VJ Day – 61 Years Later

August 15th, 2006 by xformed

***Welcome LGF and MilBlogs readers!**** Feel free to look around the blog…

One more anniversary passes of the end of WWII.

VJ Day Sailor Kiss

Wouldn’t you know it was a Sailor who made the timeless pose for the celebration of the end of WWII.

For those of you who have been reading a while, you may have read the stories of my friend who flew gliders way back then. This day, 61 years removed, set history as a man with his youth, his French girlfriend, a small spotter plane, and full of bravado did something, well, shall we say “different” (but certainly not out of character for those who venture into the skies in combat aircraft…)

This past June 6th, I posted some more details Jim Helinger, Sr., passed along to me regrading his duty. By this time, I had also scanned in the few remaining pictures he has of those days gone by. They are in that post.

So, hopefully you’re still scratching your head and wondering what Jim did, and what a French girlfriend has to do with VJ day in 1945.

The story begins here. If you want the details, chase the links to part II and then to the final segment, Part III (link provided for those with little patience, or time today).

I used to wonder about Jim’s claim of this “first,” but have come to see it’s entirely feasible. I found these excellent photos by Christopher Michels (who was a Navy P-3C Naval Flight Officer). One of his sets was of the Eiffel Tower at night.

Eiffel Tower at night

Using your old intel photographer training, you can see from the size of the people under the tower that there’s plenty of room for an L-5 Stinson Spotter plane to ge through there safely.

L-5 parked

Thanks to LGF for a place to share good news and John of Castle ARRGGHH!! for the trackback and Plank’s Constant for the Open Trackback, < ahref="http://www.conservativecat.com/mt/archives/2005/12/continue_the_co.html">The Conservative Cat for the floating trackback festival, Blue Star Chronicles for the Open Trackback, The Pirates Cove for the Open Trackback!

If you’ve read this far, here’s the bonus reading:

Jim spoke of the orphanage he found while driving the countryside, and how he and his squadronmates passed the hat for money to buy some sporting goods. When I got to see his snapshots, most of them were not of combat, but the majority were of the orphanage. American service members have been caring for the displaced and those who lost much for generations.

Jim's Orphanage Picture

Here is a sargent from Jim’s squadron teaching the German war orphans how to play football.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 15th, 2006 at 12:01 am and is filed under Air Force, Army, History, Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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