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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 10:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. JFK was a War Hero
Even though he was a rich boy who could've gotten a deferment for his bad back, President Kennedy chose to serve and volunteered for front-line duty.

Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, USN

Department of the Navy


PT 109 commanded by Kennedy with executive officer, Ensign Leonard Jay Thom, and ten enlisted men was one of the fifteen boats sent out on patrol on the night of 1-2 August 1943 to intercept Japanese warships in the straits. A friend of Kennedy, Ensign George H. R. Ross, whose ship was damaged, joined Kennedy's crew that night. The PT boat was creeping along to keep the wake and noise to a minimum in order to avoid detection. Around 0200 with Kennedy at the helm, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri traveling at 40 knots cut PT 109 in two in ten seconds. Although the Japanese destroyer had not realized that their ship had struck an enemy vessel, the damage to PT 109 was severe. At the impact, Kennedy was thrown into the cockpit where he landed on his bad back. As Amagiri steamed away, its wake doused the flames on the floating section of PT 109 to which five Americans clung: Kennedy, Thom, and three enlisted men, S1/c Raymond Albert, RM2/c John E. Maguire and QM3/c Edman Edgar Mauer. Kennedy yelled out for others in the water and heard the replies of Ross and five members of the crew, two of which were injured. GM3/c Charles A. Harris had a hurt leg and MoMM1/c Patrick Henry McMahon, the engineer was badly burned. Kennedy swam to these men as Ross and Thom helped the others, MoMM2/c William Johnston, TM2/c Ray L. Starkey, and MoMM1/c Gerald E. Zinser to the remnant of PT 109. Although they were only one hundred yards from the floating piece, in the dark it took Kennedy three hours to tow McMahon and help Harris back to the PT hulk. Unfortunately, TM2/c Andrew Jackson Kirksey and MoMM2/c Harold W. Marney were killed in the collision with Amagiri.

Because the remnant was listing badly and starting to swamp, Kennedy decided to swim for a small island barely visible (actually three miles) to the southeast. Five hours later, all eleven survivors had made it to the island after having spent a total of fifteen hours in the water. Kennedy had given McMahon a life-jacket and had towed him all three miles with the strap of the device in his teeth. After finding no food or water on the island, Kennedy concluded that he should swim the route the PT boats took through Ferguson Passage in hopes of sighting another ship. After Kennedy had no luck, Ross also made an attempt, but saw no one and returned to the island. Ross and Kennedy had spotted another slightly larger island with coconuts to eat and all the men swam there with Kennedy again towing McMahon. Now at their fourth day, Kennedy and Ross made it to Nauru Island and found several natives. Kennedy cut a message on a coconut that read "11 alive native knows posit & reef Nauru Island Kennedy." He purportedly handed the coconut to one of the natives and said, "Rendova, Rendova!," indicating that the coconut should be taken to the PT base on Rendova.

Kennedy and Ross again attempted to look for boats that night with no luck. The next morning the natives returned with food and supplies, as well as a letter from the coastwatcher commander of the New Zealand camp, Lieutenant Arthur Reginald Evans. The message indicated that the natives should return with the American commander, and Kennedy complied immediately. He was greeted warmly and then taken to meet PT 157 which returned to the island and finally rescued the survivors on 8 August.

Kennedy was later awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroics in the rescue of the crew of PT 109, as well as the Purple Heart Medal for injuries sustained in the accident on the night of 1 August 1943. An official account of the entire incident was written by intelligence officers in August 1943 and subsequently declassified in 1959. As President, Kennedy met once again with his rescuers and was toasted by members of the Japanese destroyer crew.


