Who Is the Kissing Soldier?

The image to the right is one of the most famous images from the World War II era, a jubilant soldier celebrating Japan’s surrender by kissing an attractive nurse. It is also something of a mystery; for years no one knew the indentities of the soldier and nurse.

Now the mystery may finally be solved. The nurse, as reported by Life Magazine in 1980 and confirmed by the photographer, is Edith Shain. The identity of the soldier was a little more evasive; when Life asked him to step forward, nine men did, all claiming to be the famous soldier.

One of them was George Mendonsa, a Rhode Island fisherman, who now appears the most likely candidate thanks modern technology.

As a side note, a girl in one of my classes at UT was a neighbor of Mendonsa, and knew him as the man in the photo. It would be interesting to hear her take on this, but sadly I haven’t seen her since the last day of that class, over two years ago.

(via Michael Silence)

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