USS Missouri Surrender Collection

admiral halsey world war 2

World War 2 Surrender Collection Recognized!

Today, September 2, 2013, 68 years after the surrender ceremony with Japan,  our World War 2 Collection was featured on the front page of the Las Vegas Review Journal!  What an exciting day! Our family is extremely honored and proud of the items on display at the USS Missouri!



Christopher Nichols, left, grandson of Cox. Frank Orban, and Pam Nichols, daughter of Orban, look over some of the memorabilia left to them from the historic signing of the treaty that ended WWII from the USS Missouri in their home in Henderson. (Jason Bean/Las Vegas Review-Journal)


admiral halsey world war 2

Christopher Nichols, left, grandson of Cox. Frank Orban, and Pam Nichols, daughter of Orban, look over some of the memorabilia left to them from the historic signing of the treaty that ended WWII from the USS Missouri in their home. (Jason Bean/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

In case you can’t make it to Hawaii; here is the display as shown on the USS Missouri!


These are some of the original black and white surrender photos we allowed the USS Missouri to put on display

OrbanExhibit 2

This display will run through September 2 – December 7, 2013


The display is a wonderful testimony of my grandfather Frank Orban and Admiral Halsey; whom he worked for.


Here is the article from the Review Journal September 2, 2013:

When visitors to Pearl Harbor board the USS Missouri, where Japan’s delegation surrendered while it was anchored in Tokyo Bay 68 years ago today, they’ll see the admiral’s flag and photographs that a Las Vegas Valley family loaned to the ship’s museum.

The collection of nearly 300 items, photographs and documents from the surrender ceremony that ended World War II belonged to Pam Nichols’ father, Navy Coxswain Frank Orban. He had kept the items in his hallway closet for more than four decades until he delivered them to his daughter’s home in Sacramento, Calif., before he died in 1997.

“We promised my grandfather that this collection would stay in the family,” said Christopher Nichols, of Las Vegas, a fifth-grade teacher at West Preparatory Academy. He spent countless hours researching the surrender and Admiral Halsey to understand the significance of the collection’s “puzzle” that he pieced together.

“We’re talking about the most pinnacle day in world history, the surrender ceremony, Sept. 2, 1945,” he said.

“In my eyes there’s not going to be or never will be — unless there’s another world war — another day that will be as important because the amount of people that sacrificed, died, with casualties was just astronomical.”

His mother, who lives in Henderson, noted that the collection also represents the impact on Japan from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki about a month before the surrender.

“It’s all about freedom. We have the right to speak about it, and we have the right to share it,” she said. “Why should it be in a safe or locked up? It needs to be on display so other Americans and other people of other nationalities can see it.”

After a fire destroyed almost all their belongings except the collection when they moved to the Las Vegas area in 2001, the family decided this year to loan the items to the USS Missouri Memorial Association. The memorabilia will be displayed on the ship from today through Dec. 7, the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II.

The collection includes Halsey’s blue wool “gig” flag with four hand-sewn white stars in addition to a 48-star United States flag and one of the small Japanese flags that Orban and sailors on the Missouri obtained for the ceremony. The items, along with a selection of photographs taken by Orban and some of the yellowed documents prepared for the surrender ceremony, are encased behind glass near the ship’s mess hall.

“They were just blown away with all the stuff we had,” Christopher Nichols said Wednesday, recalling the day in early August when they delivered the collection to the ship’s curators.

They got a private tour of the ship and “were treated like royalty.” He said he and his wife, Michelle, a Legacy High School teacher, along with his mother and father, John, stood on the deck where his grandfather photographed the historic surrender scene.

“It was a surreal experience,” he said. “I had overwhelming pride going through my body. I had goose bumps to know that we had items attributed to, in my opinion, the most important day in history.”

His grandfather was Adm. William F. Halsey’s “gig” or taxi-boat driver. On the day of the surrender, he was on the Missouri’s deck snapping black-and-white photos of Gen. Douglas MacArthur delivering his historic speech and Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signing the instruments of surrender while Halsey, MacArthur, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz and other dignitaries watched.

