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PT 109

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  614 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
On August 2, 1943, in the waters of Blackett Strait in Solomon Islands, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri sliced an American PT boat in two, leaving its crew for dead in a flaming sea. The boat's skipper, a lieutenant named John Fitzgerald Kennedy, repeatedly risked his life in an effort to summon help until he finally secured his crew's rescue.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by International Marine Publishing (first published 1961)
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Pete daPixie
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1961, this 40th Anniversary edition comes with a Foreword by Daniel Schorr, a Preface from author Robert J Donovan and Afterword on PT boat history by Duane Hove.
I picked this up in a book auction held at a seminar of Dealey Plaza U.K. My knowledge of Kennedy's WWII exploits come from dim memories of the PT109 film that I was taken to see at the cinema too many years ago.....I must have been around ten years old.
I can't agree with Ted Kennedy's quote, "To me, it has always bee
Erik Graff
Aug 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: JFK fans
Recommended to Erik by: Einar Graff
Shelves: biography
This book was one of many which came out just before and during the Kennedy presidency. I'm pretty sure I read it after the election along with his Profiles in Courage, The Making of the President 1960 and a general biography probably written for the campaign the author of which escapes me right now. I also, naturally, listened to the comedic record, The First Family, and watched Jackie's show about the history of the White House on televison. Heck, I even watched the thing about Robert Frost th ...more
John E
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many, many years ago on the evening I was born, John F. Kennedy was being rescued from a tiny South Pacific island. Twenty years later he is killed in Dallas and my world changed dramatically. The world was no longer innocent, nor was is worth as much.

This slim book was well worth re-reading after so many years.
John Rivera
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Read this when I was probably about fourteen, a couple of other times since then, and it never gets old. Kennedy was probably the last American President warranted any respect from the public and his character truly shows in this work.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
In the darkness of August 2, 1943, in the waters of Blackett Strait in the Solomon Islands, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri sliced an American PT boat in two, leaving its crew for dead in the sea. Over the next three days, the boat's skipper, a lieutenant from Boston named John Fitzgerald Kennedy, risked his life in an effort to summon help until he finally secured his crew's rescue. A heroic tale that is compelling in how it will later effect history
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Story of John F. Kennedy's experiences on PT boats in the navy during World War II. Includes the sinking of PT 109 by a Japanese destroyer and Kennedy's subsequent rescue of his crew.
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
If this is the original book that was released about the PT-109 incident then I read this when I was in much younger. John Kennedy impressed me at a early age of his feats and struggles through his short life. Along with the PT-109 I read Profiles in Courage. Then in my last years of high school I had the chance to talk to a actual naval veteran that was operating in the part of the Pacific at the time of Kennedy's exploits. The reason that I had this opportunity was that I was the Company Comma ...more
Greg Clapp
Feb 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a good read, in spite of being fairly dry wartime historical non-fiction...which I usually try to avoid. It's the story of JFK's service in the Solomon Islands as a Navy lieutenant during World War II. It provides a vivid glimpse into the lives of the PT crews during that war and reveals the bravery and leadership qualities Kennedy displayed at a very early age. It's dry but worth plowing through to get to the real meat of the story: PT-109's crash, the marooning of the crew, and their ...more
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I absoultely loved this book! It gives great insight into the wartime doings and heroism of Jack Kennedy and his crew of PT 109. This particualr version also comes with 2 forwards and an afterward that gives great insight into his other PT boat and his role there in saving 80 some marines from certain death. The book is obviously written in a positive light and looks at Kennedy as a hero, as he should well be remembered as such. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about WWII ...more
Hugh Atkins
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a decent book, especially considering the context in which Donovan wrote. It was published in 1961 while JFK was president. Donovan's style is not very smooth and he gets carried away at times without completely identifying all the places, men, and situations. Still, this is a great account of JFK's remarkable experience in WWII and clearly shows his heroic actions after PT 109 collided with the Japanese destroyer.
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