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Report: JFK's sunken patrol boat found

President Kennedy
President Kennedy  

HONAIRA, Solomon Islands (CNN) -- The remains of the patrol boat captained by John F. Kennedy during World War II has been found off the Solomon Islands, according to a local radio report.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp. said Robert Ballard, leader of the team looking for PT-109, told the radio that the wreckage was found last week. Ballard also located the Titanic in 1985. It was the luxury liner on a voyage from Britain to the United States that hit an iceberg and sank in 1912.

The former president was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy serving in the Pacific when his PT-109 was sliced in two by a Japanese destroyer. Kennedy, who was assassinated in Dallas in November 1963, would have turned 85 years old today.

"It was pretty clear where it should have been, and it was one of the times where it seems that what they found was about where they first started looking," said Mary-Louise O'Callaghan of The Australian newspaper who is following the story in the Solomon Islands. "And now it's just a question of returning the film to the state for further analysis by naval experts who should be able to confirm that it is indeed PT-109."

Ballard has also mapped wrecks of other boats sunk during the battle for Guadalcanal in the Solomons.

"Dr. Ballard's whole philosophy is that these wrecks shouldn't be disturbed," O'Callaghan told CNN.

According to the SIBC, Ballard's team is not releasing details of the discovery because of contractual obligations regarding film, book and magazine rights. A National Georgraphic documentary is to be released later this year.

"So, his philosophy is always to leave it there and record it and perhaps even to facilitate some access to it in a very controlled fashion. So I would say that he wouldn't be encouraging anyone to remove it."




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