Colorado veteran remembers V-J Day

DENVER -- On Sept. 2, 1945, hostilities against the Empire of Japan had officially ceased. World War II was over.

Victory over Japan day came thanks in part to men like Roy Christensen, who served in the United States Navy in what was called the silent service.

“I was a torpedo man and I was in charge of the torpedo room," Christensen said.

Life on board a World War II U.S. submarine was dirty, dangerous and very cramped. It was hot, humid and sticky.

As the war with Japan was nearing the end, Christensen found himself on board the SS Raytan, on patrol in the Philippine Sea.

"I’m not sure we were even told that there had been a surrender," he said.

In a classic example of the fog of war, for days after Japan surrendered the captain and crew of the SS Raytan were still on patrol, looking for any enemy targets.

“Nothing changed as far as I was concerned. We were still looking for enemy ships," Christensen said.

Fortunately for any Japanese vessels, none were encountered or fired upon. Shortly after, the news of victory over Japan reached the Raytan. Finally, Roy Christensen’s war was over.

“Our whole number-one feeling was, 'Wow, we really get to go home now'," he said.

Now in his 90s, Christiansen says he will always remember the end of the war and hopes future generations will never forget.

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