Incredible story of Rotherham veteran who witnessed the atomic bomb fall upon Hiroshima

A VJ Day veteran from Rotherham revealed how he witnessed the explosion of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima, effectively ending World War II.

Janette Cooper (left) from the Queen Alexandras Royal Naval Nursing Service and Gordon Smith (centre), a veteran of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
Janette Cooper (left) from the Queen Alexandras Royal Naval Nursing Service and Gordon Smith (centre), a veteran of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

Gordon Smith, 95, from Rotherham, talked to Prince Charles as part of the VJ Day 70th anniversary commemorations about how he watched the bomb fall the Japanese city.

He was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and was a prisoner of war from 1942.

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“We heard this plane.

Prime Minister David Cameron talks Ted Maslen-Jones (centre),96, who served as an Air Observer, attached to the RAF in the Far East and fellow veteran Gordon Smith (left) during a veterans' reception.

We went and had a look out and this plane was overhead and the next thing we saw something floating down,” he said.

“We didn’t know what it was. It exploded in mid air and then there was a great big cloud like a mushroom. And that’s all we saw.”

Speaking about the commemorations, he said: “I think it’s been marvellous.”

The weekend memorial saw the Queen join veterans to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, when Japan surrendered and brought an end to the conflict.

A photograph of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

Tributes were paid to thousands of Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen who sacrificed their lives as a service was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in central London, before a memorial event was staged at Horse Guards Parade.