JFK PT-109 GI-JOE FOR SALE
To Orwell Today,
I found your website and read your note about the JFK GI Joe figure in his PT-109 outfit with gear and the inscribed "coconut."
JFK'S BOAT & COCONUT (..."A few years ago a GI-Joe doll was made of JFK in his PT-109 outfit. I don't know if it's still available."...)
A friend in South Bend sold me two GI Joe figures (about ten years ago). I have them in ziplock bags.
I have the figure of JFK with sunglasses, hat, sidearm in holster on his belt, wearing a zippered jacket, brown boots, the inscribed coconut, and a miniature map of the Solomon Islands. She had cut out the back of the original Hasbro box, which I have, which shows JFK in a photo at the helm at the top, and over half a page of text beneath the photo. Copyright 2000.
I also have a similar GI Joe figure of a Navy officer with rifle, sidearm in holster on his hip, a Navy officer's hat, wearing brown boots, and wearing a life jacket. The color of the "hair" on the second figure is more of brownish red color (whereas for JFK, the hair color is brown).
Both figures have the clear plastic-coated wire (from the original packaging) around the lower torso. On the second figure, the wire is holding the rifle in place.
I would offer both of these for sale if you are interested.
-Kevin in Michigan
I'd very much like to see your JFK PT 109 GI-Joe figure -- it sounds like a complete version of the one I've shown in the JFK'S BOAT & COCONUT article you quote from my website.
If you send a photo I'll scan it to share with ORWELL TODAY readers and perhaps someone interested in buying it will be in touch.
It's good JFK PT 109 timing because recently I heard from the grandson of one of the two Solomon Islander natives who rescued JFK and I wrote an article explaining the swim and the story of the coconut. See RESCUER AARON KUMANA HONORS JFK & JFK SOLOMON SWIMS SAVED SURVIVORS
All the best,
To Orwell Today,
I am glad to hear that you have had contact with the grandson of one of the rescuers. That is amazing! Humbling and grateful for you to have that connection.
I have scanned the printed info on the cardboard back of the box that I have, and a scan of the action figure.
(When I bought it, it was only the back panel, not the entire box, that came with the GI Joe figure of JFK.)
Here is a scan of the GI Joe JFK figure and items, including the coconut, map, cap and sunglasses.
The scan is only in focus on the glass surface, so the more distant 3-D features are blurry.
I can arrange for a photo, but wanted to get this much done and sent off to you.
Thanks for sending the scan of the JFK PT 109 GI-JOE figure with the hat, sunglasses, coconut and map laid alongside. Yes, it is a bit blurry -- or perhaps "ghostly" would be the better word -- but that adds a new dimension.
Below is the text transcribed from the back of the Hasbro box:
JOHN F KENNEDY: PT 109 BOAT COMMANDER
It was an epic time that has often been called the American Camelot. The presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy brought the leadership of a charismatic young Chief Executive to an America in the midst of one of its most turbulant eras. An amazing man in every regard, everything about him seemed to fit the American self-image. He was intelligent, warm and unwavering in his defense of American principles. He was destined for greatness and for many he was a national hero. However, few Americans knew that John F Kennedy was a hero long before he was a president.
It is not uncommon for American presidents to first prove their leadership abilities in the battlefield. However, few have displayed the valor and the total lack of concern for personal safety demonstrated by John F Kennedy. Kennedy enlisted in the navy in 1941. He was appointed Ensign in the Naval Reserve and received training as a PT Boat officer. By 1943, he was in the Pacific commanding his own PT Boat - the 109. In retrospect, it was a very dangerous assignment to have. In 1943, PT Boats were not very powerful fighting ships. They were constructed of plywood and lacked armor. Since most boats were not equipped with radar, night attacks were extremely difficult. Overall, PT Boats were a poor match for destroyers and other heavily armed warships. Such a contest was a PT Skipper's worst nightmare.
On the pitch-black night of August 2nd, Kennedy's worst nightmare came true.
He and his crew sailed into the Blackett Strait to disrupt enemy shipping. With no radar and forced to observe strict radio silence, Kennedy maneuvered blindly through the pass. In the early morning hours, the 109 was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. The impact killed two men instantly and ripped a gaping hole in the 109's starboard side. For hours, Kennedy and 10 surviving crew members clung to the floating wreckage and waited to be rescued. But no rescue came and the young lieutenant made the first of many decisions that would ultimately save the lives of his men. Swimming through shark-infested waters, he led his crew on a gruelling 3-mile swim to a nearby island. Most of the crew clung to a wooden plank from the wreckage as they kicked-stroked their way to the island. One crewman, however, was too badly wounded to survive the trip without help. Clenching a strap of the injured man's life jacket in his teeth, Kennedy swam breaststroke through the water towing the wounded sailor to the island.
Here they remained, with no food or water until August 4th when they decided to swim over a mile to a larger island, nearer to the heavily trafficked Ferguson Passage. The men were deep in enemy territory and growing weaker by the day - time was running out for the crew of the PT 109. Again, Kennedy took decisive action. He swam south, from island to island, hoping to spot passing PT Boats. It was on one of these islands that the young officer found two native scouts who worked with an Allied coastwatcher. Kennedy carved a famous message into a coconut shell: "NAURO ISL...COMMANDER...NATIVE KNOWS POSIT...HE CAN PILOT...11 ALIVE...NEED SMALL BOAT...KENNEDY". The message was delivered and on Saturday, August 7th, the coastwatcher replied by sending 8 natives, a message and a large canoe to rescue Kennedy. All day the canoe passed through Japanese patrolled waters as Kennedy concealed himself under palm fronds. Once he reached safety, he helped lead a rescue mission to pick up his men in enemy held territory. Under the cover of darkness Kennedy guided a rescue boat to the small island where his men were waiting. By Sunday, August 8th, Kennedy and the survivors of PT 109 had safely returned to the Allied base from which they set out one week earlier. Kennedy received the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Medal in recognition of his courage, endurance, and leadership.
The heroic saga of John F. Kennedy and the PT 109 proves that one man can make a difference. Kennedy held onto the inscribed coconut husk throughout his Presidency, keeping it on his White House desk. It is now on display at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts...
~ end quoting from back of Hasbro JFK PT 109 GI Joe box ~
Now we excitedly await JFK emerging in full clarity when you send the photo later on.
All the best,
PS - In anticipation of loving your JFK GI-JOE when I see it, I want to buy it for myself.
...conversation continues at JFK PT-109 GI-JOE
FOR SALE SOLD
JFK TRUTH & UNTRUTH
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