PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy

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9780062346582: PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy

The extraordinary World War II story of shipwreck and survival that paved John F. Kennedy's path to power – hailed as a “breathtaking account” by James Patterson, “masterfully written” by historian Douglas Brinkley, and “the finest book” ever written on the subject by Lt. Commander William Liebenow, the man who rescued JFK and the PT 109 crew in August 1943.

In the early morning darkness of August 2, 1943, during a chaotic nighttime skirmish amid the Solomon Islands, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri barreled through thick fog and struck the U.S. Navy's motor torpedo boat PT 109, splitting the craft nearly in half and killing two American sailors instantly. The sea erupted in flames as the 109's skipper, John F. Kennedy, and the ten surviving crewmen under his command desperately clung to the sinking wreckage; 1,200 feet of ink-black, shark-infested water loomed beneath. "All hands lost," came the reports back to the Americans' base: no rescue was coming for the men of PT 109. Their desperate ordeal was just beginning—so too was one of the most remarkable tales of World War II, one whose astonishing afterlife would culminate two decades later in the White House.

Drawing on original interviews with the last living links to the events, previously untapped Japanese wartime archives, and a wealth of archival documents from the Kennedy Library, including a lost first-hand account by JFK himself, bestselling author William Doyle has crafted a thrilling and definitive account of the sinking of PT 109 and its shipwrecked crew's heroics. Equally fascinating is the story's second act, in which Doyle explores in new detail how this extraordinary episode shaped Kennedy's character and fate, proving instrumental to achieving his presidential ambitions: "Without PT 109, there never would have been a President John F. Kennedy," declared JFK aide David Powers.

Featuring castaways on a deserted island, a spy network of Solomon Island natives, an Australian coast watcher hidden on the side of a volcano, an S.O.S. note carved into a coconut, and a daring rescue attempt led by Kennedy's fellow American PT boats, PT 109 is an unforgettable American epic of war and destiny.

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A thrilling, moment-by-moment account of one of the most famous events of World War II—the sinking of PT-109 and John F. Kennedy’s heroic actions that saved his crew—and a fascinating examination of how that extraordinary episode shaped the future president’s life.

At 2:00 a.m. on the moonless night of August 2, 1943, U.S. Patrol Torpedo boat PT-109, captained by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, was struck by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri near the Solomon Islands. The American ship was cleaved in two and rocked by an explosion; two crew members died instantly; the remaining eleven survivors clung to the sinking wreckage, adrift in enemy waters. Despite injuring his back, Lt. Kennedy—towing a severely burned sailor by the strap of a life jacket—led his battered and exhausted men on a harrowing three-and-a-half mile swim to a tiny uninhabited island. Desperate for food and water, Kennedy set off on a solo reconnaissance mission, scouting two larger islands two-and-a-half miles away. Discovering water and coconuts, he returned for his men. For six days they lived off coconuts and kept out of sight of passing Japanese patrols until they were rescued.

Drawing on new information from the American rescuers and recently released archives in both Japan and the U.S., PT-109 recounts this event in breathtaking detail and explores the incident’s remarkable aftermath on JFK’s life and legend. William Doyle reveals that, while the incident transformed JFK into a “war hero” and helped propel him to the U.S. Senate and the White House, the wounds he suffered during that harrowing week continued to haunt him, physically and psychologically.

About the Author:

William Doyle is the coauthor, with former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, of American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms. His other books include A Soldier’s Dream: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq, An American Insurrection, Inside the Oval Office, and A Mission from God (with James Meredith). He served as director of original programming for HBO, and he is coproducer of the PBS special Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story.

