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This World War II adventure chronicles the real-life courage of President John F. Kennedy when he was a Navy lieutenant and Commanding Officer of the illustrious PT 109, a Patrol Torpedo boat stationed in the Solomon Islands. While on patrol one night, a Japanese destroyer rams and slices the 109 in two, killing two crewmen.
Having survived the collision, Kennedy searches for survivors, despite suffering from a back injury. Kennedy leads the survivors in swimming to a deserted island, while himself towing a badly-burned crewman. After a few days, the survivors encounter two natives and gives them a carved message on a coconut.
The natives take the message to an Australian coastwatcher who arranges for a rescue. "PT 109" was the first commercial theatrical film about a sitting United States President released while he was still in office. It came out in June 1963, just five months before Kennedy was assassinated.