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    Description

    [John F. Kennedy] PT-109 Archive. John Kennedy volunteered for the U.S. Army in the spring of 1941, but was rejected. Later that September, he was accepted by the U.S. Navy. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December, he attended the Naval Reserve Officers Training School and Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center. He was eventually assigned to the Pacific theater where he became a lieutenant in command of a PT (patrol torpedo) boat, PT-109. While participating in a nighttime patrol near the Solomon Islands on August 2, 1943, his PT boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer. Two PT-109 crewmembers were lost immediately and two more were severely injured. The survivors, including Lt. Kennedy, made land where they survived for six days on coconuts and were spectacularly rescued. Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroic, life-saving actions. This lot contains details of the story. The wreckage of PT-109 was found in May 2002.

    The following are offered in the wonderful lot:
    1. JFK photo of PT-109 signed, "John F. Kennedy". Shows a prominent "109" on the bridge. On the bottom of the photo is an explanation of the photo. On verso is a handstamp of the National Archives Credit Line. Included is a one page typed history of the ship, a 1962 typed letter signed from W. D. Collins, the Head of the U. S. Navy Community Relations Branch stating, "No photograph of PT-109 is available." Also, a clipped newspaper photo with caption of JFK and Benjamin Kevu, the Solomon Islander who helped Kennedy to safety. Very fine.
    2. P. H. McMahon typed manuscript signed and dated March 27, 1967, stating how Kennedy had "saved all our lives"." McMahon was severely burned when PT-109 was sunk. Kennedy pulled McMahon about four miles through the water to safety. Toned; fine.
    3. Seven typed statements about the events surrounding the sinking of PT-109 signed by crewmembers Charles A. "Bucky" Harris, Ed Drewitch, Gerard E. Zinser, John Maguire (two statements), George "Barney" Ross, and Maurice L. Kowal. Most contain additional handwritten notes. Very fine.
    4. Two first day issued envelopes with stamps commemorating JFK. One is postmarked May 29, 1964, with the signature in pen of "John Maguire", PT-109 crewmember; the other is postmarked August 7, 1970. Very fine.
    5. First day issue "First Man on the Moon" commemorative stamp, postmarked Sept. 9, 1969, and July 20, 1969. The collectable page on which the stamp is affixed is signed by Ed Drewitch, PT-109 crewmember. Very fine. From the John K. Lattimer Collection.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    17th-18th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 699

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