Some of the historic documents are instructions to the crew on the ship’s deck about what they should do in case there was a terrorist attack during the surrender.

“They were prepared,” Christopher Nichols said. “I recall reading one of the books from Admiral Halsey. They spoke about how each one of the crew members who were next to the Japanese had one hand on the Japanese and one hand on a .45” caliber pistol.

Much of Orban’s duty involved driving Halsey to various ships in the fleet. When the war was over, Halsey gave him his four-star gig flag, which is smaller than the admiral’s ship flag.

Pam Nichols said her father was an “extremely hard-working man” who grew up during the Depression in East Chicago, Ind. He joined the Navy to escape poverty. After the war he seldom spoke about what he did during it.

He was proud of his service as indicated by the photographs he kept on the wall of his office at the heavy equipment company he owned in Hammond, Ind. His most prized possession, the admiral’s flag, was kept in the top of the hall closet at the family’s home in Long Beach, Calif., and only taken out for special occasions. Once, Pam took some of the items to show her high school class.

During the move from Sacramento to Las Vegas in July 2001, the moving van caught fire in Beatty. Fortunately, the collection — except for one item, a card that verified the sailors’ presence at the surrender — had been packed in the family’s recreational vehicle for the move.

“I suddenly had this panic attack. I went to the RV, and I was crying. I said to myself, ‘Please, please let me have packed all this stuff.’ I went into the RV and I found the flag first thing. I can’t tell you how happy I was,” she said.

During his research, Christopher Nichols created a website and posted pictures of the collection.

“I had people from all over the world emailing me and sending me offers to buy the collection. We got offers for six figures,” he said, noting that the family was not entertaining offers because of the promise to his grandfather.

The collection, however, was appraised for insurance and presented to Pawn Stars and Antique Road Show, both of which declined to suggest a price.

“Rick (Harrison) at Pawn Stars was just flabbergasted, just blown away,” he said, about the historic items.

“Every time I look at them, I see something new,” he said. “It’s like going back in time and living a life that I wasn’t able to live and feeling that sense of pride.”

USS Missouri Surrender Photos

The following USS Missouri Surrender Photos are original black and white photos taken on board the USS Missouri during the Surrender of the Japanese on September 2, 1945. These photos belong to my family.  When we took the photos to be displayed on the USS Missouri (2013); curator Mike Weidenbach stated, "I've never seen these pictures taken from these angles before."


Mamoru Shigemitsu General Yoshijiro& Umezu

This is an original black and white photo of Mamoru Shigemitsu (black suite and tall hat) and Yoshijiro Umezu (Japanese Officer's Uniform). This is a picture of the original photo from September 2, 1945. We are the owners of this original photo.


Mamoru Shigemitsu Signing Peace Treaty

Mamoru Shigemitsu Signing Peace Treaty.  This is an original black and white photo from the Peace Treaty Signing. What is unique about this photo is the angle in which it was taken.  We are the original owners of this photo.


Mamoru Shigemitsu Surrender Ceremony

This is another picture of Mamoru Shigemitsu Signing Peace Treaty from afar. This is a photo of the original photo owned by the owners of this website. In the picture includes General MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz. Once again, this photo is taken at an agle not many have seen before.


Delegates World War 2 Surrender

This original black and white photo on board the USS Missouri September 2, 1945 shows a unique angle and perspective of the Surrender Ceremony.  We are the original owners of this photo. 


Surrender Ceremony

This original photo is not blury.  I used a digital camera to take a photo of the original photo and that photo became blury.  I will try to take a new picture to make it clearer.  In any case, this is General MacArthur, Admiral Nimitz, and Admiral Halsey walking to positions for the Surrender Ceremony on board the USS Missouri September 2, 1945.


Admiral Nimitz

This is an original photo of Admiral Chester Nimitz signing the Peace Treaty to end the War with Japan.


General Hsu Yung-chang


This is an original photo of General Hsu Yung-Chang signing the Peace Treaty on the USS Missouri.


Japanese Delegation

This is an original black and white photo of the Japanese Delegation ready to sign the Peace Treaty to end World War 2, September 2, 1945.

