Tuesday, August 02, 2011

This day in history - August 2, 1943: Lt. John F. Kennedy's PT-109 is rammed by a Japanese destroyer

Working with a lot of younger people as I do, I no longer take it for granted that they will have a working knowledge of the historical events that I consider important. It would have been impossible to have grown up in the '60s, for example, without knowing the story of President John F. Kennedy's exploits as a young naval officer in the Pacific during WWII. They even made a movie about it, not to mention the book, both of which came out in 1963.

The short of it is that Kennedy commanded a small patrol boat that was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. Although there were a couple of fatalities, the remaining crew managed to reach an island and were later rescued. Kennedy's leadership in helping to secure the crews' rescue was no doubt helpful in defining him in a way helpful to his political career.

If you are of a certain age, you knew all of that.

Interesting to note that Kennedy's exploits were more or less accepted at face value, though many decades later John Kerry's military record and reputation were all but destroyed by lies and innuendo. Makes you wonder what has changed.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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