V-J Day Kissing Sailor Dead at 95
The U.S. Navy sailor who passionately kissed a woman to celebrate the end of World War II — captured by a photographer in what’s easily one of the most iconic images in American history — has died.
The sailor, George Mendonsa, died Sunday at age 95 after falling and suffering a seizure at an assisted living facility in Middletown, Rhode Island. George’s daughter told the Providence Journal her father was living at the facility with his wife of more than 70 years.
The woman George kissed was Greta Zimmer Friedman … a dental assistant. The pic, snapped by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was taken in Times Square on August 14, 1945, after Japan surrendered to the U.S.
As for what compelled George to kiss a perfect stranger … George told CBS News, “The excitement of the war bein’ over, plus I had a few drinks. So when I saw the nurse I grabbed her and kissed her.”
Greta — who died in 2016 at the age of 92 — said, “I did not see him approaching, and before I know it I was in this vice grip.” George said the kiss didn’t last long.
The photog said he snapped 4 pics in 10 seconds … symbolizing the end of WWII.