Browsing: World War II

Seven decades ago, Petty Officer 1st Class George Mendonsa and his date were among the hordes in Times Square celebrating Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II when Mendonsa grabbed what he thought was a nurse (she was a dental assistant), leaned her back and kissed her in a fit of emotion. Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured the moment, and as they say, the rest is history. The iconic photo came to represent the relief and excitement over the war’s end, but Eisenstaedt never got his subjects’ names. On the photo’s 40th anniversary, Life asked the nurse and…

Last year, Chief Hospital Corpsman (DV/FMF) Garth Sinclair, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra were the first to receive the Bob Feller Act of Valor award, named for a man who was also a chief petty officer, a pitcher and a baseball legend. Earlier this year, The Bob Feller Award Act of Valor foundation opened the nomination process for the award’s second year. Each Major League Baseball team was asked to nominate an active player and/or hall-of-famer who has made significant contributions to the military or veteran communities. Active finalists include: – Washington Nationals…

A World-War II era Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver was unveiled at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven  F. Udvar Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. April 1. The Helldiver was the last purpose-built dive bomber to enter Naval service and was designed as a replacement for the smaller SBD Dauntless dive bomber. Poor lateral stability in the early Dash-1 versions led to its not-so-flattering fleet nicknames: Son-of-a-Bitch, Second-Class (for SB2C) or simply “The Beast.” By the end of WWII, guided bombs and rockets eliminated the need to point the entire airframe at the target in order to insure a successful bomb…

World War II history buffs should set aside a good part of Monday for some light reading. Maybe some of Tuesday. In fact, don’t make any plans the rest of the month. The “Gray Book,” a collection of communications from Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz that range from the Pearl Harbor attack to the days before Japan’s surrender, has been digitized and will be unveiled Monday as part of a live web program on the Navy’s official blog. The document — brittle from long-term storage and classified until 1972 — had been scanned previously, but better, searchable scans will offer easier…

First the video, then a few deep breaths, then some background: Rather than parades, appliance sales or ribbons one day a year, sailors aboard the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis are paying tribute to veterans on a more personal level — visiting veterans homes as part of the ship’s community-relations efforts. It’s led to one-on-one history lessons and brightened the days of both generations. It also led to the three-minute video above, put together by MCSNs Eric Melone and Jose Hernandez and featuring Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Joseph Hodge during a visit to the Washington Veterans Home in Retsil,…

As with any good mystery in the modern age, this one started on social media: [HTML1] Cherished images, medals, letters, all kinds of items are left at the bases of military memorials, but the Navy Memorial rarely sees such tributes, according to Navy Memorial Foundation curator Mark Weber. It’s not as secluded as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where hundreds of thousands of items have been left by family, friends, brothers-in-arms and four-star generals to honor fallen heroes. Sometimes a veterans group will leave a wreath, unannounced, at the base of the Lone Sailor, Weber said in an email, but that’s…

Joe Sanes served his country during wartime for six years and survived a torpedo sinking his ship — all before he graduated boot camp. Sanes, a World War II veteran, officially graduated from boot camp on June 14, more than 70 years after he enlisted in the Navy, a Navy release said. The young sailor had only been in boot camp for four weeks in 1941 when Pearl Harbor was bombed; he was immediately assigned to the destroyer Hammann, never graduating. “After 72 years, I am proud and happy to be a part of this graduation,” the 91-year-old said in…

A Coast Guardsman who earned a Navy Cross for actions during combat operations in Guadalcanal was buried June 5 in Lakewood, Wash. Retired Cmdr. Ray Evans, whose actions during World War II earned him the Navy’s second-highest award for valor, was part of the a mission to rescue Marines along with Douglas Munro, the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient. Evans and Munro were known as “The Gold Dust Twins.”  They were both from Washington State and joined the Coast Guard together in 1939. They subsequently served together in New York before entering the history books in the South…

Though his face isn’t on the Iwo Jima memorial in D.C., Alan Wood played a role in one of the most iconic images of World War II. Wood, a former Navy officer, provided the flag raised over Iwo Jima. He died April 18 at the age of 90, the Los Angeles Times reported. Wood was in charge of communications on a landing ship off the coast of the island. During the battle, a Marine boarded the ship and asked for the biggest flag he could find. Wood gave him a 37-square-foot flag from a Pearl Harbor Navy depot, the Times…

A statue depicting the kiss between a sailor and a nurse celebrating the end of World War II will permanently call San Diego home. The 25-foot bronze sculpture was dedicated Saturday across from the USS Midway Museum, Channel 10 News reported. The new statue replaces a similar one depicting the kiss, which was on loan and had to be returned to New Jersey last year for restoration after being a fixture in downtown San Diego for about five years. When the loaned statue had to be returned, the USS Midway Museum launched a campaign to raise private donations to bring…

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