Kennedy and his crew were marooned for seven days before they were rescued by two PT boats.
The coconut husk became a paperweight on his desk when he became president.
The wreck of PT 109 was eventually discovered in a National Geographic expedition by noted explorer Robert Ballard in 2002.
JFK was awarded Navy and Marine Corps medal for courage when he returned from the Pacific.
A plane flown by JFK’s older brother Joe blew up during a dangerous mission in Europe in 1944, the first of many Kennedy clan tragedies.
Kennedy’s sister Kathleen, who had married into a British aristocratic family, was killed in a plane crash in 1948.
JFK’s political career began when he ran for a congressional seat in 1946 and at age 29 won the first of three terms.
During his term as congressman, he opposed the Korean War and was against any U.S. fighting in Asia.
He became Massachusetts senator in 1952.
Kennedy donated his entire congressman’s salary, and later his president’s salary, to charity.