Did Japanese sign Treaty @ end of WWII w/ stolen Footbal Hero's Pen?

I listen to old Radio programs, and I just heard a bizzarre tale presented as fact on the Bill Stern Sports Newsreel from Dec 28, 1945.

Stern states that at the Japanes Surrender on the USS Missouri, the Japanese were about to sign the document when someone noticed that their gold fountain pen was one that had been given to Jack Cheviqny, footbal coach of the University of Texas at Austin, when he coached the team to an upset victory over Notre Dame in 1934, and that it bore the inscription “Presented to Jack Cheviqny, a Notre Dame Man Who Beat Notre Dame”. Stern states that the pen had been stolen from his dead body at Iwo Jima.

Well, Cheviqny WAS a former Noter Dame football hero and he DID coach UT in '34 and they DID upset Noter Dame that year and he WAS a Lieutenant and he WAS indeed killed at Iwo Jima. That stuff is all true, but I can’t find any corroboration of the stolen pen story - is this a true story or is it just the post-war ravings of a rabid announcer?

Even if it were true, how would Bill Stern know?

Sounds sketchy to me…

There were only two Japanese delegates who signed the surrender papers. Mamoru Shigemitsu, the new Japanese foreign minister, and General Yoshijiro Umezu. Some accounts I’ve read describe Shigemitsu as having some trouble initially getting his pen to write, but nothing to suggest that it was stolen from a dead American serviceman.

Here’s a first-person account of the signing that has no mention of any funny business with the Japanese delegation’s pens:


Here’s a reprint of a similar article. I recommend you consider the source…

As far as I know, no Japanese soldier or Marine escaped from Iwo Jima after it was invaded. At least 20,000 were killed and 1,083 were captured.

I seriously doubt that any of those 1,083 Japanese survivors from Iwo were repatriated to Japan before the official surrender on September 2, 1945.

I suppose it’s more possible that an American may have recovered Chevigny’s pen, either from a Japanese prisoner or from Chevigny himself and slid it into the ceremony, but I would look at that possibility with a healthy dose of skepticism.

I don’t know whose pen they signed with, but it wasn’t any of the pens set on the table for their use. Knowing the signing pens would be valuable souvenirs; the Japanese delegates whipped out their own pens, signed, and stuck them back in their pockets (and probably destroyed them later).

You can see this on the film of the ceremony, and it would take a very sharp-eyed observer to see “Presented to Jack Cheviqny” on the pen as it was exposed for the briefest possible time.

Also, I remember at least some the pens used that day were given to two of the higher-ranking Allied generals who were captured by Japan, Lt. Gen. Sir Percival and Lt. Gen Wainright.

I also seem to recall that some expensive-pen manufacturer claimed in a magazine ad campaign that their pens were used in the surrender ceremony.