Fisherman who saved John F. Kennedy’s life during WWII dies

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In Solomon Islands, way out in the ocean, far off the coast of northwest Australia, a 93-year-old man died this week.

His name was Eroni Kumana and he is the man who, in 1943, rescued a young U.S. Naval Lieutenant who was stranded out in the sea.

That navy man was former President John F. Kennedy.

He and his crew had been on patrol when their boat was broken in half by a Japanese destroyer.

Kennedy and 10 other survivors had to swim three miles to a coral reef.

Kumana just happened to be out in a canoe on that day, more than 70 years ago.

He gave the Americans food and Kennedy sent him away with a "help" message etched on a coconut.

Kumana helped save all the men.

And on his oval office desk, JFK used that same coconut as a paperweight.


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  • MrCrabs

    I saw an interview with him in “The Search for Kennedy’s PT 109” a 2002 National Geographic documentary on Netflix. I really amazing story. He and fellow coast watcher Biuku Gasa were instrumental in the rescue. Sadly they were cheated out of a trip to the the White House in 1961 by British colonial officials who sent someone else.

  • Not Fishermen!!! Native Scouts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NATIVE SCOUTS!!!

    They were native scouts, not fishermen, they were openly fighting as allies alongside the USA.

    • Kevin Thomas

      Being native scouts would not preclude them being fishermen also. Besides, your talking about semantics that are not relevant to the story; unless I’m missing something of course.