It may be 75 years ago, but Bathurst residents Dick Crossing [OAM] and Alex Bedwell [OAM] can still recall the end of World War II as clear as day.
Now 95 years old, both Mr Crossing and Mr Bedwell were in their late teens when they enlisted towards the end of the war for the Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] and Royal Australian Navy [RAN] respectively.
As two of Bathurst's three surviving World War II veterans, Mr Crossing and Mr Bedwell experienced the end of the war on opposite sides of the world.
Mr Crossing was in the United Kingdom when World War II ended in Europe in May 1945, and was on leave in London at the time of Germany's surrender.
"It's hard to describe, everyone went a bit silly for three days straight." he said.
"No one went to bed and parties were happening left, right and centre, as you can imagine after six years of horrific conflict."
Mr Crossing was positioned in southern England as part of a RAAF squadron attached to the Royal Air Force's Coastal Command.
Half a world away, Mr Bedwell was stationed on the HMAS Ballarat in the Pacific Ocean, and once news of the war's end in Europe came through, he recalls "the skipper issuing each crew member a bottle of beer in celebration."
When the Japanese officially surrendered on September 2, 1945, marking an end to the war in the Pacific, Mr Bedwell was in Tokyo to witness it unfold.
"I remember it well, the Yanks flew some 800 aircraft across Tokyo Bay in a victory formation," he said.
"We were anchored a mile away from the USS Missouri, where the signing of the surrender took place."
As members of two separate defence operations managing vastly different fronts, both men had strikingly different roles, with Mr Crossing patrolling the seas around the UK for German u-boats and Mr Bedwell deciphering communications critical to naval operations.
At the conclusion of the war, Mr Crossing said there were plenty of mixed emotions, with defence personnel both relieved to see an end to the conflict and sorrowful towards the heavy human toll.
"It was nice to be back, but we lost a lot of mates," he said.
"We lost one in four of the units I trained with in Parkes, and the RAAF squadrons attached to the RAF Bomber Command involved in air operations against Germany and Italy lost one in two."
"Around 35 per cent of RAAF war losses were young ones who earned their wings, but never made it overseas and fell victim to training exercises."
Mr Bedwell said it was the same case with the navy.
"There was 56 corvettes manned by the RAN during WWII, and the average age of naval officers was 19 years and eight months," he said.
"We had our fair share of losses during battles with the Japanese, but collisions and rough seas were known to cause casualties as well."
Both men didn't return home immediately at the end of the war; Mr Bedwell continued with mine-sweeping operations south of Hong Kong until December 1945.
Mr Crossing, on the other hand, experienced an interesting, off-the-record occurrence on the ship home from the UK.
"I was on the RMS Aquitania when we were barred from going ashore at Cape Town after disobeying an order to communicate with natives at Sierra Leone," he said.
"There was 5000 Australians on board and, after disobeying orders yet again, 4000 of us were greeted with a grand welcoming party in Cape Town."
"We technically mutinied, but the RAAF never reported it."
At 4pm most days over a scotch, both men continue to discuss their unique stories.