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Victory in Europe (V-E) Day

8 May 1945

Photo #: 80-G-49101 V-E Day, 8 May 1945

Senior Officers of the U.S. Armed Forces make a radio broadcast in Washington, D.C., following the official announcement of Victory in Europe on 8 May 1945. They are (from left to right): General of the Army George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Senior Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. (80-G-49101)                        

On 27 April 1945, Russian troops beat the Western Allied armed forces to Berlin and took the war-ravaged city under siege. Three days later, Adolph Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945 in his bunker. On 7 May 1945, Hitler's successor, Admiral Karl Dönitz, authorized the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany's armed forces. 

Tuesday, 8 May 1945, was designated Victory in Europe (V-E) Day by the United States and Great Britain, and continues to be commemorated on 8 May every year by both countries.

The Navy's contributions in the Atlantic theater throughout WWII in the years that led to V-E Day, as well as Navy involvement in European demobilization and the ongoing conflict with Japan, can be explored through historical summaries, photos, and additional links, below. 


Plane, wings and United Airlines insignia with chain and clasp

Token from United Airlines commemorating V-E Day

Sterling silver medal from United Airlines commemorating Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945.


Photo #: USA C-2337 Surrender of Germany, May 1945

Surrender of Germany, May 1945. Senior Allied delegates celebrate at Rheims, France, on 7 May 1945, shortly after General Eisenhower had addressed the German mission, who had just signed the unconditional surrender document. Present are (from left to right, in front): General Susloparoff (Soviet Union); Lieutenant General Walter B. Smith, U.S. Army; General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. Army (holding pens used to sign the surrender document); and Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, Royal Air Force. Behind the Soviet General is British General Morgan. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives. (USA C-2337)

German Type XXI Submarines

German Type XXI Submarines captured incomplete on the building ways at Bremen, Germany, in May 1945. (80-G-333676)

Walter Werke, Keil, Germany

Allied inspectors with members of the Walter Werke staff, 11 May 1945. Present are (Front, l-r): Professor Walter; Captain Mumma, USN; Mr. Retalliatta. (Middle row, l-r): Unidentified; Dr. Kuska; Lieutenant Thurmer, USNR; Dr. Heep (Heed ?). (Back row, l-r): Commander Aylen, RN; Lieutenant Cameron, RNVR. (NH 96751)


USS Langley (CVL-27) flying a homeward-bound pennant, 20 May 1945. (80-G-700448)

Vice Admiral Alan G. Kirk, USN, Commander U.S. Naval Forces, France,

Vice Admiral Alan G. Kirk, USN, Commander U.S. Naval Forces, France, receives the Legion of Honor from French Minister of Marine Louis Jaquinot, at the Navy Ministry, Paris, 10 May 1945. (80-G-328698)              

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, CINCPAC

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, CINCPAC, at a press conference at his advanced headquarters on Guam, following President Truman's announcement of the surrender of Germany, 9 May 1945. (80-G-319614)

Published: Tue May 26 15:32:37 EDT 2020