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 Author  Topic: JFK Quote
Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Nov 24, 2020 - 9:20am
While checking out the Todd City link Charlie posted ( https://www.usni.org/magazines/naval-history-magazine/2020/december/true-story-todd-city ), I read another article ( https://www.usni.org/magazines/naval-history-magazine/2003/february/does-history-channel-have-agenda )regarding The History Channel's show about the 109 sinking. At the end is a quote from JFK that I found enlightening. And pretty funny:

Many questions can be asked about the way this program was produced. Those who blame Kennedy probably will find it enlightening. But those men interviewed who were out there that night support the man who would be President. John O’Neil is convinced that if Kennedy had not taken over the lead, the Amagiri would have struck his boat instead of the PT-109. “We rendezvoused with Kennedy, who had been behind us, and he said, ‘We’ll lead the way.’ Those few words probably saved my life, because we had been leading,” said O’Neil. “When we turned to go back [to look for the Japanese], Kennedy led the way.”

O’Neil also said that later, when talking to surviving PT-109 crew members, they told him “unequivocally that John Kennedy was a hero, and they owed their lives to him.” He went on to say, “there are those who take a perverse pleasure in knocking heroes from their pedestals. An attempt is being made to do this to JFK. I don’t know, nor do I care, what his early years were like. I don’t care how folks will judge his presidency. But on the night of 1-2 august 1943, in the Solomon Islands, as the commander of PT Boat 109, JFK was a hero.”

At this juncture, it might be fitting to let Jack Kennedy have his say. Robinson remembers Kennedy telling him:


I am a nobody. But my father was ambassador to the Court of St. James’s in England and I have a lot of experience with reporters. They are going to say ‘how in the hell could this happen?’ They’re going to say it years after the war, in a nice well-lit room back in Miami Beach, writing a book, wanting to make $100,000.

But what am I going to do? I’m going to put them in a perfectly dark room, just like it was in Blackett Strait. Then I am going to take their cameras and their flash bulbs and flash them in the face, just like we were blinded with lighting and gunfire. Then I am going to twist them around like how we maneuvered in position so we were all confused, and then I am going to pick up a chair and hit them with it and then say ‘now you figure it out, you son of a bitch.’



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  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: Dec 25, 2020 - 11:34am
Jeff;
That was awesome! Thanks for posting it. During the short life of PT 109, she had several skippers, Bryant Larson, Rollin Westholm, and Jack Searles all took 109 on close to 50 Combat Patrols before JFK showed up at Tulagi, in May 1943. They took 109 against the Tokyo Express, but it is JFK that will always be remembered as the Skipper of 109, and quite frankly, JFK becoming President in 1960, is the only real reason the general population remembers PT Boats.
Take care,
TED


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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Dec 25, 2020 - 12:01pm
Thanks, Jeff. Good stuff.

Will

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Stearman

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Stearman  Posted on: Dec 25, 2020 - 8:03pm
One thing I never thought about in the almost 60 years since I first heard about the PT-109 is, from the time the three boats realized it was not another PT boat coming at them, to the time the Amagiri disappeared back into the blackness, not one gunner on any of the three PT boats got a single round off.


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  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: Dec 26, 2020 - 4:48pm
Stearman;
It must be remembered Amagri, was steaming in the neighborhood of 30 knots, it was a handful of seconds to react on the 3 boats, she was there one moment and gone the next. Also confusion was the word of the night. Even though he was with a different group, The absolute best narrative of this night is in Dick Kersey’s book PT 105. He describes his groups actions as well as a tactical overview of the whole operation.
Take care,
TED


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Stearman

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Stearman  Posted on: Dec 26, 2020 - 8:51pm
Sorry Ted, I must have chosen the wrong words, your reply is what I was trying to convey, that it happened so fast no one could respond.


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29navy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of 29navy  Posted on: Dec 27, 2020 - 11:58am
There was another PT that was runover by another (unknown) ship; PT 200. Off the coast of Rhode Island, she was on a training/patrol mission when a ship came out of the dark, ran her over, and kept on going. Feb 22, 1944.

Of course her skipper didn't become president so you don't hear about that one.

Charlie

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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Dec 29, 2020 - 6:01am
I didn't know that, thanks Charlie. I looked up PT 200 on navsource but they only mentioned "Sunk 22 February 1944 in a collision with an unknown object off Newport, Rhode Island in position 41º23'N, 71º01'W." Do you know if there were any casualties?


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29navy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of 29navy  Posted on: Dec 29, 2020 - 7:15am
No casualties.

And in accordance with the MTBSTC War Diary, the boat was found and raised on 29 April 1944 and returned to MTBSTC on 30 April. It was determined that the boat was beyond repair and stricken from the Navy list on 16 May.


Charlie

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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Dec 30, 2020 - 5:19am
That's good, thanks again Charlie. I looked up past moon phases and on that night it was 1.61 percent full so pretty much pitch black.



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