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Book Description William Morrow Company, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 145 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A thrilling, moment-by-moment account of one of the most famous events of World War IIÂthe sinking of PT-109 and John F. KennedyÂs heroic actions that saved his crewÂand a fascinating examination of how that extraordinary episode shaped the future presidentÂs life. At 2:00 a.m. on the moonless night of August 2, 1943, U.S. Patrol Torpedo boat PT-109, captained by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, was struck by the Japanese destroyerAmagiri near the Solomon Islands. The American ship was cleaved in two and rocked by an explosion; two crew members died instantly; the remaining eleven survivors clung to the sinking wreckage, adrift in enemy waters. Despite injuring his back, Lt. KennedyÂtowing a severely burned sailor by the strap of a life jacketÂled his battered and exhausted men on a harrowing three-and-a-half mile swim to a tiny uninhabited island. Desperate for food and water, Kennedy set off on a solo reconnaissance mission, scouting two larger islands two-and-a-half miles away. Discovering water and coconuts, he returned for his men. For six days they lived off coconuts and kept out of sight of passing Japanese patrols until they were rescued. Drawing on new information from the American rescuers and recently released archives in both Japan and the U.S.,PT-109 recounts this event in breathtaking detail and explores the incidentÂs remarkable aftermath on JFKÂs life and legend. William Doyle reveals that, while the incident transformed JFK into a Âwar hero and helped propel him to the U.S. Senate and the White House, the wounds he suffered during that harrowing week continued to haunt him, physically and psychologically. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780062346582

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William Doyle
Published by William Morrow Company, United States (2015)
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Book Description William Morrow Company, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 145 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A thrilling, moment-by-moment account of one of the most famous events of World War IIÂthe sinking of PT-109 and John F. KennedyÂs heroic actions that saved his crewÂand a fascinating examination of how that extraordinary episode shaped the future presidentÂs life. At 2:00 a.m. on the moonless night of August 2, 1943, U.S. Patrol Torpedo boat PT-109, captained by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, was struck by the Japanese destroyerAmagiri near the Solomon Islands. The American ship was cleaved in two and rocked by an explosion; two crew members died instantly; the remaining eleven survivors clung to the sinking wreckage, adrift in enemy waters. Despite injuring his back, Lt. KennedyÂtowing a severely burned sailor by the strap of a life jacketÂled his battered and exhausted men on a harrowing three-and-a-half mile swim to a tiny uninhabited island. Desperate for food and water, Kennedy set off on a solo reconnaissance mission, scouting two larger islands two-and-a-half miles away. Discovering water and coconuts, he returned for his men. For six days they lived off coconuts and kept out of sight of passing Japanese patrols until they were rescued. Drawing on new information from the American rescuers and recently released archives in both Japan and the U.S.,PT-109 recounts this event in breathtaking detail and explores the incidentÂs remarkable aftermath on JFKÂs life and legend. William Doyle reveals that, while the incident transformed JFK into a Âwar hero and helped propel him to the U.S. Senate and the White House, the wounds he suffered during that harrowing week continued to haunt him, physically and psychologically. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780062346582

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Book Description William Morrow, U.S.A., 2015. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. THERE IS A BLACK "CLOSEOUT/REMAINDER" MARK ON THE TOP PAGE EDGES. In the early morning darkness of August 2, 1943, during a chaotic nighttime skirmish amid the Solomon Islands, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri barreled through thick fog and struck the U.S. Navy's motor torpedo boat PT 109, splitting the craft nearly in half and killing two American sailors instantly. The sea erupted in flames as the 109's skipper, John F. Kennedy, and the ten surviving crewmen under his command desperately clung to the sinking wreckage; 1200 feet of ink-black, shark-infested water loomed beneath. "All hands lost," came the reports back to the Americans' base;: no rescue was coming for the men of PT 109. Their desperate ordeal was just beginning -- so too was one of the most remarkable tales of World War II, one whose astonishing afterlife would culminate two decades later in the White House. Drawing on original interviews with the last living links to the events, previously untapped Japanese wartime archives, and a wealth of archival documents from the Kennedy Library, including a lost first-hand account by JFK himself, bestselling author William Doyle has crafted a thrilling and definitive account of the sinking of PT 109 and its shipwrecked crew's heroics. Equally fascinating is the story's second act, in which Doyle explores in new detail how this extraordinary episode shaped Kennedy's character and fate, proving instrumental to achieving his presidential ambitions: "Without PT 109, there would never have been a President John F. Kennedy," declared JFK aide David Powers. Featuring castaways on a deserted island, a spy network of Solomon Island natives, an Australian coast watcher hidden on the side of a vocano, an S.O.S. note carved into a coconut, and a daring rescue attempt led by Kennedy's fellow American PT boats, PT 109 is an Unforgettable American epic of war and destiny. THERE IS A BLACK "CLOSEOUT/REMAINDER" MARK ON THE TOP PAGE EDGES. Bookseller Inventory # 000505

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