What Others Are Saying About The Kissing Sailor –

Dear George,

I write to tell you what a superb job Larry Verria did today in introducing and explaining the book to a capacity audience at the Naval War College Museum. In roughly 40 minutes, he made an exceptional presentation and built his (and your) case for George Mendosa’s claim to fame elaborately, methodically – and most importantly – credibly. Then George got up and had a few words to buttress the claim and showed his arms as physical evidence. When he also spoke of his wife of 68 years, he clinched the deal for any doubting Thomases left in the audience. I can’t believe there was anyone who was a Thomas at that point, but just in case, he won the day. George spoke eloquently – in a fisherman’s vernacular – of the kamikazes and the burning hulks of Bunker Hill and Franklin and other ships that were hit. His rendition of The Sullivans picking up survivors was also obviously heartfelt. So both presentations were most memorable and still enjoyable. The audience gave it their undivided attention. There were several WW II sailors in the crowd who only lent additional credibility to the story. One asked George what his rate had been at the time – Quartermaster First, I believe, was the response. Then why didn’t he have the right shoulder petty officer’s insignia (one of nine ratings at the time which wore the insignia on the right shoulder) at the time of the photograph in Times Square? He told his story and pointed out the visible insignia hanging out of his pocket in the picture. Altogether I was very pleased to have attended and particularly pleased to have met Larry Verria, a Rhode Island Teacher of the Year. What an interesting classroom he must present to the students on a daily basis.
I missed you today. I had thought you would wander back to the Naval War College for the event. But I enjoyed your co-author immensely and, of course, George Mendoza. I hope that we’ll meet again on the left coast or here whenever you can get back this way.

Sincerely,  ***


George—I bought your book on Wednesday the 6th of June, 2012 and then listened to your presentation on Thursday evening at the book store.

Your presentation was great because I had read 100 pages of the book and could follow and recognize most of the talk. I was sitting in front and so

I was the first to get it signed.

I finished the book today and am amazed at the research, study of the possibilities and minute attention to details that you and Lawrence pursued to compile these very conclusive facts.

I am so happy that you accomplished it while the combatants and/or principals are still alive with the exception of Edith. George and Greta very much deserve the closure and I am sure, the happy ending from LIFE—but maybe that’s like expecting the government to act on a matter that needs action.

I certainly hope that they copy “A Leica’s Notes” and publish it. This was the climax to this very important work that you, Lawrence and all of the accredited people that you mention in the book have concluded. Which, by the way, is the most important conclusion I have ever read.

Thank you so much for this book and by the way, I was 11 when this happened.


Thanks again George for this important piece of work!


[*** Personal Information has been withheld]

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