Admiral Halsey’s 4 Star Admiral Flag

Admiral Haley’s 4 Star Admiral Flag

The following pictures show Admiral Halsey’s 4 Star Flag in detail which was his personal flag during the Peace Treaty Signing for World War II on September 2, 1945.  The flag was present during the Peace Treaty Signing to end World War II.  Coxswain Frank Orban, my grandfather was on Admiral Halsey’s Personal Staff and followed Admiral Halsey from the USS Louisville and USS New Jersey which went to port on May, 1945 to the USS Missouri and finally the USS South Dakota.  

April 10, 1945, Louisville delivered Admiral Halsey’s 50 officers and 100 staff to the battleship Missouri at Guam. My grandfather, Frank Orban was 1 of the 100 enlisted staff to accompany Halsey onto the USS Missouri from the USS Louisville. On September 5, 1945,  my grandfather was transferred again 3 days after the Surrender Ceremony to the USS South Dakota following Admiral Halsey home to the United States into San Francisco, CA.

USS Missouri Flagmen Transfer from USS Louisville

Frank Orban Transfer from USS Lousiville

Here is a video showing the above flag on Admiral Halsey’s Admiral Gig. The video is the only one known of Admiral Halsey’s Admiral Gig. You will see the original video un-altered and and edited video slowed down and lightened up.

On September 5, 1945, 3 days after the Surrender Ceremony, my grandfather, Coxswain Frank Orban was transferred again to the USS South Dakota following Admiral Halsey to his new flagship the USS South Dakota. The USS South Dakota made it’s way home to the United States and into San Francisco Bay. 

Here is a video clearly showing Admiral Halsey saying goodbye on the USS South Dakota and leaving on his Admiral’s Gig, which my grandfather Frank Orban was the driver. He is the short guy above the #7 on the Admiral’s Gig.  Please watch video to end to see the above flag featured on Admiral Halsey’s Admirals Gig (downloaded from :

Here is another video showing Admiral Halsey’s Admiral Gig:

Unedited Video of Admiral Halsey’s Admiral Gig:

Edited Video of Admiral Halsey’s Admiral Gig Slowed Down and Lightened Up.

Staff and Flag Allowance Damage Control and Fire Bill

staff and flag allowance

staff and flag allowance

This document is a memorandum from the USS Missouri during the Japanese Surrender 23 May 1945 and states:


United States Pacific Fleet

Third Fleet

23 May 1945


Subject:                          Staff and Flag Allowance Damage Control and Fire Bill


1.             In the event of damage or fire occuring in the vicinity of Staff personnel, report will immediately be made to Damage Control Central, Telephone 880 or 889.  Thereafter, STAFF OFFICERS will initiate appropriate emergency measures or assist ship personnel until arrival of Ship Repair or Fire Fighting Personnel who will then take charge. Staff Officers shall assist insofar as such assistance does not interfere with principle staff duties.

               In event of damage or fire in Flag Plot, Ship Repair or Fire Fighting Personnel will be guided by advice of Senior Staff Officer present in order that minimum disruption of Staff business may occur.

              STAFF ENLISTED PERSONNEL, except these in Flag Plot, will be considered as part of the ship's organization insofar as damage control and firefighting is  concerned.

              Enlisted Personnel in Flag Plot will conform to the orders of the Senior Staff Officer present.

2.           All staff personnel, officers and enlisted, will render all possible assistance to casualties consistent with continued performance of the principle Staff duties.

(Signed by Admiral Carney)

Robt. B. Carney,

    Chief of Staff    

Copy to:



             CO, USS Missouri 

Order of Dignitaries

Order of Dignitaries on USS Missouri Japanese Surrender

Order of Dignitaries During Peace Treaty Signing

Order of Dignitaries on USS Missouri Japanese Surrender

This document part of my World War 2 Surrender documents which contains the Order of Dignitaries during the Peace Treaty signing on board the USS Missouri during the Japanese Surrender on September 2, 1945. 

