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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Sword surrendered by Japanese officer, 1945
Sword surrendered by Japanese officer, 1945

On August 22, 1945, on Aka Island, near Okinawa, Japan, Colonel Julian G. Hearne Jr., commanding officer of the Twenty-fourth Infantry Regiment, accepted the surrender of Japanese troops under the command of Major Yoshihiko Noda, the first formal surrender of a Japanese army garrison in Japanese-held territory at the end of World War II. Major Noda turned his sword over to Colonel Hearne (below), and the other Japanese officers turned their swords over to other members of the U.S. regiment. In 1981 Colonel Hearne gave the sword to the Smithsonian, writing that "the sword really belongs to the American people."

See also: Military History, Swords, World War II

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