Memories of My Father on the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day

Who remembers VJ Day? How many of the past few generations even know what V-J Day is all about? The Victory over Japan (VJ) is the day the Japanese officially accepted the surrender terms from the Allied Nations on August 14, 1945. Although in the England they recognize the date as August 15, and the official signing of surrender occurred on September 2, 1945.

WWII Peace at Last

Stars & Stripes “WWII Peace at Last”

Memories of My Dad

My Dad, Leo T Tyrrell, was twenty years old on VJ Day and the photo below is the only one I have of him during this time period. Unfortunately he died in 1995 and didn’t talk about his WWII years. I never even saw photos of his childhood or my parents in the 1950s.

I have been on a search for several years to piece together my Dad’s military record and from what I understand he was on the Destroyer the USS Edison 439 on this day seventy years ago when the war ended. The ship was at Pearl Harbor for training and immediately set sail to be in Japan for the Occupation during September of 1945.

I have learned a lot about this photo from military history buffs on Twitter. It appears this photo was taken at a general field hospital, note the bandage on his right hand, and the uniform and boots would of been those issued for general patients at that time.

Vj Day in Photographs Around the WorldThe Summer of ’45: Stories and Voices from VE Day to VJ Day

Honoring My Dad

The painting below was generously done by coffee artist Nathanael Manzer, who saw my photo on Twitter and sent me this in the mail! Imagine my surprise. My apologies for the late shout out, I have since had it framed and it hangs besides the photograph.

Coffee panting of a soldier on VJ Day WWII

Talking to My Dad’s Shipmate

In the years I have been searching for information on my Fathers military history I often thought how amazing it would be if I could actually talk to someone who served with him in the military. Since so many veterans from World War II and Korea have died over the years that hope started to fade.

However, I found a website which discussed the USS Edison and decided to contact the author via email. Now this website was built in the mid 1990’s and the chances of the email being active was remote, so I called the phone number listed, not knowing what to expect.


Joining the War at Sea 1939-1945: A Destroyer’s Role in World War II Naval Convoys and Invasion Landings [Paperback] [2009] (Author) Franklyn E. Dailey Jr.

The voice mail answered Franklyn Dailey Jr. and I was encouraged, must be a son, or military historial buff who wrote the book “Joining the War at Sea.” After some phone tag during the day I was actually speaking to an elderly sounding man who started asking questions about my Dad, what ship did he serve on, what job did he do, etc.

It took me a few minutes to realize I was speaking to a World War II veteran who served on the same ship, he did not sound 94 years old.  When I explained that my Dad brought and loaded ammunition to the guns Mr. Dailey exclaimed “I was his Gunnery Officer!”

Oh my, a chill went through my body and gave me goose bumps. He not only served with my Dad, but was his senior officer (his boss)  seventy years ago. It didn’t matter to me that Mr. Dailey only vaguely remembered the name Tyrrell, but I realized the book he wrote would tell intimately of the job my Dad did, the men he served with, and recants stories my Dad never told.

I eventually had to pull off to the side of the road and finish the conversation. I often thought I might possibly speak with someone in the 82nd Airborne that served with my Dad in the 1950’s, in Operation Longhorn, or Snowshoe, but I never dreamed I would speak to someone from his WWII days.

Frank ended the conversation with “We will get to know each other better, and have more conversations” That we will. I have since purchased his book and will be spending this weekend reading it from cover to cover. Maybe my Dad is even mentioned somewhere, at least now I will be able to attach a place and activity to the ribbons below.

WWII and Korean War Veteran Ribbons

WWII and Korean War Veteran Ribbons

The story is not finished, I have lots to tell as I have also obtained ship muster logs

Articles About the DD 439 Edison Destroyer

There isn’t very much online regarding the Edison DD439 but here are some interesting places to start.

Information and Recognition of VJ-Day

Let us never forget that day, the day the last World War ended when so many families gave everything, their lives, their sons, their daughters for freedom.

World War II Museum to commemorate 70th V-J Day

The program, which will be free and open to the public, will commemorate what has become known as V-J Day. It will start at 10:30 a.m. in the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: the Boeing Center. Among the speakers will be Ambassador Kim Beazley, who will discuss …

Memories of the Pacific theater displayed at Chapman VJ-Day exhibit

One of the most bizarre “letters” on display at the VJ-Day exhibit in the Leatherby Libraries is actually a coconut. A solider carved a smiley face and his home address into the coconut and sent it home to let his daughter know he was okay. COURTESY OF …

Book release, presentation commemorate VJ Day

Turner, a former president of the Marine War College at Quantico and Blue Mountain Community College, makes the presentation on the evening before the 70th anniversary of V-J Day. The free gathering is Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. at Heritage Station …

See Participants in VJ Day Parade Reunited 70 Years Later

The photograph ran in the New Orleans Times-Picayune the next day, Aug. 15, 1945—the day often considered V-J Day, even though the war didn’t officially end until early September. Now, the Times-Picayune and the National World War II Museum in New …

Queen Elizabeth II to lead ceremonies in Britain for VJ Day …

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II is leading ceremonies in Britain to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory over Japan during World War II.

VJ Day around the world – in pictures – The Guardian

VJ Day around the world – in pictures. From Tokyo to the US and London, events mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender and the end of the second world war. Elena Goodinson. Saturday 15 August 2015 08.39 EDT …

V-J Day – World War II –

On August 14, 1945, it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II. Since then, both August 14 and August 15 have been known as “Victoryover Japan Day,” or simply “V-J Day.



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