Top image: V-E Day in front of Rainbow Corner, The National WWII Museum, 2008.537.063
On May 8, 1945, Allied forces formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Germany. Civilians and members of the armed forces took to the streets in the United States and Europe to celebrate V-E Day. Months before the iconic V-J Day in Times Square photograph was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, Staff Sergeant Jack Schwartz photographed the pure joy of British, American, and Chinese servicemembers along with British civilians gathering and dancing around London, England.
Staff Sergeant Schwartz was a member of the Army Pictorial Service and assigned to the 3113rd Signal Service Battalion. He was called to active duty in early 1943 and was in Germany by late 1944. After less than a year in mainland Europe, Schwartz was sent back to England, just in time for V-E Day. Schwartz and his camera traveled to Rainbow Corner, the name of the American Red Cross near Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace to capture the joy and relief of London.