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Lt. John F. Kennedy's PT-59, photographed in an unspecified location near Vella Lavella and Choiseul, played a key role in the diversionary mission at Choiseul Island in early November 1943. (John F. Kennedy Library)

8/2/1943 The Sinking of PT-109 While on patrol in the Pacific during WWII, USS PT-109 was run down by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. The much smaller American boat was torn apart by the impact, and two seamen perished. The surviving crew, commanded by future US President John F. Kennedy, swam to safety on a nearby island and survived on coconuts for days before Solomon Islanders scouting the area found them. Kennedy's actions made him a war hero

National Geographic: The Search For Kennedy's PT 109 (dvd_video)

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PT-109 Found | - Kennedy's PT-109 is found, 59 years after it sank

Kennedy in World War II: Kennedy served on a Navy PT boat in World War II. He later became a representative and senator for Massachusetts. (Photo Credit: John F. Kennedy Library)

Joe had already completed 2 years of service and flown 25 combat missions and was eligible to leave and go home. Instead he stayed and chose to fly Operation Aphrodite. Bad idea, because his plane was shot down over East Suffolk, England. He died at the premature age of 29.

John F. Kennedy receives the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his courage in the PT-109 incident. Description from I searched for this on