The following dignitaries attended the Japanese Surrender Ceremonies on board the USS Missouri:

1.) United States

                          Col. Q.S. Lander (SCAP Liason)

2.) Republic of China

                         Gen. Hsu Yung-Chang

                         Vice Adm. Yang Hsuan Chang

                         Lt. Gen. Chu Shih Ming

                         Maj. gen. Wang Chih

                         Col. Li Sho Chang

                         Col. Wang Pei Cheng

3.) United Kingdom

          (a)          Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, GCB, KBE

                        Capt. A.D. Nicholl, CBE, DSO

                        Comdr. R.H. Courage, OBE, DSC

                        Comdr. (S) A.P. Carwright, SANF(V) Senior South African Officer present.

                        Surgeon Lieutenant G.R. Gayman, RCNVR, Senior Canadian Officer present.

                        Lieutenant V.C. Merry, RNVR

          (b)         Representing British Pacific Fleet

                        Vice Adm. Sir H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE

                        Commodore J.P.L. Reid, Chief Staff Officer

                        Lieutenant G.E. Cook, RNVR

                        Lieutenant E.B. Ashmore, DSC

4.) United Soviet Socialist Republic

                        Lt. Gen. Kuzma Nokolaevish Derevyanko

                        Maj. Gen. Nikolai Vasilovich Voronov

                        Rear Adm. Andrey Mitrofanovich Stetzenko

                        Maj. Ivan Joseph Borovsky

                        Capt. Nikolai Michailovich Karamishev

                        Lt. Nikolai Nikolaevich Tulinov

5.) Common Wealth of Australia

                        Gen. Sir Thomas Blamey

                        Lt. Gen. F.H. Berryman

                        Rear Adm. George D. Moore

                        Air Vice Marshal Jones

                        Air Vice Marshal Bostick

                        Commodore J.A. Collins

                               Capt. J. Balfour

6.) Dominion of Canada



Original Copy of Surrender Ceremony Documents on USS Missouri

Surrender Ceremony Held on USS Missouri

Original Surrender Ceremony Documents Copy for Japan Surrender Ceremony on USS Missouri

The following documents show the planning that went into the Japanese Surrender Ceremony on board the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945. 


Surrender Ceremony Held on USS Missouri


Group "A" –ARMY

Seating Arrangement for Japan Surrender on USS Missouri

US Army Seating Arrangement Japan Surrender

Group "B" –Navy

ARMY Seating Arrangement for Japan Surrender on USS Missouri

Navy Seating on USS Missouri Japan Surrender



The famous pictures of General MacArthur up at the podium speaking prior to the signing of the Peace

Treaty ending World War II with the Japanese were planned from the following documents:


USS Missouri Surrender Ceremony Seating Arragements


Annex to Procedure for Assembling on Veranda Deck for Actual Ceremony

"General Mac Arthur and Fleet Admiral Nimitz will be conducted to Admiral's Cabin, starboard side, to join Admiral Halsey.

Guests of all other ranks will be conducted to Captain's Cabin, port side of Veranda Deck and Ward Room,

to remain there until time to asseble for ceremony".

Procedure for Assembling on the USS Missouri Veranda Deck Japan Surrender

The following document shows the USS Missouri Surrender Ceremony. 

Clearly, a lot of planning was involved in the Surrender Ceremony.

USS Missouri Japanese Surrender Annex Able

USS Missouri News Flash Japan Surrenders

Japan Surrenders

Extra Japan Surrenders:

This document is extremely rare.  The only other original copy known to exist is on the USS Missouri in the museum. This document is dated August 15, 1945. 

Japan Surrenders

The USS Missouri News Flash


15 August 1945.

                                               On August 14th, 1945 President Truman announced to the people of the world that Japan had surrendered unconditionally.

                                               The announcement was made simultaneously in Washington, Moscow, London, and Chungking.

                                               The Text of the President statement is as follows:

                                               “I have received this afternoon a message from the Japanese Government in reply to the message forwarded to that Government by the Secretary of State on August 11, 1945.

                                               “I deem this reply an acceptance  of the Potsdam Declaration which specified the Unconditional Surrender of Japan.

                                               “Arrangements are now being made for the formal signing of the Treaty at the earliest possible moment.

                                               “General Douglas MacArthur has been appointed the Supreme Allied Commander to receive the Japanese Surrender.

