75 years ago today: Victory in Europe (VE Day)

On May 8th, 1945, the Second World War came to an end in Europe.  The date has become known as “Victory in Europe Day”, or simply “VE Day”.  Fighting would continue in the Pacific campaign against Japan for just over three more months, leading to “Victory in Japan Day” or “VJ Day” in August.

My father talked to me about “his war” several times, and my mother less often.  I wrote about my father’s service some years ago, as he neared the end of his life.  While he was fighting overseas, my mother’s war was spent on the “home front” in England.  Many of her nights were occupied with fireguard duties, standing on a rooftop with a bucket of water and a stirrup pump, watching for German incendiary bomblets to fall.  When one dropped onto “her” building, she’d have to put it out, right sharpish, before it could set fire to the roof.

Here’s one small footnote to history that most people don’t know about VE Day.  On this 75th anniversary, I thought it might interest you.

The celebrations, of course, were riotous. Britain had been at war for almost six years, and let off steam in fine style.

Let’s remember, on this day, the tens of millions who died in that conflict.  My father never forgot his fellow servicemen who were killed, and my mother had her fair share of friends killed and injured by German bombs and the vicissitudes of war.



  1. Ah, yes, VE day.

    The day on which the first attempt to establish a single currency in Europe was abandoned.


  2. I don't think the pain of my fathers experiences ever left him. He was a ball turret gunner on B-17's in 1943 in the 8th AF. Sometimes crew members were assigned to fly with different crews for a mission. On a particular day, from the ball turret, he saw a B-17 holding most of his crew go down in flames. On that day half of his formation was shot down before they reached the target. Though this happened in 1943 he could never speak of it until the 1990's and then it was only because his health was going and he wanted me to keep their memory alive. I think many people don't realize what the trauma WW 2 and older vets experienced stayed with them through their lives, they just didn't talk about it.

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