Reuters reports today that an international scuba-diver group has found a WWII patrol boat commanded by Former American President John F. Kennedy in the Pacific Ocean off the Solomon Islands.
Robert Ballard, the chief of the expedition told Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp. (SIBC) that, after a search that lasted for weeks, the boat had been found approximately 236 miles northwest of the capital of the Solomons, Honiara.
In WWII, John F.Kennedy was a US Navy lieutenant; he was the skipper of a high-speed torpedo boat in the Pacific war. When in August of 1943 the boat was hit and cut into two by a Japanese destroyer, two members of Kennedy's crew died, and those who remained alive had to swim several hours to reach a nearby island. For a rescue team to save the people, John Kennedy carved a message on a coconut and gave it to a native islander to deliver to rescuers.
Robert Ballard is going to shoot a documentary about the search and lifting of the vessel. Ballad’s team also plans to lift more boats sunk in the sea battle for Guadalcanal in the Solomons. Ballard already marked spots on the map where other vessels had sunk in that battle.
Let us refer to history. Just a few people in the world knew about Guadalcanal before the memorable day of August 8, 1942. It appeared in battle reports only when US infantry managed to get to the island. On August 7, 1942, Americans started bombing and firing on the island and then landed troops; a six-month battle on land and at sea followed. The Japanese had to evacuate after the long battle. 10,630 people were evacuated; on the whole, 24,600 Japanese were killed in the Guadalcanal battles; Japan also lost two battleships, a light aircraft-carrier, three heavy and two light cruisers, twelve torpedo-boat destroyers, four submarines, and 23 transport vessels. In addition, at least 600 Japanese planes with trained crews were destroyed in the battle. The US’s victory became a sudden change in the Pacific battle. The battle for Guadalcanal became a severe defeat for Japan.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/05/29/41930.html
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