Middletown, Rhode Island: Grave of the Kissing Sailor

George Mendonsa claimed to be the "Kissing Sailor" in the famous end-of-WWII photo, which is etched into his tombstone.

St. Columbas Cemetery

Address:
465 Brown's Lane, Middletown, RI
Directions:
St. Columbas Cemetery. Drive north out of town on RI-114/W. Main Rd. Turn east just north of the Honda dealership onto Brown's Lane (no stoplight). Follow it one mile; it ends at the cemetery. Drive straight back. The grave is on the left, about seven rows before the end of the cemetery.
Hours:
Gates open daily 7:30-4 Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Kissing Sailor.

Kissing Sailor Grave

On August 14, 1945, the world learned that Imperial Japan planned to surrender to the Allies, ending World War II. Celebrations erupted, including in Times Square, where Life magazine staffer Alfred Eisenstaedt photographed a sailor grabbing and kissing a dental assistant in a nurse uniform. Over time, many people claimed to be the kissing sailor and the dental assistant. George Mendonsa, a quartermaster on leave from the USS The Sullivans, may have had the strongest claim to be the sailor, based on forensic analysis. Mendonsa died in 2019. His family gravestone has the famous photo etched on its front. Also on the stone is a portrait of Mendonsa's wife, Rita, who was not the woman he kissed in Times Square.

[Kurt Deion / kurtshistoricsites.com, 08/17/2020]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Newport Tower MuseumNewport Tower Museum, Newport, RI - 4 mi.
Mystery Tower of NewportMystery Tower of Newport, Newport, RI - 4 mi.
JFK's Rejected Grave SlabJFK's Rejected Grave Slab, Newport, RI - 4 mi.
In the region:
Tantaquidgeon Museum, Uncasville, CT - 41 mi.

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