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    Description

    John F. Kennedy Autograph Letter Signed "Jack". Three pages of a bifolium, 3.5" x 5", Castle Hot Springs, Arizona; postmarked "17 1945", circa early 1945. A casual letter addressed to Ensign Elinor Dooley, written while Kennedy was staying at the Castle Hot Springs health spa after his surgery. On August 1, 1943, Kennedy's patrol boat, the PT-109 was rammed and destroyed by a Japanese destroyer. Kennedy injured his back during the collision but managed to save the majority of his men. He returned to service a month later but was later sent back to the United States to treat his back injury. He was first hospitalized at Chelsea Naval Hospital in Massachusetts, which is where he met 24-year-old Navy nurse Elinor Mae Dooley. After his surgery, Kennedy was transported to Castle Hot Springs, which had been leased by the military as a hospital and resort.

    Clearly, the young nurse made a lasting impression on the young Kennedy, as he continued corresponding with her after he was discharged from Chelsea Naval Hospital. The letter reads, in full:

    "I've been waiting to hear from you for some time and your valentine (for which I thank you) let me hear that you were still with us and not defending your country's honor and your own - in the Philippines or some place like it. I still have great hope that you will be coming out this way. If you do - please - I say again please - let me know when you are going - for if it is near - I will come on the double. Try and take any leave you get on this end - as it is wonderful country - and you would love it. Wonderful air - riding etc. and I think I'm getting in better shape - though it goes surprisingly slow. I am really living like the doctor ordered - and finding it a bit of a strain. Relax and write. I use this card as I thought the cactus expressed well my social life here. Love, Jack."

    The letter is housed in a clear, magnetic frame and is accompanied by its original transmittal cover. It should be noted that on both the letter and envelope, Kennedy has misspelled Elinor's name as either "Elenor" or "Eleanor". Also included is a photograph of a young, relaxed Kennedy dressed in his uniform.

    Condition: Housed in the clear, magnetic frame, the card's centerfold has been flattened so that all sides of the letter are visible. There is minor soiling, else very good. The envelope has staining and usual wear. It is torn along the top edge, where the letter was opened.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    14th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 963

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