4 September 1945. Tasked to investigate war crimes, protect U.S. property, locate and assist Allied POWs and gather intelligence on southern Indochina, an Office of Strategic Services team led by Lt.-Col. Peter Dewey enters Saigon more than a week earlier than General Gracey and his British-led force. The Americans are greeted cordially by Japanese authorities in the city and are immediately approached by DRV adherents with a letter making the case for Vietnamese independence. Within a fortnight, the team accomplishes the release and repatriation of several hundred U.S. POWs. Its continued presence in Saigon thereafter will annoy Gracey, who opposes any American presence in Indochina. He is also angered by Dewey’s willingness to engage with the Viet Minh.
4 September 1945. A day after SEAC forces land on the island, the formal surrender ceremony for Japanese forces in Malaya takes place on HMSNelsonoff Penang. With its troops now pushing their way south to Singapore, SEAC tells the Japanese to treat MPAJA guerrillas as Allied forces.
4 September 1945. Thai–British negotiations on a peace treaty get off to a rocky start at SEAC headquarters in Kandy, Ceylon when Thai negotiators reject Lord Louis Mountbatten’s demand that they sign an interim military agreement; they complain that it also deals with political matters. Col. John Coughlin, the local OSS commander who radioed the document to Washington, shares their concern.