An E-Sylum reader forwarded this story about a gold good luck coin given to John F. Kennedy by Clare Boothe Luce. Does anyone know what ever became of this coin? -EditorIn 1942, John F. Kennedy entered the United States Navy to join American forces fighting in World War II. Prior to his departure, playwright Clare Boothe Luce, a close friend of the Kennedy family, sent the young naval officer a good luck coin that once belonged to her mother. On September 29, 1942, Kennedy wrote to Luce thanking her for sharing such an important token with him.
In the summer of 1943, Lieutenant "Jack" Kennedy commanded a PT boat operating against the Japanese near the island of New Georgia in the Pacific. One night Kennedy's boat was rammed and cut in two by a Japanese destroyer. Although injured during the attack, Kennedy and most of his crew survived.
A few months later, Kennedy again wrote to Luce. With his note he enclosed a gadget, originally intended to be a letter opener, made "from a Jap 51 cal. bullet and the steel from a fitting on my boat, part of which drifted onto an island." He concluded the note with a word of thanks for Luce's earlier gift:
With it goes my sincere thanks for your good-luck piece, which did service above and beyond its routine duties during a rather busy period.
To read the complete article, see: Today in History: September 29 (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/sep29.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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