Kennedy Island

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Kennedy Island is located in Pacific Ocean
Kennedy Island
Kennedy Island
Location of Kennedy Island in the Pacific Ocean

Kennedy Island (colloquially known as Plum Pudding Island, though the local name is Kasolo Island) is a small uninhabited island in the Solomon Islands that was named after John F. Kennedy, following an incident involving Kennedy during his World War II naval career. Kennedy Island lies 15 minutes by boat from Gizo, the provincial capital of the Solomon Islands' Western Province.[1]

PT-109 incident

The island is notable for its role in the story of PT-109, part of the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II. In August 1943 it was to this island that the crew of the PT-109, commanded by then Lieutenant Kennedy, swam after their craft was rammed and wrecked by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. Two American sailors died in the incident.[2] Kennedy later had the crew swim to the larger Olasana Island.[3]

A small shrine to Kennedy, built by Solomon Islander Eroni Kumana who aided in the rescue of the crew, stands on the island.[4][5] In 2003, a race was held where participants re-enacted Kennedy's swim.[3]

Recent history

Kennedy Island in 2012

The island remains uninhabited, but is a tourist attraction.[6]

Previously a public area, it was acquired in 2004 at a cost of SI$7000 (US$950) by Joseph Douglas, an advisor to then Caretaker Premier of Western Province Clement Base.[6][7] The legality of the sale was the subject of a legal challenge.[6][7] In 2009, Douglas sold Kennedy Island to Gizo Hotel (owned by Australian Shane Kennedy),[8] one year after brother Dan Kennedy purchased the resort closest to Kennedy Island (Fatboys on Mbabanga Island).[9]

References

  1. ^ Borthwick, John (12 February 2016). "Solomon Islands: In Kennedy's footsteps". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  2. ^ "John F. Kennedy and PT109". John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b "JFK's epic Solomons swim". BBC. 30 July 2003. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  4. ^ Brown, Rob (6 August 2014). "The Solomon Islanders who saved JFK". BBC. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  5. ^ "John F Kennedy and Solomon Islands". Solomon Airlines. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Szetu, Robertson (10 March 2005). "Kennedy Island Sale To Be Challenged In Solomons". Pacific Islands Report. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b Jones, Lloyd (13 June 2005). "JFK's island back in the wars". The Age. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Solomon Islands Island named after JFK has a new owner". RNZ. Radio New Zealand. 18 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Solomons resort has new owner". Thorn Tree forum. Lonely Planet. 6 Nov 2009.

External links

  • Aerial photograph of Kennedy island

Coordinates: 8°6′46″S 156°54′20″E / 8.11278°S 156.90556°E / -8.11278; 156.90556

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