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 Author  Topic: LAST PATROL OF A MAN WHO HELPED SHAPED AMERICAN HISTORY
  TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Aug 6, 2014 - 5:02pm
As PT 109 idles up though the channel in the reef east of Olasana Island, a small dugout canoe is spotted pladdling from the the northwest, the direction of Gizo. As the 109 slows to idle alongside the canoe a small Solomon Islander raises up to see the face of the man he has not seen since August 1943. He scrambles up onto the PT Boat and hugs the man with all his strength and cries with happiness. Eroni " Aaron" Kumana said he was 78 in 2003, but he might have really been 82 (some bio's suggest he was born in 1921 others say 1925)and would have been 22 in August 1943. he had been educated by Adventist missionaries, he lived in Konqu Village, Ranongga Island. In recent years, he had a house built with funds secured by the man's youngest brother, Ted. But it was lost in a Tsunami in 2007.
In 2007,the US Navy gave him a flag that was presented by the CO of the USS Peleliu. Eroni was seen in a National Geographic Documentary meeting with the man's nephew Max. Recently Eroni was seen in National Geographic photographs with a hat and a T-shirt that read "I rescued JFK". Kumana created a shrine with an obelisk to JFK, and appointed him honorary chief. Kumana died on 2 August 2014. All reports say he was 93. it does not really matter.
Thank you Eroni " Aaron" Kumana, for being at the right place at the right time, as you were only doing your duty that August morning, and by doing so, you contributed so much to American History. Fair winds and following seas as you ride off on PT 109, You will always be a Honorary PT Boater, you earned it.....Bravo Zulu Scout and Sailor!


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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Aug 7, 2014 - 12:38am
I found this video that shows a little bit of his story here. Jerry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do7aNMCRUkM



Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

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Will Day

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BRAVO ZULU

Will

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Frank Andruss

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank Andruss   Send Email To Frank Andruss Posted on: Aug 8, 2014 - 9:06am
God Bless this man, he really loved Kennedy, and followed his Life as best he could from where he was.


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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Aug 8, 2014 - 11:54am
Did anybody notice he named his son John F Kennedy Kumana? Pretty cool.

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Aug 9, 2014 - 7:19am
I called Bud Liebenow*and told him if Kumana's passing. He had not seen it in the news. Kumana and Solomon were the two natives that were on the bridge of the 157 the night of the 109's rescue.

The 109's crew has long since passed and with Bud's torpedoman, Welford West, passing this past March, that makes Bud the lone remaining member of all that were on board the 157 the night of the 109's pickup**

Just before he passed on Welford West told me that the natives actually came on board the 157 when they entered Rendoa Harbor. The 157 was moored with the rest of the PTs just off Lumari Island and the natives climbed aboard with the 'Kennedy coconut' to see who could help them. They were directed by the crew of the 157 to the Officer's quarters on Lumbari Island. The rest of the story is history and accurately represented in the PT-109 movie (as for the movie....I will say from what Bud and Welford told me, that scene and the one of 157 picking up the 109 crew close to the shore of the island they were on were accurate)

* William 'Bud' Liebenow was Skipper of the 157 from the time it left New York until September 1, 1943 when his knee locked up and Commander Kelly had to relive him of his command.

** Bud prefers to call it a 'pickup' more then a rescue. Humility is part of the psyche of being the Greatest Generation.

Bridge


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Roy Forbes

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Roy Forbes  Posted on: Aug 9, 2014 - 4:49pm
What an awesome tribute to this wonderful man you folks have posted. Jerry, thanks for the You-tube link and I love the idea that was posted on You-tube that Obama should order a stamp in honor of this man's heroism.

Eroni Kumana, may you Rest in Peace alongside all the other WWII heros who have passed on.


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Roy Forbes

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Roy Forbes  Posted on: Aug 9, 2014 - 7:33pm
I have found a few news stories about Mr. Kumana and thought this was one of the better ones. Gotta love his smile.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28644830


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