Mendonsa, George, QM1c

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 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Quartermaster 1st Class
Last Primary NEC
Last Rating/NEC Group
Primary Unit
1943-1946, QM-0000, USS The Sullivans (DD-537)
Service Years
1942 - 1946
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Iwo Jima
Order of the Shellback
Order of the Golden Dragon
Panama Canal
Plank Owner
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

292 kb

Home State
Rhode Island
Rhode Island
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Mendonsa, George, QM1c.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Feb 17, 2019
Location of Interment
Saint Columbus Cemetery - Middletown, Rhode Island
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin Honorable Discharge Emblem (WWII)

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Dragon Blue Star

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1942, Recruit Training (Newport, RI)
 Duty Stations
US NavyAdvancement Schools and CoursesUSS The Sullivans (DD-537)
  1943-1943, BM-0000, Newport, RI
  1943-1943, QM-0000, (QM) Quartermaster Class A School
  1943-1946, QM-0000, USS The Sullivans (DD-537)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Marshall Islands Operation (1944)/Battle of Kwajalein Atoll (Operation Flintlock)
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Asiatic-Pacific Specified Raids (1944)
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Western Caroline Islands Operation
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Leyte Campaign (1944)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Feb 22, 2012, Mystery of the Kissing Sailor's identity. 2
  Feb 17, 2019, Obituary: George Anthony Mendonsa4
  Feb 19, 2019, General Photos4
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

George Anthony Mendonsa was born in Newport on Feb. 19, 1923, and raised on a nearby island without water or electricity. Both parents emigrated from Portugal; his father fished for squid, scup, bass and tuna, and from an early age enlisted George and his three brothers in his fishing expeditions.  

Mr. Mendonsa enlisted in the Navy in 1942, and within a year he was cruising the Pacific on The Sullivans, participating in battles such as the invasion of Iwo Jima. In July 1945 he received one month's leave and traveled home to Newport, where his youngest sister had just been married. When the new in-laws arrived in town with a niece, Rita Petry, Mr. Mendonsa planned a trip to visit her in New York; when he ran out of the Rockettes performance to celebrate the end of World War II, she ran with him.  

His kiss with the "nurse," Petry said, never bothered her. They married one year later, and Rita Mendonsa later identified the top of her head in the Eisenstaedt photo, partly visible above Mr. Mendonsa's right shoulder.  

In addition to his wife of 72 years, survivors include two children, Sharon Molleur and Ron Mendonsa; a sister; three grandsons; and four great-grandchildren.

. . . . . 

When Japan's surrender was announced on Aug. 14, 1945, George Mendonsa grabbed his date, ran out of a Rockettes performance at Radio City Music Hall and headed for a nearby bar in Times Square.  

He was a Navy quartermaster on leave, dressed in uniform, and after downing a few drinks began walking the streets, where he spotted a young woman in a white nurse's outfit. Buzzing with joy, now jolted by a memory of the nurses who cared for his wounded comrades at sea, he put his arms around the woman, tipped her back and kissed her.

. . . .

Quartermaster First Class George Mendonsa was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the American Theater Medal, The Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal 9 battle stars, the Victory Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal 2 battle stars, the Philippine Independence Medal, the Philippine Presidential Union Citation and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Other Comments:

USS The Sullivans DD-537, World War II 

The Sullivans DD-537 earned 9 bronze service stars on her Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon as follows: 

1 Star

Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls: 29 January - 8 February 1944.  

1 Star

Truk attack: 16 - 17 February 1944.
Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Woleai raid: 30 March - 1 April 1944.
Truk, Satawan, Ponape raid: 29 April - 1 May 1944. 

1 Star

Aitape - Humboldt Bay - Tanahmerah Bay: April - 1 June 1944. 

1 Star

Capture and occupation of Saipan: 11 June - 24 June 1944.
Battle of Philippine Sea: 19 - 20 June 1944.
Third Bonins raid: 3 - 4 July 1944.
Capture and Occupation of Guam: 12 July - 15 August 1944.
Palau, Yap, Ulithi raid: 25 - 27 July 1944. 

1 Star

Capture and occupation of South Palau Islands, 6 September - 14 October 1944.
Assaults on the Philippine Islands: 9 - 24 September 1944. 

1 Star

Third Fleet supporting operations for Okinawa attack: 10 October 1944.
Northern Luzon and Formosa attacks: 13 - 14 October 1944.
Luzon attacks: 15 October - 16 December 1944.
Battle of Surigao Strait: 25 - 26 October 1944. 

1 Star

Third Fleet supporting operations - Formosa attacks: 3 - 21 January 1945.
Lingayen Gulf landing: 4 January - 16 February 1945.
Third Fleet supporting operations - Luzon attacks: 6 - 7 January 1945.
Third Fleet supporting operations - China Coast attacks: 12 - 16 January 1945.
Third Fleet supporting operations - Nansei Shoto attack: 22 January 1945.  

1 Star

Fifth Fleet raids against Honshu and the Nansei Shoto: 15 February - 4 March 1945. 

1 Star

Assault and occupation of Okinawa: 17 March - 28 May 1945. 

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