“I was below deck when Captain Hanlon announced the war was over and I can still to this day remember him saying ‘Now here this, this is the captain,’ and then he went into telling us. Boy, you talk about a roar that went up! I think the whole ship jumped about two feet out of the water! Admiral ‘Bull’ Halsey passed the word throughout the fleet that ‘Apparently the war is over, though nothing has been signed yet. So in the meantime, if any enemy aircraft come in your area, shoot them down in a friendly manner…’ So we were still absolutely ready at all times.“
Shortly after the end of the war, I was up on 20mm watch in Tokyo Bay and we were playing cards and not really worrying about anything when I noticed a bunch of sailors assembling something down on the main deck. I thought it looked like a boat or something and wondered where in the world it came from. It was actually a little 14 to 16 foot sailboat that belonged to the captain and had been all packed up until this time. He had made a vow somewhere that the one thing he wanted more than anything else was to sail this sailboat in Tokyo Bay. I watched them lower over and he walked down the plank and got on that thing and I could see him sailing around past all of our ships.
-Robert L. Palomaris
“We got word over the public address system that the Japanese surrender. ‘The war is over,’ and you could have heard us over in New York City screaming out there in the middle of the Pacific.”
-Paul A. Wieser
“I remember before the war was over there was a man named Kaiser, a seaman in the 4th Division. He was a telephone talker, a stand-by telephone talker. A message came over and everybody was talking and sort of having a little fun. He wanted to keep us quiet because a message was coming over. It was something about an unusual type of bomb or heavy explosion that had happened to Japan. But it didn’t make sense to anybody there, and we make fun of him a little bit. He kind of got mad about it. A little later on we learned that the first atomic bomb had been exploded which was bringing Japan down to her knees at the end of the war…
We were wanting to get the war over with. If we were going to survive, we’d survive and if we didn’t, we didn’t. The main thing was to get it over with. I just wanted to get back to the hills of Tennessee. I just knew I was wanting to get off the NORTH CAROLINA, get out of the war, get back home, and pick up where I left off. I remember feeling proud. I had a lot of pride in the NORTH CAROLINA, even with the type of job I had. I felt that the war was necessary. I had no regrets of doing it.”
-Ollie C. Goode