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Item 39 - John F. Kennedy Catalog 547 (Mar 2019)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $300.00
Sold Price: $4,658.75 (includes buyer's premium)


ALS signed “Jack Kennedy, Lt. USNR,” one page both sides, 7.25 x 10.5, postmarked February 23, 1944. Written from Boston's New England Baptist Hospital, a letter to Mrs. John Maguire, in full: "I have received a note from my hotel that you phoned the day I checked out. I'm sorry that I missed you & this note is just to ask you if there was anything you wished to ask me. The negative of the pictures of Mac are at home and it will be several weeks before I can get them—but as soon as I am able I shall send them to you. I'm up in the hospital for a couple weeks—if there is anything I can do—you can reach me here. As I told you, I have the greatest liking and respect for your husband and anything that I can ever do for him or you—will give me tremendous pleasure." Includes the original mailing envelope addressed by Kennedy, who franks the upper right corner and incorporates his signature in the address field: "Lt. J. F. Kennedy, M.T.B.S.T.C. [Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center], Melville, R.I." In very good to fine condition, with two repaired edge tears and a few small stains; the envelope is well-worn, with soiling, edge tears from being opened, and lines on the back from once being housed in a magnetic photo album.

In the early morning of August 2, 1943, Lieutenant Kennedy’s PT-109 was struck by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri in the Blackett Strait of the Solomon Islands. Following a miraculous 3.5-mile swim to shore, Kennedy and his ten surviving crew members—of which included Radioman, Second Class John E. Maguire—were rescued from Olasana Island a full six days later. Kennedy returned to the United States in January 1944, and soon transferred to Miami’s Submarine Chaser Training Center for a period of three months, where he was assigned to shakedown detail—a period of training and equipment testing on new or reactivated Patrol Torpedo boats. Still ailing from a back injury, Kennedy entered the Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in May, and retired from the US Naval Reserve on physical disability less than a year later. Maguire later worked in Kennedy's congressional and presidential campaigns, and when Kennedy was elected president, Maguire was commissioned US marshal for the Middle District of Florida, a position he held for nine years until Nixon became president. Maguire once said of Kennedy: 'He was my commanding officer, my president and my friend. I'll never forget him.'

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