Guy Barnett,Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
The 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific Day and the end of World War 2 was marked today with a commemorative service and wreath laying ceremony at 11am at Tasmania’s Government House.
It was my honour to acknowledge Tasmania’s World War 2 veterans and commemorate VP Day when the Imperial Japanese Army unconditionally surrendered to the Allies and the Second World War ended on August 15, 1945.
Tasmania was not immune from the effects of the War. Enemy mines were found near the entrance to the Derwent River and a ship was sunk in Bass Strait, temporarily closing this important sea link. A Japanese seaplane also flew a reconnaissance mission over Hobart.
During 1945, Australian forces were more heavily committed overseas than at any other time during the conflict. World War 2 was of particular significance for this state with 30,000 Tasmanians serving from from a population of just 250,000.
It is also estimated that nearly 16,000 people, including 5000 women, worked in factories and on the land to support the war effort and supply the armed forces with vegetables, dairy and meat products.
Over one million Australians served in World War 2 – 27,073 were killed in action or died, 23,477 were wounded and 30,560 taken prisoner of war.
The Australian Government’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs is acknowledging the significance of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, with a Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration.
The medallion and certificate are available to every living veteran of the Second World War. While Australia can never repay the debt we owe almost one million Australians who served, this medallion and certificate are a small but meaningful way we can thank living veterans of the largest global conflict of the 20th century.
Applications can be made by visiting the DVA website here or for those without access to the internet, by phone on (02) 6191 8217.