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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Agree on your points, although losing a command is never considered a good thing and Kennedy only actually commanded the PT 109 for three months, two of which were spent refitting it, so he was only in combat a little less than a month.

The most damning argument I've heard about the circumstances was that the PT Boats had finicky engines. This was a known issue, and there was a specific action that had to be taken prior to gunning them. I forget what the actual action was, but speculation is that the engines died because they attempted to gun the engines improperly, causing them to flood and die. This is hardly a dereliction of duty, but an error made under extreme circumstances, IF this is indeed what happened.

I have heard speculation that the 109 crew had hidden and were asleep. It is true that attempts by command to reach them by radio were unsuccessful for a period of time, but no one with any knowledge of the events has substantiated the claim that they were asleep. This appears to be mostly speculation based on the facts that it was around 0230 and that they were unavailable by radio.

40 posted on 04/10/2011 2:10:34 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (Proud member of the Keepers Of Odd Knowledge (KOOK))
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To: Richard Kimball
People make broadbrush criticisms of JFK's command performance based on speculation and invention. I've read one account of the action in which he lost his boat by a fellow PT commander who as very critical of the higher commands and who defended JFK's tactics.

It was a night time engagement and some of the boats were equipped with radar and some were not. The people running the battle ordered the radar equipped boats out of the area soon after the engagement began, leaving only boats without radar. Even if the radar equipped boats had simply stayed and provided the other boats with situational updates, it would have been a huge benefit.

Kennedy has been critized for turning off one engine and idling the other low. He most probably did so because bioluminensce paints a huge “shoot me” arrow in the water, that Jap aviators knew how to read.

41 posted on 04/10/2011 3:05:58 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Somewhere in Kenya a village is missing its idiot)
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