William doyle has written or cowritten seven books, including pt 109. Commanding the patrol torpedo craft pt pt 109, lieutenant kennedy and his crew participated in early allied war campaigns. The film was adapted by vincent flaherty and howard sheehan from the book pt 109. Pt109 was a pt boat patrol torpedo boat last commanded by lieutenant junior grade john. Kennedy when it was rammed by the japanese destroyer amagiri on august 2, 1943. To the historian, leonard thom is remembered as the executive officer aboard pt 109, the boat that launched the legend of john fitzgerald kennedy. On display at the kennedy library in boston is the coconut shell on which kennedy. Pt 109 was a pt 103 class motor torpedo boat built for the us navy in 1942. The thrilling true story of the future presidents astonishing act of heroism during world war ii.
William doyles pt109 is a masterfully written book on john f. Acclaimed war correspondent richard tregaskiswho once beat out the future president for a spot on the harvard university swim teambrings this remarkable chapter in american history to vivid life in john f. John f kennedy and pt 109 book also available for read online, mobi, docx and mobile and kindle reading. Run down by japanese destroyer amagiri kennedy s actions to save his surviving crew after the sinking of the pt 109 made. John fitzgerald kennedy library it is arguably the most famous smallcraft engagement in naval history, and it was an unmitigated disaster. Pdf download john f kennedy and pt 109 free unquote books. The sinking of pt 109 and the mystery of history as a child, i grew up thrilled to hear the story of john f. Kennedy and pt109 is a reprint of a book that originally came out in 1962 is a wonderfully retelling of the events surrounding the one day presidents heroics surrounding his pt boat of the title in the solomon islands. Sixty years later, the story of pt109 still captivates national. Some today might say the book s pace could be a little faster. On 30 may, several pt boats, including pt 109 were ordered to the russell islands in preparation for the invasion of new georgia. A national geographic expedition has found the wwii patrol boat that.
It covers every aspect and brings many new things to light pt 109. He served as director of original programming for hbo and was coproducer of the pbs special navy seals. It is believed that the wake of the destroyer carried off the floating gasoline there by saving pt 109 from fire. Coconut shell paperweight original coconut on which the rescue message was inscribed by kennedy to rescue the crew of the pt109 and delivered. Among the scrimshaw whale teeth and model ships was the dried husk of a coconut. Kennedy was credited with saving the survivors by carving a message on a coconut and natives took it for their rescue. Like so many others who came into jfks orbit, lenny thom has become but a footnote in the history books. This is the story of kennedy s courage and bravery during an attack on his boat during world war ii.
They were expendable was a pt boat patrol torpedo boat last commanded by lieutenant, junior grade ltjg john f. Kennedy, ensigns thom and ross, mauer, mc mcguire and albert still clung to the pt 109 s hull. The extraordinary world war ii story of shipwreck and survival that paved john f. Jack kennedy arrives in the south pacific during world war ii, hes keen to command his own pt boat. An american epic of war, survival, and the destiny of john f. Kennedy joined the us navy in 1941 and was stationed in the. All he can find is a decrepit old castoff, but he scrounges a crew together and the pt 109 is soon made seaworthy. The coconuts were more plentiful but had a sickening effect on some of the men.
An american epic of war, survival, and the destiny. On august 15, 1973, tregaskis suffered a fatal heart attack while swimming near. Kennedy ordered all hands to abandon ship when it appeared the fire would spread to it. Jfk kept a coconut on his desk for a very important reason. Bob donovan has written the definitive story of my brothers heroic efforts to save his crew in 1943 after their torpedo boat was cut in half by a japanese destroyer, near. Pt109 earned famed under the command of lieutenant junior grade john f.
