The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By David Stevens

V-J Day met with joy, and many tears


Last updated 8/11/2020 at 3:42pm

The news of peace, The Portales Tribune told us, was received in various moods.

It came about 5 p.m. that Tuesday in New Mexico.

“When the final news was received some hearers stood calmly and spoke softly ‘Thank God it’s over,’ while others screamed with joy,” the newspaper reported.

“Women jumped up and down in delight and men threw their hats into the air.

“There were many, many tears, some for joy, some of sorrow and others just tears of relief. There was little of comfort to be said to those shedding tears of sorrow for they were thinking of their own brave men who had made the supreme sacrifice and will not be among the home coming group.”

Victory Over Japan Day happened 75 years ago this week, on Aug. 15, 1945. It was the day Japan surrendered unconditionally to end World War II.

The Portales newspaper described it as “a great occasion for all of New Mexico as this state has given many men at Bataan, Corregidor and other battles of the Pacific. The celebration continued for hours with no lawlessness but just exhibitions of sheer delight that the world was at peace again.

“When the cannery whistle sounded forth with the glad news it was truly a din of noise.”

The scene was similar in Clovis — unbridled joy, next to thankful reflection.

“I have three sons too young to be in this war,” Dick Rowley said. “I hope they won’t have to be in one in the future.”

In Muleshoe, residents also made noise. “Cars paraded and honked, the whistles blew, and many rode about on the fire truck,” the Muleshoe Journal reported.

Federal employees across the region took the next two days off. Paul Mullenix in Portales put up a big sign in the window of his domino parlor announcing he was also taking a vacation.

In other news, the War Department informed family members that Cpl. Ford Camp, a Muleshoe boy, had been killed July 24 in France.

The news came as a “surprise and shock to relatives here, who had believed him in good health,” the Muleshoe Journal reported.

“(T)he family had received a letter from him, written July 18, in which he talked about his early return home.”

Cpl. Camp was 23.

David Stevens writes about regional history. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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