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Queensland remembers those who turned the tide of history
By: RSL Queensland
VP Day commemorates the day that Japan accepted the Allied demand for unconditional surrender in World War II.
Nearly 40,000 Australian serving personnel died in the war, including 17,000 in the war against Japan. In total, one million Australians helped with the war effort, with about 500,000 serving overseas.
94-year-old Forest Lake veteran George Churchward was posted in Papua New Guinea at the height of World War II.
"I had already served about a year in Papua New Guinea. I had just completed some training and was about to re-deploy to Bougainville,"
"We had just arrived in Townsville when we were told we weren't going anywhere – the Japanese had surrendered and the war was over.
"We didn't know whether to jump for joy or break down in tears. Either way, there wasn't much time to celebrate – we were soon out fixing roads and airstrips in preparation for our troops to come home."
RSL Queensland President Tony Ferris said it was vital that Australia's proud military history was kept alive through commemorations such as VP Day.
"Victory in the Pacific Day reminds us just how close war came to our shores and is an opportunity to acknowledge the sacrifices that were made by our armed forces to protect our country and our neighbours in the Pacific," Mr Ferris said.
"With so few World War II veterans still with us to tell their story, it is incumbent on all Queenslanders to reflect and remember the sacrifices made for our freedom.
"RSL Sub Branches across Queensland will hold VP Day commemorative services and everyone is welcome to attend."