THE State War Memorial will play host to some of WA’s last surviving WWII Veterans tomorrow morning (Saturday August 15).
About a dozen of our living treasures will be attending a very special commemorative service hosted by RSLWA at 10am in Kings Park.
Two of our more robust WWII personalities planning to attend are 94yo Jack Le Cras OAM, and Arthur Leggett OAM, aged 102.
Navy Veteran Mr Le Cras witnessed one of the most significant events in modern military history – the Japanese Instrument of Surrender ceremony onboard USS Missouri on September 2, 1945.
The ceremony saw General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allies, accept Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu’s formal signature on the Japanese Instrument of Surrender to mark the end of hostilities in WWII.
And Battle of Crete Veteran Mr Leggett was a POW for 4.5 years, captured by the Germans and sent to Stalag 7a.
Both Mr Le Cras and Mr Leggett tell a great yarn and have plenty of war memories to share. Mr Le Cras is also President of the RSL Wanneroo Sub-Branch.
RSLWA State President Peter Aspinall AM said Victory in the Pacific Day was a date that we’d never forget.
“World War II came very close to home, and the people who served during this conflict defended our country,” he said. “Many of our men and women who served during WWII are no longer with us. It is for this reason that the anniversary of Victory in the Pacific is so important, as it provides all of us with an opportunity to celebrate those WWII veterans who are still with us, and to commemorate those who are not.
“VP Day is a special time to reflect on the important role that Australians played to end the war in the Pacific region after three years of warfare from 1942 to 1945. The victory was because of such commitment by our Australian armed forces, together with the support of the United States.
“On this 75th Anniversary held at Kings Park, it will be time to commemorate those who served and the 17,000 Australians who lost their lives while fighting Japan, some 8000 of them who died in Japanese captivity.”
Mr Aspinall encouraged the community to use the anniversary as an important opportunity to reminisce, start conversations and educate younger members of the community about this significant period in Australia’s military history.”
Also in attendance at the State War Memorial at 10am will be the State Premier, who will lay a wreath with Mr Le Cras.
- Please note that despite a report in the media today, this is not a medal-presentation ceremony.