In 1942, Ensign J.F. Kennedy Requests Sea Duty on a PT Vessel: "Recommendation Approved"

June 26, 1942

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In 1942, Ensign J.F. Kennedy Requests Sea Duty on a PT Vessel: "Recommendation Approved"
Typed Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 343

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      Background

      Grant met Lee at Appomattox; Theodore Roosevelt charged up San Juan Hill; and John F. Kennedy, in what is arguably the most famous small-craft engagement in naval history, heroically saved his crew after his PT boat was sunk in the Solomon Islands during World War II… These acts of martial glory immediately became part of American folklore and, ultimately, helped propel Grant, Roosevelt, and Kennedy into the presidency. Here is the document which sent John F. Kennedy to sea, to shipwreck, to glory and beyond.  To the Chief of Naval Personnel, desk-bound Ensign Kennedy writes, “1. It is requested that I be ordered to report for a course of indoctrination upon completion of which I be ordered to sea duty. 2) My preference for sea duty is PC or PT Vessel.” At the bottom of the page, Captain F.D. Pryor of the District Security Office noted, “Forwarded. Recommendation Approved.” The public career of John Fitzgerald Kennedy was launched.


      Typed Letter Signed, as Ensign USNR, 1 page, quarto, Headquarters Sixth Naval District, United States Navy Yard, Navy Yard, S.C., June 26, 1942. To the Chief of Naval Personnel. 
       
      Extremely scarce of this early date.
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      In reply address not the 
      signer of this letter, but Com-
      mandant Sixth Naval District,
      U. S. Navy Yard, Navy Yard,
      S. C.

      HEADQUARTERS SIXTH NAVAL DISTRICT
      UNITED STATES NAVY YARD
      NAVY YARD, S. C.

      OO:Kennedy,J.F./ND6
      (JFK-(Y)0176-H)FDP
      Serial 1787

      June 26, 1942

      From:       Ensign John Fitzgerald Kennedy,
                        I-V(S), USNR.

      To:            The Chief of Naval Personnel.
      Via:           (1) The District Security Officer.
                       (2) The Commandant SIXTH Naval District.

      Subject:  Sea duty - Request for.

      Reference: (a) BuNav's letter, Pers-3-EA, Qr/P11-1,
                                00(2167), dated May 22, 1942.

                           1. It is requested that I be ordered to report for a course of indoctrination upon completion of which I be ordered to sea duty.

                           2. My preference for sea duty is PC or PT Vessel.

      John F Kennedy [in autograph]

      JOHN F. KENNEDY,
      Ensign, USNR.


      OO:Kennedy,J.F./ND6  
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      (JFDK-(Y) FIRST ENDORSEMENT                   June 26, 1942
      0176-H)FDP
      Serial 1787     From:    The District Security Officer.
                             To:        The Chief of Naval Personnel.
                             Via:      The Commandant SIXTH Naval District.

                            1. Forwarded.  Recommendation approved.
      FD Pryor [in autograph]
                              F.D. PRYOR,
                              Captain, U.S. Navy.

      Finished File-Detail Office-McGoldrick