National Geographic News

PT-109 in World War II


At roughly 2 a.m. on August 2, 1943, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri loomed out of a pitch-black night and took Kennedy and crew by surprise.

Despite PT-109's three 1,500-horsepower engines, it couldn't get out of the way in time, and the destroyer ran right through it, immediately sinking PT-109's stern and killing two of Kennedy's crew.

Illustration by Stentor Danielson, based on diagrams from Ubi Soft (top) and WW II PT Boats, Bases, and Tenders Museum and Library, Germantown, Tennessee (bottom)

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