                                               “Great Britain, Russia and China will be represented by high ranking officers.

                                               “Meantime the Allied Armed Forces must wait upon the formal signing of the surrender terms by Japan”.

                                                President Truman made this his formal announcement to a huge crowd of reporters who had been virtually living in the White House for days in anticpation of just such development.

                                                Japan’s message was delivered to Secretary of State Paynes by the Swiss Minister in the State Department office. Secretary Byrnes immediately left his office and walked to the Executive Office at the White House.

                                                Later President Truman dispatched through Secretary of State Byrnes an order for the Japanese Government to halt the war on all fronts.


                                                “All hands of the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard may take satisfaction in the conclusion of the war against Japan- and pride in the part played by them in accomplishing that result.

                                                 The demoblization of the Armed Forces of the United States and the return to conditions of peace will create problems taxing pride and control almost as great as the tensions of war.  I ask that the discipline which has served so well to bring this democracy through hours of great crisis be maintained to the end that nothing shall mar the record of accomplishments…”

Provenance of Items

The following service records show my grandfather, Frank P Orban’s entry into World War 2 and promotions throughout the War.  He served on the USS New Jersey, USS Lousiville, USS Missouri, and USS South Dakota as one of Admiral Haley’s enlisted staff.  He was Admiral Halsey’s Coxswain (personal Admiral Gig’s Driver) as well as one of the flagmen onboard the ship. Here are 75+ US Navy Service Records showing his service and battles during World War 2 that he participated in on board the USS New Jersey, USS Lousiville, USS Missouri, and USS South Dakota.


Picture 1 of 81

USS Missouri September 1945 Log Book

Enclosed is the official Log Book of the USS Missouri from 1945.  These files were compiled and made into a pdf document. The files came from the National Archives Catalog.  The reason why this pdf file was created was to provide further provenance of the items  displayed on this site.

Namely, on page 27-31, you will see how my grandfather, Coxswain Frank Orban; assigned to Admiral Halsey’s personal staff followed Admiral Halsey to the USS South Dakota on September 5, 1945 after serving on the USS Missouri for the Surrender Ceremony.  Furthermore, my grandfather, Coxswain Frank Orban was on the USS Louisville and was transferred to the USS Missouri in May, 1945 for the Surrender Ceremony scheduled on September 2, 1945 following Admiral Halsey. You can reference sub-header  8-12 on the following documents. 

Click Below to View Log Book of USS Missouri, September, 1945:

USS Missouri Log Book September 1945


World War 2 Items Go Back to USS Missouri

Nearly 68 years ago, World War 2 officially ended when the Japanese signed the peace treaty (September 2, 1945). My family and I travelled this past week 08/06/2013 to the USS Missouri bringing a large collection of World War 2 Items to be put on display at the museum for the aniversary of the Peace Treaty Signing!

Our day started off taking a flight from Kona to Honolulu.  We flew the historic items from Las Vegas to Honolulu, Honolulu to Kona, and then Kona to Honolulu.  Getting through TSA with such a large and historic collection of artifacts, pictures, and documents was fun.  At times, going through security, we drew a large croud of TSA officials wanting to see the historic collection we were bringing to the USS Missouri.

Once in Honolulu, August 6, 2013, we rented a car at about 10:30 am and made our way to the USS Missouri Memorial to meet with Mike Weidenbach, curator of the USS Missouri.  After making a few wrong turns, we finally made it to the Mighty Mo!  The weather was perfect! We were greeted by Alvin Yoshitomi.  Alvin was spectacular; taking us on a private tour of the ship my grandfather loved.  We were given a very intimate look at the USS Missouri and taken to places the general public rarely get to see.  Alvin was like a walking time machine. He knew everything there was to know about the USS Missouri. Thank you Alvin for making our day so special!

My grandfather, Frank Orban, a member of Admiral Halsey’s staff who drove Admiral Halsey around on the Admiral’s gig had his ashes released into the water from the front of the USS Missouri in 2001.  We were allowed to have a private memorial ceremony where we dropped flowers into the water at the bow of the USS Missouri.  We could feel the spirit of all those that served on the USS Missouri including my grandfather permeating through our spirits during our ceremony.  I knew my grandfather was proud and at rest with his former crewmates.

