On August 14, 1945, the news was announced to the world that the Japanese had surrendered and WWII was finally over. Celebrations erupted across the globe, with one of the biggest in New York City’s Times Square. Among those celebrating was the late George Mendonsa, who we had the honor of interviewing before his passing in 2019. George was a young sailor who had been in the Pacific for two years aboard USS The Sullivans. For decades, the identity of the ‘sailor and nurse’ were in doubt, with many claiming to have been the participants. With an exhaustive study outlined in the Naval Institute Press book, ‘The Kissing Sailor’ in 2012, George’s identity as the sailor was conclusively proven. The spontaneous celebratory kiss he shared with a nurse has become one of the most iconic images of the 20th century, and of American history.
A special thank you to Tim Gray of the World War II Foundation for conducting this interview.
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