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Wreck of John F. Kennedy's WWII-era patrol boat found

Western media reported that the wreckage of the patrol boat PT-59, on which later US President John F. Kennedy served during World War II, has been found. The remains of the wreck were found during work on a breakwater under construction on the Harelm River. PT-59 was the second chaser over which Lieutenant Kennedy took
Published: June 23, 2020 - 00:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 20:10
Wreck of John F. Kennedy’s WWII-era patrol boat found

Western media reported that the wreckage of the patrol boat PT-59, on which later US President John F. Kennedy served during World War II, has been found. The remains of the wreck were found during work on a breakwater under construction on the Harelm River.

PT-59 was the second chaser over which Lieutenant Kennedy took command. Of the more significant items on her combat route, it is worth mentioning the Raid on Choiseul, carried out on 28 October 1943, during the campaign taking place in the Solomon Islands. The entire operation consisted of an attack by the 2nd Landing Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Victor H. Krulak, on Japanese-occupied Choiseul.

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Unfortunately, on 2 November, the whole operation collapsed after about 50 US Marines were ambushed. The situation became very unpleasant and several soldiers were wounded. It was then that the situation and the 10 Marines in trouble were rescued by later President Kennedy and the crew of the PT-59 pursuer he commanded.

After the war, in the 1950s, the vessel went into civilian life, where it served as a fishing boat in Manhattan until the 1970s. Later abandoned it sank and remained missing until now. In May 2017, Kennedy biographer William Doyle announced the results of a preliminary Harlem River survey conducted near 208th Street, indicating that the wreck of PT-59 was a strong possibility.

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Now, during work at the site, a crane and divers have excavated the wreckage piece by piece, including the hatch frame, rudder and mini generator, a representative of the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced. The boat’s remains may eventually end up in a museum, although no official decisions have been made at this point.

Source: smithsonianmag.com

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Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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