The Duke of Edinburgh reflects on his time serving with the Royal Navy in Tokyo Bay in 1945, while serving as First Lieutenant aboard HMS Whelp.
A Summary of Prince Philip’s Navy Career
Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet after leaving Gordonstoun in 1939.
He completed his initial training at RNC Dartmouth and graduated as the best cadet in the course. He served aboard the HMS Ramillies in Columbo as a Midshipman in 1940 for six months.
The HMS Ramillies also protected convoys of Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean during World War II.
Prince Philip also saw action aboard the HMS Valiant at the Battle of Cape Matapan against the Italian Fleet in March 1941. He was in charge of the ship’s searchlight control and he was later awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour.
Other engagements included action at the Battle of Crete in May 1941 when the Allied Forces, including Britain and Australia, defended the island against Nazi Germany’s airborne invasion.
As First Lieutenant (second in command) of the new Fleet Destroyer, HMS Whelp, Prince Philip was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered on 15 August 1945. He witnessed the signing of the formal surrender on 2 September aboard the USS Missouri.
Prince Philip was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander in 1950 and given command of HMS Magpie.
However, Prince Philip was promoted to Commander, but his naval career ended in 1952, when his father-in-law King George VI died.
VJ Day, 15 August 2015
Prince Philip attended a service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day at St Martin-in-the-Field Church in London on 15 August 2015.
Listen to our show for 21 August 2015 regarding VJ commemorations in Britain and Japan.
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