Finder of Titanic locates WWII Patrol boat captained by JFK

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Beth Barber

Did y'all hear about this? I know its only slightly connected to Titanic but I thought it was pretty interesting. Here is a link to a story about Robert Ballard finding JFK's Pt boat. /news/758693.asp

- Beth

Erik Wood

I am rather surprised myself. I thought PT boats were made of wood. After some 60 years at the bottom of a salty sea??? Well, there was a lot of metal on that boat so maybe it was the engines and things they found.

And isn't it ironic that the news should be released on what (today) would have been Kennedy's 80th birthday? Speaking of Kennedy ironies, please Phil, if you would indulge me this list of similarities between Kennedy and Lincoln.

One hundred years separated the lives and deaths of Presidents Kennedy and Lincoln, and yet over twenty similarities forever align them in history. The laws of probability beg for explanation beyond imagination.

Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.

Both presidents were involved in Civil Rights and racism.

Both presidents' wives lost a child while living in the White House.

Both presidents each lost two children and had two surviving children.

Both presidents were assasinated in front of their wives.

Both presidents were shot from behind and in the head.

Both presidents were killed on a Friday.

Both assasins were Southerners.

Both presidents were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson was born in 1808.
Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in 1908.

Both assasins shared the uncommon use of three names.

Both assasins' names contained 15 letters.

Lincoln's assasin, John Wilkes Booth, was born in 1839.
Kennedy's assasin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was born in 1939.

JFK was killed while riding in a Lincoln.

John Wilkes Booth shot the president in a theater and was later found in a warehouse.
Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president from a warehouse and was later found in a theater.

Both Booth and Oswald were themselves assasinated before they could be brought to trial.

Lincoln's secretary advised him not to go to the theater.
Kennedy's secretary advised him not to go to Dallas.

The last name of Lincoln's secretary was Kennedy.
The last name of Kennedy's secretary was Lincoln.

Lincoln celebrated his last birthday in Monroe, Maryland.
Kennedy celebrated his last birthday with Marilyn Monroe.

Thoughts to ponder.
Agent Scully (Kyrila)

John Meeks


I scoffed at this concept in another thread, some postings ago, on the basis that PT109 would have rotted to nothing years ago - as Erik points out!

Wrong again, I suppose!

Damn! Damn! Damn!

(Now, I must get back to responding to Noel, elsewhere!)

John M

Beth Barber

Thanks for sharing that info Kyrila. It is amazing the coincidences. I love history. When I was in school I did a research paper on Kennedy but never thought to compare him to any other President.

I hope more info comes out about this find - soon.

- Beth
One of my relatives married a sailor after "the war." He had been a PT boat mechanic and had worked on PT-109. In those days, Kennedy was a relatively unknown person. He had not yet mounted the national political stage. My first introduction to the man was hearing the former mechanic relate a somewhat different version of PT-109 than has become the accepted story. His version involved a considerable amount of the product that made Joe Kennedy wealthy.

-- David G. Brown

Beth Barber

That certainly could be true David. It is true that father Joe did whatever he thought needed to be done to promote his own agenda - whether it be for himself or for any of his children. Would you mind sharing the mechanics story?

- Beth

Mary Hamric

Do you think that we could send Ballard to go round up Osama for us? He seems to be able to reel anything in he looks for.
Mary! Fabulous idea, if only Osama was underwater. David, I've heard that story also, although I don't recall where. My next door neighbor (I live in Palm Beach County) was Rose Kennedy's nurse decades ago, but I can't ask her anything because she's suffering from adult onset dementia, which affects the memory similar to Alzheimer's. (Sigh!)

Kyrila -- I made my network TV debut as a reporter interviewing Rose Kennedy during the 1968 presidential campaign. That was also my final appearance as a network reporter.

What my relative's husband said, as near as 45-year-old memory serves, was that Kennedy's crew usually was pretty well sloshed when they left on missions. The rest of the squadron figured that nobody was looking back when the destroyer hit PT-109 because those boats were a lot more maneuverable than warships.

However...after the survivors got ashore, my relative's husband confirmed the rest of the story including Kennedy's heroics. By that time, we can assume the president-to-be was quite sober.

--David G. Brown
That's pretty much how I've heard it, too.

We used to see a lot of Kennedys around town until they sold the compound. Now they're mostly up in Vero Beach during the winter. Fewer people around, and less access for the media's convenience.

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