iron or are they starting to put more things on the market now.

Dolores I believed I could have eaten some of that dinner which you got for your self on Sunday the 22 of July.

Will this is about all I can think of for tonight so I will say Good night to all of you with lots of Love.

Wm. M. Brandt S l/c 
U.S.S. L.S.T.52
Fleet Post Office
San Francisco 


I’m not an expert on the events of Pacific theater or of August, 1945, so I looked to Wikipedia for a bit more detail. It’s not clear to me how he could have heard “the war is over” two days before it was officially announced, but perhaps it took a couple of days to make everything official (if you know, please chime in!)

August 6, 1945: A United States B-29 Superfortress, the Enola Gay, dropped an atomic bomb codenamed “Little Boy” on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
August 9, 1945: A United States B-29 bomber, Bockscar, dropped an atomic bomb codenamed “Fat Man” on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.
August 10, 1945: The Japanese government announced that a message had been sent to the Allies accepting the terms of the Potsdam Declaration provided that it “does not comprise any demand that prejudices the prerogatives of the Emperor as sovereign ruler.”
August 14, 1945: Emperor Hirohito recorded a radio message to the Japanese people saying that the war should end and that they must “bear the unbearable.” That night the “Kyujo incident” occurred, an effort by a group of officers to steal the recording and stop the move to surrender. The attempt would fail and the conspirators would commit suicide.
August 15, 1945: Hirohito’s “Jewel Voice Broadcast” was aired at noon local time over Japanese radio. Many could not initially accept what had happened since government censorship had prevented civilians from knowing the full extent of the weakness of Japan’s position. V-J Day celebrations began breaking out in Allied countries around the world.
August 16, 1945: Emperor Hirohito issued a decree at 4:00 p.m. local time ordering all Japanese forces to cease fire. The Japanese cabinet resigned.
August 17, 1945: Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni became Prime Minister of Japan. He ordered the Imperial Army to obey the Emperor’s call to lay down their arms.