100-year-old BG WWII vet recalls Japan’s surrender 77 years later

Turning point for Allied victory

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Monday marks the 77th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II – the beginning of the Allied Powers’ victory over the world’s deadliest war.

One Bowling Green veteran remembers the year all too well.

100-year-old Hayward Minton served his country as an aviation machinist – repairing and maintaining Naval aircrafts.

The US Navy veteran was on a 30 day leave back in Bowling Green when the war ended shortly after Japan’s surrender. 

“The war was over, and everybody was hooping and hollering. Everybody was turning cars upside down, just having a lot of fun because the war was over,” described Minton.

Minton says we owe everything we have to the soldiers who fought in the war.

“[I’m] just thankful that I didn’t end up in an unmarked grave out in the South Pacific somewhere. Just think of all the boys that did,” said Minton. “And, if it weren’t for a lot of those boys that did lose their lives, we’d be speaking Japanese, probably. ”

Minton has made it his mission to help distribute over 2,300 certificates of appreciation to honor WWII veterans in Warren and Butler counties.