1st Lt. William MacRitchie - World War II Veteran
Following his father into the Marine Corps, Bill spent the war working with codes in the Communications division. He was stationed on Oahu, the Philippines and finally China. Most of his work was in decoding top secret messages from Washington, D.C. for the top level military leaders.
In the morning of September 2, 1945, more that two weeks after accepting the Allies terms, Japan formally surrendered. The ceremonies, less than half an hour long, took place on board the battleship USS Missouri, anchored with other United States and British ships in Tokyo Bay. Bill went with a contingent of military leaders into northern China to arrange for the formal surrender of Japanese troops stationed there. It was another brief ceremony to mark the end of the dreadful few years that had pitted part of the world’s nations against others. The work that remained was in organizing and supervising the transport of Japanese troops back to their county. This was Bill’s job before he, too, could return home.
JoAnne P, Miller