JFK SWAM TO NARU NOT NAURU
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we ...misspell the names of islands. In this case I'm referring to the island John Kennedy swam to after his PT-109 boat was sunk back in August 1943. I confused it with stories I read in the press about political happenings in Nauru and how Nauru refugees were being treated.
JFK spelled it "Nauru" on the coconut:
The Navy spelled it "Nauru" in their official report.
But John Hersey, the journalist to whom JFK told the story, spelled it "Naru".
So who was right and why does it matter?
Well, it turns out the journalist was right and that makes it a heck of alot easier to visualize JFK's swim.
The correct spelling is important for people trying to find it on the map. Actually, "Naru" is so small it doesn't get a mention on most maps, whereas "Nauru" is comparatively large, and is actually its own republic.
Until I read Hersey's article I always had difficulty visualizing the locations of the sunken PT-109 and the island JFK swam to. When I looked it up under the incorrect spelling it didn't seem to be in quite the right location in relation to Gizo, Blackett Strait and the Ferguson Passage. It seemed to be all by itself right smack-dab on the equator - a fair ways northeast of the islands referred to as the Solomons (and farther than even JFK could swim).
Below are maps and directions to JFK's Naru (not Nauru) which I hope will be helpful to people as they read the wonderful story of JFK's heroism in the Solomons (not the Gilberts).
All the best,
Jackie Jura, 2003
Map of Naru and National Geographic search for PT-109
JFK NEPHEW THANKS NATIVES (rescued "Chief of Great Country")
SEARCHING FOR JFK'S...BOAT (instead of his killers), by Jackie Jura
JFK'S LETTER TO SOLOMONS and JFK TRUTH & UNTRUTH
Go to Reader points out Nauru error
JFK PT 109 STORY
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