Hostilities with Japan ended at 12 noon. When HRH Duke of Gloucester made the announcement in Canberra, three flags were flown. They were the flag raised by Australian troops at Villiers Bretoneux in the First World War, the flag worn by HMAS SYDNEY when she sank the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni, and the flag which was flying on Government House, Darwin, when the Japanese attacked the port in February 1942. CDRE J. A. Collins signalled the RAN: ‘I wish to congratulate every officer and man of His Majesty’s Australian Squadron on his share in our final victory announced by the Prime Minister of Great Britain this morning. I rejoice with you that the Japanese have been forced to surrender. We have every reason to be proud of the part played by the RAN during six years of war across the seas of the world, and I say again to all hands ‘Well done’. Let us always remember with sad pride our lost ships and their companies and thank God that their sacrifice was not in vain’.
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