Admiral Halsey’s 4 star flag, many documents and original black and white photos will be showcased from September 2, 2013 (aniversary of the peace treaty signing) until December 7, 2013.  The Nichols’ family is extremely proud and honored to have made the journey to honor the my granfather, the men and women who served our great country, and the USS Missouri!

Go see our display on board the USS Missouri!

Nijo Castle at Kyoto, Japan

Nijo Castle at Kyoto, Japan.

Nijo Castle at Kyoto, Japan.

The following picture is an “OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH U.S. NAVY”

The back sticker say: USN 496106 12 March 1946

Strong gates built in 11601 guard the entrance to Nijo Castle at Kyoto, Japan.

Flag Allowance Orders

Flag Allowance Orders

Flag Allowance Orders


Subject: Flag Allowance General Quarters and Dispersion Bill.

1. When general quarters or torpedo defense quarters are sounded for other thean drill, or test purposes or morning and evening alert, men of the THIRD Fleet Flag allowance will proceed to the stations assigned them as follows:

(a) Flag Plot

Carr, Y 2/c.Merlar, CY.

Dial, Rdm 2/c.

Scarpa, Rdm 2/c.

Weber, MoMM 1/c.

Stoneham, QM 2/c.

RN ib watch remain at stations.

(b) Flag Bridge

Suiter, CY.

(c) Signal Bridge

SM on watch remain at stations.

(d) Main Radio

RM on watch remain at stations.

(e) Flag Office

Singley, CY      Garner, BM 2/c

Blasius, Y 1/c.  Orban, Cox (THIS WAS MY GRANDFATHER!)

Bucon, Y 2/c.   Beal, AerM 3/c

Madson, CY.     McDonnell, AerM 3/c

Jacobs, Y 3/c   Brunner, S 2/c. (RM)

Johnson, Y 2/c.  Massar, S l/c. (RM)

Runyon, Y 3/c.   Gill, Y l/c.

(f) Room 0202

Militello, Y 2/c.

Britzenhoff, CY

Broussard, Y 3/c.

(g) Room 0203

Erickson, Y l/c.


(h) Intelligence Office (Admiral's Cabin)

Howes, Y 2/c.

Houston, Sp (X) l/c.

(i) Admiral's Country

Stewards and Cook assigned to wardroom.

(k) Captain's Cabin (or as Commodore Boone may direct.)

Wagoner, PhM l/c.

(l) Room 0113

Lavelle, Y 3/c

Polidori, Y 3/c.

(m) Marines as assigned by Sgt. Mitchell.

(n) SM off watch to assigned area for Ship's SM off watch.

(o) One Section of RM off watch to Cpt. A-307-L. One section of RM off watch remain in their living spaces.

(p) Room 0121

Erikson and McGill, PhoM, topside for action pictures.

(q) Radio Intelligence

RM assigned to RI Unit

(r) Remain in assinged living spaces

Small, Y 2/c.  Bock, Cox.

Wolfe, Y 3/c.  Crowe, S l/c.

Boothroy, AermM 3/c.  Dick, Cox.

Eden, Aerm 3/c  Lewis, BM 2/c

Zenner, Aerm 2/c. Roche, EM 1/c.

Pridmore, GM 3/c.  Wilhite, S 2/c.

(s) Aerological Offices

Zaffino, CAerM.

Flag Allowance (cont.)

2.  The men listed above who do not have duties assigned during general quarters or torpedo defense are subject to call.



Chief of Staff.


Copy to:


Chief of Staff.

All Section Heads.


Executive Officer.

All Flag enlisted men.



Ass't Flag Secretary



US 48 Star Flag

The following US 48 Star flag was present and displayed on board the US Missouri during the Japanese Surrender at Tokyo Bay, Japan on September 2, 1945.  This flag was in Admiral Halsey’s office and was believed to be mounted on the wall in the Admiral’s office. My grandfather was on Admiral Halsey’s staff and was the Coxswain dealing with flags.