Pt 109, commanded by kennedy with executive officer, ensign leonard jay thom, and ten enlisted men, was one of the fifteen boats sent out on patrol on the night. Kennedy eight of the kennedy children, hyannis port, 1928. And i think jack was a bit of what was more of an unlucky hero than incompetent commander in this. Kennedy s path to power hailed as a breathtaking account by james patterson, masterfully written by historian douglas brinkley, and the finest book ever written on the subject by lt. The extraordinary world war ii story of shipwreck and survival. Jfks heroic link to the solomons page 1 of 6 jfk s heroic link to the. Kennedy continues to cast a spell over the american public. Smart news keeping you current why jfk kept a coconut shell in the oval office during this week in 1943, a 26yearold kennedy and his crew were marooned on a. Before reading this book, i had watched the pt 109 movie countless times, read the book directly connected to it, watched the national geographic special on pt 109 and had visited the jfk library. Kennedy kept a unique inauguration gift on his white house desk. Two of them helped deliver to a coastwatcher a coconut kennedy. The story of pt109 and kennedy s truly heroic and courageous actions in saving his crew has been largely forgotten over the years, as the presidents controversial assassination in 1963 and his alleged affairs with other women have dominated the publicity on his life in recent years. Commander william liebenow, the man who rescued jfk and the pt 109 crew in august 1943. Kennedy is seen aboard the patrol torpedo boat pt109 boat during world war ii in the pacific theatre, in this handout photograph taken on march 4, 1942.
Sixty years later, the story of pt 109 still captivates. Liebenow, who was buried thursday at arlington national cemetery, never liked to brag about rescuing john f. The story of pt109s sinking was featured in several books and a 1963. For those of us who were children of world war ii veterans, it always seemed as if every story of that conflict was glorious. Where this book differs, is it tell us the whole story. Download john f kennedy and pt 109 in pdf and epub formats for free. Its hard to see in this picture, but this paperweight is actually a hardened, almost petrified coconut with a message scratched into its surface. Kennedy s life was saved during wwii by a humble coconut. That coconut helped save the life of kennedy and the crew under his command in world war ii. Before reading this book, i had watched the pt109 movie countless times, read the book directly connected to it, watched the national geographic special on pt109 and had visited the jfk library. Kennedy and pt109, 1962, and the great hawaiian king kamehameha i warrior king, 1973. Kennedy kept a strange collection of desk ornaments and paperweights. They were pleased to discover olasana had ripe coconuts, though there was. He traveled the world many times over, and wrote about subjects as varied as the first space ship x15 diary, 1961, john f.
Family photos of john f kennedy, jackie kennedy, jfk jr. Sixty years later, the story of pt109 still captivates. Commanding the patrol torpedo craft pt pt 109, lieutenant kennedy and his crew. Pt 109 william doyle ebook harpercollins publishers. Pt109s collision with a japanese destroyer contributed to kennedys. Cliff robertson stars in this stirring saga of kennedy s wartime exploits as skipper of a pt boat in the solomon islands. Why jfk kept a coconut shell in the oval office smart. On august 2, 1943, pt 109 was struck by the japanese destroyer amagiri and the entire crew was thrown into the pacific. Remembering pt109 a carved walking stick evokes ship commander john f.
Lieutenant kennedy is instrumental in saving crew on this day in 1943, a japanese destroyer rams an american pt patrol torpedo boat, no. After the invasion of rendova, pt 109 moved to lumbari. Pt 109 by william doyle overdrive rakuten overdrive. Pt 109 an american epic of war survival and the destiny of john f kennedy author of the book.
Numerous books, a 1963 hollywood movie and television versions of. Days later they found the americans surviving on coconuts. Revell model box art jfk pt 109 kennedy pt boat giclee print see. Kennedy jfk as an officer of the united states navy in command of motor torpedo boat pt109 in the pacific theater of world war ii. Crossing to historic kennedy island in the solomon islands. He was a key player in the drama that followed that boats sinking in august 1943. Pt 109 is a 1963 american technicolor biographical war film, filmed in panavision, which depicts the actions of john f. The tale of that coconut is the heroic story of pt 109. Jack carved a message onto the husk of a coconut and gave it to the islanders. In the early morning hours of august 2, 1943, us navy motor torpedo boat pt 109 patrolled the still, black waters of blackett strait in the. Kennedy later president of the united states in the pacific theater during world war ii. In this weeks remarkable tale, we tell the true story of how president john f.760 1247 768 1648 1281 42 1639 348 324 1282 231 1062 1294 79 397 1058 1577 580 1178 1613 990 514 1038 1423 1057 171 1191 1410 284 1009 949 1023 273 80 660 792 410 1451 1138