Sailor from iconic V-J Day kiss photo dies, aged 95

News 22/02/2019

When World War II finally came to a close on August 14, 1945, people all over America celebrated an occassion that came to be known as Victory in Japan day, or V-J Day. The feeling of elation felt all across the country and the world seemed to be summed up by a photograph of a sailor kissing a woman in a white dress in the middle of Times Square. 

The woman in the photograph was named Greta Zimmer Friedman, who sadly passed in September, 2016 at the age of 92. 

The man, George Mendonsa, has now unfortunately joined Greta's fate, passing away this week aged 95. He had been living at an assisted living facility in Rhode Island with his wife of 70 years (not the woman pictured), and fell having a seizure. 

The iconic photo was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, and it was years before the couple's identities were confirmed. Mendonsa did not know Friedman when he kissed her, and when asked about the kiss back in 2015, Mendonsa said Friedman reminded him of nurses on a hospital ship that he saw care for wounded sailors: "I saw what those nurses did that day and now back in Times Square the war ends, a few drinks, so I grabbed the nurse,"

Mendonsa died two days before his 96th birthday. The family has not yet made funeral arrangements. His memory will always live on in the iconic photograph though. 

Here he is holding a copy of the famous Alfred Eisenstadt photo, in 2009: