Don Phillips, owner of Phillips Farms west of Lodi, was at Pearl Harbor on Aug. 14, 1945, when the Japanese surrendered to the United States and put an end to World War II.
Phillips, a U.S. Navy ensign, said he and hundreds of other ships were waiting at Pearl Harbor expecting to attack Japan. Instead, they lighted distress flares from their ship in celebration.
"It went on for several hours, I think," Phillips said.
Phillips, 86, took a picture of the flares, which resembled fireworks.
"I don't think anybody has had a picture like that published."
Japan officially signed surrender papers on Sept. 2, 1945.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.