Victory Year . . . 1945

"Our demand has been, and it remains—Unconditional Surrender! We will not traffic with the breakers of the peace on the terms of the peace."

President Harry S. Truman, April 16, 1945

On the first day of January, on decks of Pacific Fleet warships steaming closer to Japan, at snow-covered battlefields in the Bulge to bomber, and in crews training in Utah to ultimately deliver a weapon of mass destruction, millions of Americans in uniform welcomed 1945. None knew that it would mark the end of a global war begun by German soldiers on the plains of Poland on September 1, 1939. Final victory, as in the years leading up to it, would take a human toll, from the lowest ranking sailor to an iconic Commander-in-Chief, on board ships enduring kamikazes and bloody mountaintop on an island named Iwo Jima. This is U.S. Naval Aviation's chapter in that epic year…1945.