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JFK PT-109 Memorial Plaque

<< Back to Lubaria Island


Under an awning adjacent to the museum. Marker  

A large white concrete plaque with a ceramic glaze top.

The plaque remembers the 35th US President, John F. Kennedy, and his actions in August 1943 while in command of USS PT-109. PT-109 was assigned to the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 9 (MTBS-9) located at the Rendova PT Boat Base.

From the Naval History and Heritage Command website:

USS PT-109, an Elco type patrol-torpedo boat, was placed in service in July 1942.  In February 1943, the month after the Japanese retreated from Guadalcanal, Lieutenant Junior Grade John F. Kennedy took command of the boat and was based out of Rendova Island after the island's capture that summer.  In the early hours on August 2, 1943, PT-109 was patrolling Blackett Strait, on the southern side of Kolombangara Island, when her starboard side was rammed, cut, and severely disabled by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri.   Eventually sinking, her eleven survivors abandoned the boat, with Kennedy towing one of the crew and ensuring the men returned to the PT Base at Rendova.   Kennedy would receive the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroism and become the 35th President of the United States, 1961-63. 

Monument Text:

Lubaria Island is where Lieutenant John F Kennedy (29 May 1917- 22 November 1963) skipper of the famous PT 109 was based along with many other naval service men during World War II. A tragic accident occurred on Blackett Strait on August 2 1943, when LT John F Kennedy's bravery saved 11 of the 13 crews, after the PT 109 boat he commanded was rammed in half by a Japanese Destroyer, Amagiri.

Unveiled 3rd August 2017
By Honorable Bartholomew Parapolo
To honor the 100th Birthday Anniversary of the former United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1961-1963)
Funded by the Solomon Islands Government



John Fitzgerald  Kennedy


Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 9


United States Navy




Pacific Theater

Solomon Islands Campaign

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