A War-time Souvenir Sent to His Adoring Cousin.
John F. Kennedy: His Very Own PT-109 Shoulder Patch.
war-time exploits were a key component of his future career in
politics. However, at the time, he was just one of hundreds of
thousands of America boys sent to distant climes in the effort to
defeat the Axis powers and safeguard democracy. In 1943, his young
cousin Marylou Connelly, was sent away to the Madames of the Sacred
Heart Boarding School in Providence. Marylou was the daughter of
Loretta Connelly, JFK's aunt and godmother. Marylou found the
adjustment to boarding school life difficult and Loretta apparently
let Rose Kennedy know about it. She, in turn, mentioned it to JFK.
Out of affection and concern, he sent his shoulder patch to Marylou
and told her to wear it on her school uniform. He reminded her of
his current location and advised her: "Mary, be brave kiddo. I'm
not so thrilled about where I am either." Marylou did as he advised
and found the patch helpful during the uncertain days when JFK was
reported missing in action, until news came of his rescue. She
cherished the patch for the next fifty years, as a poignant
souvenir of her beloved cousin. This framed display includes the 2"
fabric patch as the centerpiece. It also has copy-images of JFK and
the crew of the PT109, JFK receiving a medal, a circa 1930 color
photo of JFK and Marylou as children, a patch from the aircraft
carrier U.S.S. John F. Kennedy and a signed notarized statement
from Marylou Connelly McCarthy, dated 1998, discussing the patch
and her relationship with and feelings for JFK. A letter of
provenance from the family accompanies the lot.
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