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Veterans Advantage, Inc.


Veterans Advantage, Inc.


Victory over Japan V-J Day 1945
Times Square Kiss Re-enactment
USS Cod August 15, 2010

Pucker Up!

That was the invitation to help honor the Greatest Generation by participating in USS COD Submarine Memorial's V-J Day Kiss-In.

Victory over Japan Day or V-J Day, is, of course, the day when the Surrender of Japan occurred, effectively ending World War II. The term has been applied to the day on which the initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made in the afternoon of August 15, 1945 in Japan.

Because of time zone differences, it was announced August 14, 1945 in the United States. September 2, 1945 is when the signing of the surrender document occurred.

Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945: Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri (BB-63) during the surrender ceremonies.

Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945: Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri (BB-63).


There were celebrations in the US and worldwide as seen in photos such as this by Ed Westcott of residents of Oak Ridge, TN who filled Jackson Square to celebrate the surrender of Japan.

In a photo by Ed Westcott, residents of Oak Ridge, TN, fill Jackson Square to celebrate the surrender of Japan.

But there was one photo that captured the jubilance of the nation and the world. Life Magazine published the photo taken in Times Square on August 14, 1945 shortly after the announcement by President Truman occurred and people began to gather in celebration.

Alfred Eisenstaedt went to Times Square and he spotted a sailor "running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight . . . Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse."

Nurse Edith Cullen Shain claimed to be the woman in the photo but the man was never identified.

The next day, the New York Times published this other view of the same scene but it was not as popular or famous as the Eisenstaedt shot.

1945 V-J Day kiss in Times Square

To celebrate that memorable day and remember the veterans, couples from across the US re-created the famous kiss at ceremonies. The Cleveland ceremony was at the USS Cod.

Keep the Spirit of 45 alive

Keep the Spirit of '45 alive

Veterans in uniform, character actors and the general public visited the USS Cod and took part in the ceremony.



Paul Farace, Curator of the USS Cod, explains the reenactment of the V-J Day Celebration and famous Times Square kiss photograph

V-J Day actors in World War II militay unifroms at USS Cod

Frank Artino as a a Lieutenant, Ann Johnson as 2nd Lieutenant Army Air Corp Nurse and Scott Harmon dressed as a Chief Boatswain Mate


US Submarine Veteran Fritz Hemrich worked the radio

US Submarine Veteran Fritz Hemrich worked the sound system


Sheila Rosenberg on the deck of the USS Cod

Sheila Rosenberg on the deck of the USS Cod




Three USS Cod re-enactors - a Lieutenant, 2nd Lieutenant Army Air Corp Nurse and a Chief Boatswain Mate explain the re-enactment of the V-J Day Celebration.



Veteran Robert Hetman and his wife Margaret

Veteran Robert Hetman and his wife Margaret


Submarine veteran Jack Paulin with his wife Marilyn

Submarine veteran Jack Paulin with his wife Marilyn


Sheila Barnes and Alan Winkler

Sheila Barnes and Alan Winkler




Re-enactor Frank Artino honors the veterans of World War II
on Victory in Japan Day


The participants used their time wisely - practicing for the big kiss and dancing to Glenn Miller and other hits from 1945.

Michelle Root and Eric Paul Dancing on V-J Day

Michelle Root and Eric Paul

Reenactor Eric Paul said they called his outfit the Navy Cracker Jack, but it is really the dress blues for a Navy enlisted man. His patch says he is a Seaman, 2nd Class Cook - which is appropriate because he is a chef in "real" life.


USS Cod gun

Taking a look in the gun on the USS Cod





Getting "In the Mood"


On the deck of the USS Cod

Awaiting the big announcement


Deck of the USS Cod


The participants were interrupted by a radio broadcast announcing that Japan had agreed to our terms of surrender and that the War was essentially over! They screamed, hugged and threw their caps before breaking into Kate Smith's God Bless America.



The radio announcement and reaction

Singing God Bless America

Singing God Bless America




Celebrations continued and a conga line formed and danced up the gangway of the USS Cod.

Conga line for V-J Day



Finally it was time for what everyone was waiting for - the kiss.



Re-creating the Times Square V-J Day Kiss


Sheila Barnes and Alan Winkler VJ-Day kiss

Sheila Barnes and Alan Winkler


Scott Harmon and Ann Johnson V-J day kiss

Scott Harmon and Ann Johnson


V-J Day kisses

V-J Day kisses


V-J Day kisses on the deck of the USS Cod


V-J Day kisses on the deck of the USS Cod


Michelle Root and Eric Paul were jusged the best kissers

Michelle Root and Eric Paul were judged the best kissers


What a terrific way to Keep '45 Alive and honor those who served.


Don't miss photos from the USS Cod and a short video with a Navy submarine veteran



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