The formal surrender of Japan was signed aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. Following this there were a number of localised surrender ceremonies across the South-West Pacific Area of operations, responsibility for which was divided between the Allied commanders.
On 9 September 1945 General Sir Thomas Blamey, Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces, presided over a ceremony at Morotai in which he accepted the surrender of the Japanese 2nd Army from Lieutenant General Fusatarō Teshima. It was attended by a large crowd of personnel – mostly Australian, but also from the Netherlands, India and the United States. The Australian troops received printed souvenirs as keepsakes, which ensured this momentous event was remembered in many Australian households. One man took away a different record of the occasion, a 16mm film which he shot on his Kodak model B cine-camera.
Lieutenant Graham Smythe, of the Royal Australian Engineers, an enthusiastic amateur filmmaker from Victoria, filmed the proceedings on his personal cine-camera. He is visible in several of the photographs taken during ceremony, very close to the official party, his cine-camera standing out from the stills cameras surrounding him.