Carolyn Porter | See photos taken in Paris on VE Day
See photos taken in Paris on VE Day that show U.S. intelligence officer Lewis J. Nescott smiling and enjoying being a tourist.
Lewis J. Nescott, Lewis Nescott, Lew Nescott, VE Day, VE Day photos, Paris WWII, WWII photos, US intelligence soldier, Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé
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  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows smiling US intelligence officer Lewis J. Nescott
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows Eiffel Tower
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows US intelligence officer Lewis J. Nescott standing underneath the Eiffel Tower
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows US intelligence officer Lewis J. Nescott
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows US intelligence officer Lewis J. Nescott
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows US intelligence officer Lewis J. Nescott
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows Place de la Concorde
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows Place de la Concorde
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows Arc de Triomphe in distance
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows Arc de Triomphe in distance
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows Arc de Triomphe
  • Photo taken on VE Day in Paris; shows Arc de Triomphe

Original photos from VE Day: “La guerre est finis” (“The war is finished”)

I recently acquired this series of photos that had been taken in Paris on VE (Victory in Europe) Day. The images show U.S. intelligence officer Lewis J. Nescott smiling and enjoying the city’s sights. I enjoyed the images, in part because of the handwritten captions, but also because they capture an incredible day. You can easily imagine the joy and relief that had to have permeated in the air when you read things like “… all the Parisian fountains were turned on today for the first time since the war” or “… the American, Russian, French and English flags have just been hoisted …”

Regarding the date: The “act of military surrender” was first signed at 02:41 on May 7 in Reims, and a slightly modified document was signed on May 8 in Berlin. European countries celebrate VE Day on May 8.

Note: I can’t say this with certainty, but I found a record of a Lewis Nescott from Webster, Pennsylvania who would have been 31 years old at the time these photos were taken. If the record I found showed information on the correct Lewis Nescott, I’m happy to say he lived to the age of 93!

4 Comments
  • carolyn

    May 14, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    I always learn something from you, Janet! Thanks for your insight!

  • Janet Gerson

    May 14, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Wonderful views of a happy soldier on a happy day in a city where people could be happy again!

    In the photo where he’s standing in front of the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde, you can see the design showing how the obelisk was moved from a boat on the Seine to the position in the square. Always a French teacher: can’t resist this correction ‘La guerre est finie.’ Easy mistake, same pronunciation.

  • carolyn

    May 12, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Lois, I’m so glad you enjoyed!

  • Lois Montgomery

    May 12, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Great candid photos and the original descriptions on the back of each photo are so true and authentic to the time. Thanks for sharing.