Gee. Contrast that with the current occupant, a guy who went AWOL and then allowed his Rove and his minions to attack, slander and smear another REAL war hero, John Kerry.
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  -JFK Hated War! Octafish  Apr-14-08 09:57 PM   #0 
  - JFK was a War Hero  Octafish   Apr-14-08 10:15 PM   #1 
  - JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters  MinM   Apr-14-08 10:22 PM   #2 
  - Thank you! I look forward to reading the work, MinM!  Octafish   Apr-14-08 10:38 PM   #6 
  - Thirteen Days (2000) | Seven Days in May (1964)  MinM   Apr-15-08 07:32 AM   #12 
  - JFK let Frankenheimer film in the Residence of the White House.  Octafish   Apr-17-08 10:58 PM   #36 
  - The Real History of Gerald Ford, Watergate, and the CIA  MinM   Apr-15-08 10:52 PM   #20 
  - Thank you -- bookmarked ---  defendandprotect   Apr-15-08 11:01 PM   #22 
  - Very good.  H2O Man   Apr-16-08 05:57 PM   #28 
  - Henry Cabot Lodge and Lucien Conein subverted JFK's vision for Saigon  MinM   Apr-17-08 11:38 PM   #39 
  - He hated war, and tried to prevent the ultimate war, and did...  Stuart G   Apr-14-08 10:25 PM   #3 
  - Absolutely, Stuart G. Nixon would've thrown the bucket at Moscow. Like Ike.  Octafish   Apr-14-08 10:54 PM   #7 
  - K&R  bonito   Apr-14-08 10:32 PM   #4 
  - Thanks, bonito! JFK Orders US Out of Vietnam in NSAM 263...  Octafish   Apr-14-08 11:00 PM   #8 
  - Was it this speech that sealed his fate?  seemslikeadream   Apr-14-08 10:36 PM   #5 
  - Could be, 'Dreamy. Crooks don't like people who tell the truth.  Octafish   Apr-14-08 11:09 PM   #9 
  - seemslikeadream...  horseshoecrab   Apr-15-08 08:33 PM   #18 
  - That speech does not bode well for Kennedy.  emperor72   Apr-16-08 05:59 AM   #27 
  - k&r and thanks n/t  horseshoecrab   Apr-14-08 11:38 PM   #10 
  - Who changed the coup into the murder of Diem, Nhu and a Catholic priest?  Octafish   Apr-15-08 08:16 AM   #13 
     - Thank you Octafish!  horseshoecrab   Apr-15-08 08:56 PM   #19 
  - K&R. (nt)  Kurovski   Apr-14-08 11:39 PM   #11 
  - JFK's enemies tried to make it out that JFK wanted war.  Octafish   Apr-15-08 08:46 AM   #14 
  - Kick. (nt)  Kurovski   Apr-15-08 04:17 PM   #15 
  - Lt. Joseph Kennedy, Jr. USN  Octafish   Apr-15-08 07:58 PM   #16 
     - And another kick...  Kurovski   Apr-16-08 04:27 AM   #24 
  - Those who hate war and advocate peace have always been destroyed by those,...  sicksicksick_N_tired   Apr-15-08 08:26 PM   #17 
  - "We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth."  Octafish   Apr-17-08 10:44 PM   #34 
  - He avoided war with Russia  brutalgolpeador   Apr-15-08 10:55 PM   #21 
  - Dana Perino: ''Wasnt that, like, the Bay of Pigs thing?''  Octafish   Apr-17-08 10:52 PM   #35 
  - Recommend ---  defendandprotect   Apr-15-08 11:02 PM   #23 
  - James K. Galbraith: 'Exit Strategy - In 1963, JFK ordered a complete withdrawal from Vietnam'  Octafish   Apr-17-08 11:38 PM   #38 
  - He also gave a speech against US imperialism in Africa on floor of congress, and he didn't like the  AP   Apr-16-08 05:16 AM   #25 
  - Dodd and Dulles vs. Kennedy in Africa  Octafish   Apr-17-08 11:33 PM   #37 
  - For the first time, I have to disagree with you.  emperor72   Apr-16-08 05:50 AM   #26 
  - NSAM 263  MinM   Apr-17-08 12:35 PM   #29 
  - Even if we extrapolate out from that NSM...  emperor72   Apr-17-08 05:23 PM   #30 
     - He didnt start it  Thothmes   Apr-17-08 08:23 PM   #31 
  - Papers reveal JFK efforts on Vietnam  Octafish   Apr-17-08 10:34 PM   #33 
  - Yes and the MIC killed him for it.  MrSlayer   Apr-17-08 08:34 PM   #32 
  - from JFK to Jimmy Carter  MinM   Apr-22-08 09:19 AM   #40 

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