Solomon Islander who helped JFK save PT-109 crew dies

tags: JFK



On a moonless night in August 1943, on a pitch-black strait in the Solomon Islands, two vessels collided.

A fireball bloomed, and the Navy gave up John F. Kennedy’s PT-109 crew for dead. But Lieutenant Kennedy fought, swimming for hours with his 10 remaining crewmembers, pulling one along by holding his life jacket strap in his teeth.

Kennedy’s heroics may have been for naught without Eroni Kumana and Biuku Gasa, two Solomon Islanders. They found Kennedy and his crew six days after the wreck, subsisting on coconuts on a small island.




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