Collision with History: The Search for John F. Kennedy's PT 109
National Geographic Society, 2002 - 191 pages
Michael Hamilton Morgan writes on the PT 109 collision:
It?s about 2 a.m., August 2, 1943. Lt. John F. Kennedy squints into the fog and black while at the wheel of PT 109, idling in the Blackett Strait off Gizo in the Solomon Islands. His orders are to attack the ?Tokyo Express? resupplying Japanese installations.... He and his young crew are ready, but handicapped by darkness and fog.... Suddenly, only 300 yards away, a black shape looms...traveling without lights and at high speed. Only seconds before impact...the ship is identified as a Japanese destroyer, the Amagiri. The much larger craft slices through the hull of PT 109, cutting the 80-foot wooden-hulled boat in two. Several of the crew are injured, one critically. The crew takes refuge on the larger section that remains afloat until dawn. Then all are into the water, and Lt. Kennedy begins the series of epic swims that will save his crew and earn him a place in history.
Forty years after his death and 60 years after his first collision with history in the South Pacific, John F. Kennedy and his story still inspire readers. In Collision with History, JFK?s heroic efforts to save the 11-man crew of PT 109 are brought to vivid life, interwoven with a comprehensive history of PT boats and the World War II campaign in the Solomon Islands. Combining renowned explorer Robert Ballard?s account of his search for the wreckage of PT 109 with survivor accounts and Kennedy family members? personal recollections, this companion volume to the major National Geographic television event is a moving introduction to the young war hero who would later become president.