Naval Park to Commemorate "Kissing Sailor"

Sunday from 1 until 3 PM

Allan Harris
August 13, 2017 - 10:12 am

(WBEN) - Most Americans have seen this iconic LIFE magazine cover photo. It was taken August 14, 1945 in a jubilant Times Square, following the news that Japan had surrendered and WWII was over after six long years.  But few know that this “Kissing Sailor,” Quartermaster First Class George Mendonsa, was the helmsman of the USS The Sullivans — now part of the Buffalo Naval Park.  Just weeks before this was taken, George navigated The Sullivans on a rescue mission of the USS Bunker Hill, which had been attacked by kamikaze pilots.  Although over 360 Americans were killed in the attack, George and his crew heroically saved over 160 fellow naval officers.

To commemorate this day when peace was restored to the world, the Naval Park has created a life-sized replica of this image — as well as a space next to it where people can re-enact this famous image if they’d like.  The backdrop will be located on The Sullivans’ deck, and visitors can join in the fun with admission to the park.

Park visitors will also be treated to WWII re-enactors, a special WWII-era weapons display center, as well as 1940’s music performed by The Buffalo Dolls singing trio from 1 until 3 PM Sunday August 13th.


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