MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History


In 1942 Theodore L. “Ted” Deglin left his job as public relations director for Madison Square Garden in New York City to enter the U.S. Army, which put him to work as a PR officer at the rank of lieutenant colonel. In September 1945 he found himself a witness to the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri and at Baguio, in the Philippines. Deglin was later promoted to colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service in the western Pacific. After World War II he returned to the public relations business in New York City. He died there in 2000 at age 92.

The narrative that follows is adapted from Deglin’s five-page, typewritten account of the ceremony (courtesy of John Ptak, a bookseller in Hendersonville, North Carolina).

Okinawa after dark is like any of the other Pacific Islands—perhaps the night air is cooler, but it is the same black expanse of airstrip, the same lonesomeness, and the same mud and dismal tents with their glaring single, unshaded bulbs.

I came in to Okinawa on a B-24, waited for about seven hours, and took off in a C-46 for Atsugi Airstrip, 30 miles from Yokohama. We arrived at Atsugi about 0730, Friday, 31 August. We circled around for a while

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