Sunday, December 25, 2022

Review of "PT 109: John F. Kennedy in World War II," by Robert J. Donovan

 Review of

PT 109: John F. Kennedy in World War II, by Robert J. Donovan

Five out of five stars

The making of a President

 Starting with George Washington, many of the U. S. Presidents risked their lives in fighting for their country. This book is a reasonably accurate historical account of the wartime actions of John F. Kennedy. Even though he had a back condition that could have kept him out of World War II, Kennedy pleaded with his father to find a doctor that would certify him fit for duty.

 He eventually ended up as the skipper of PT 109, a fast boat that operated against the Japanese in the islands of the South Pacific around Guadalcanal. Like many members of the armed forces, much of their time was spent in routine tasks that bored them. Yet, one night the 109 was cut into pieces when it was rammed by a Japanese destroyer. This initiated a difficult fight for survival among the crew, it was here that John Kennedy proved his worth as a sailor.

 Although he only commanded a small crew on a small boat, Kennedy’s actions were truly heroic and all the men that survived the collision were eventually rescued. It is a story of perseverance against long odds in the presence of the enemy. Worthy of the song and movie that were made about it. Given the small margin of victory over Richard Nixon in the 1960 Presidential election, the wartime action of John Kennedy likely provided the margin of victory.

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