Posted by: SJS | November 22, 2015

JFK Anniversary Nov. 22, 1963

JFK dress whites

It was this day 52 years ago that President John F. Kennedy was killed by an assassin’s bullet in Dallas, Texas.  For those of us who are old enough to remember that tragic day, the most minute details are frozen within our memories.

As I continue through William Doyle’s excellent new book, PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy, I have a much better understanding of how JFK’s tenure as a PT Skipper shaped his character, his leadership style, and his ability to function in the midst of chaos and crisis.  Kennedy’s remarkable courage, his incredible calmness in the face of catastrophe, and his occasional tendency to take enormous, unnecessary risks all came into focus in the aftermath of the destruction of PT 109 in the Solomon Islands in the summer of 1943.

As his PT service shaped Kennedy, so it shaped every officer and enlisted man who served in the Navy’s Mosquito Fleet during WWII.  My research on my father’s PT career has carried me to new levels of understanding of the forces that shaped him in those crucial days of his young adulthood.  The story keeps getting more amazing the deeper into it I travel.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving and a joyful holiday season to all.


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