75 Years After Guadalcanal – Orange County Register


By Norma Meyer

This year, as America celebrates the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth, I find myself on an itty-bitty palm-shrouded uninhabited island in the far-far-flung South Pacific, with a huge lump in my throat.

I’ve heard the larger-than-life story so many times: during World War II, after lieutenant Kennedy’s PT-109 boat was infamously sunk by a Japanese destroyer, he swam 3 1/2 miles to safety, a strap clenched in his mouth dragging a badly burned sailor and heroically urging on his remaining crew during the perilous four-hour swim.

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