The complete World War II record of one of the most celebrated warships in American history-made famous by her final commanding officer, John F.Kennedy. Fleshing out the little-known chronicle of this patrol torpedo boat under two officers during the swirling battles around Guadalcanal, "John Domagalski brings PT-109 and her crew back to life once again and, in doing so, honors all who served in the patrol torpedo service" (Military Review). In these mainly nocturnal fights, when the Japanese navy was at its apex, America's small, fast-boat flotillas darted in among the enemy fleet, like a "barroom brawl with the lights turned out." Bryant Larson and Rollin Westholm preceded Kennedy as commanders of PT-109, and their fights leading the ship and its brave crew hold second to none in the chronicles of US Navy daring. As the battles moved on across the Pacific, the PT-boat flotillas gained confidence, even as the Japanese, too, learned lessons on how to destroy them. Under its third and final commander, Kennedy, PT-109 met its fate as a Japanese destroyer suddenly emerged from a dark mist and rammed it in half. Two crewmen were killed immediately, but Kennedy, formerly on the swim team at Harvard, was able to shepherd his wounded and others to refuge. His unsurpassed gallantry cannot resist retelling, yet the courage of the book's previous commanders have not until now seen the light of day. This book provides the complete record of PT-109 in the Pacific, as well as a valuable glimpse of how the American Navy's daring and initiative found its full playing field in World War II.
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