Solving the Mystery of What Became of J.F.K.’s Other Patrol Boat

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tags: JFK, Navy, World War 2

For decades, countless motorists and boaters have passed North Cove, a small recess along the Manhattan side of the Harlem River, unaware that a piece of presidential history may well have been embedded in the muddy bottom.

That historical remnant may have finally come to light. Late last month, watched by a group of onlookers who were among the few to know of the boat’s presence, a crane began pulling up pieces of what is believed to be the PT-59, a Navy vessel commanded by John F. Kennedy in his mid-20s during World War II.

“This is history,” said one of the spectators, Bob Walters, 73, who spent much of his childhood on the river.

The PT-59 was part of a naval record that helped propel Kennedy toward the White House.

Kennedy’s service on the PT-59 was overshadowed by his adventures on the PT-109, which sunk in 1943 after being rammed by a Japanese destroyer in shark-infested waters in the Pacific.

His rescue of his surviving crew, told in a New Yorker article by the novelist John Hersey, solidified him as a war hero and became part of the Kennedy legend.

Read entire article at The New York Times