During WWII, a Japanese destroyer rams an American PT (patrol torpedo) boat, No. 109, slicing it in two. The wreckage is so massive other American PT boats in the area believe all the crew is dead. Two crewmen were, in fact, killed, but 11 survived, including Lt. John F. Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963) the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until his assassination near the end of his third year in office.

Japanese aircraft had been on a PT boat hunt in the Solomon Islands, bombing the PT base at Rendova Island. It was essential to the Japanese that several of their destroyers make it to the southern tip of Kolombangara Island to get war supplies to forces there. But the torpedo capacity of the American PTs was a potential threat. Despite the base bombing at Rendova, PTs set out to intercept those Japanese destroyers. In the midst of battle, Japan’s Amaqiri hit PT-109, leaving 11 crewmen floundering in the Pacific.

After five hours of clinging to debris, the crew made it to a coral island. Eventually, they met up with two natives from another island, that agreed to take the message “Nauru Is. Native knows posit. He can pilot. 11 alive need a small boat " that Kennedy carved into a coconut shell south that lead to their rescue.

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