Monday, February 6, 2017

Rare 1942 photo of John F. Kennedy published from his time at the Charleston Navy Yard

JFK was stationed in Charleston briefly in 1942

Posted by Sam Spence on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 6:15 PM

click to enlarge A young Ensign John F. Kennedy pictured (middle) while stationed at the Charleston Navy Yard - U.S. NAVY PHOTO/NORTH CHARLESTON ARCHIVES
  • U.S. Navy photo/North Charleston archives
  • A young Ensign John F. Kennedy pictured (middle) while stationed at the Charleston Navy Yard
John F. Kennedy was stationed at the Charleston Navy Yard for just a few months, but in a post online today, the City of North Charleston showed one moment in time captured during the future-president's brief time living in the Lowcountry.

click to enlarge Another photo from the Stanly/Pringle launch. Check out those WTMA and WCSC flags! - U.S. NAVY PHOTO/COFC ARCHIVES
  • U.S. Navy photo/CofC Archives
  • Another photo from the Stanly/Pringle launch. Check out those WTMA and WCSC flags!
In the photo dated May 2, 1942, a 24-year old Ensign Kennedy is seen at the launch ceremonies for the Charleston-built Navy destroyers USS Pringle and USS Stanly. Kennedy is surrounded by other naval officers, civilians, and nurses gathered for the occasion.

Though Kennedy's time in Charleston was short, it was not without intrigue. While stationed with the local arm of the Office of Strategic Services intelligence agency, Kennedy is said to have carried on an illicit relationship with Danish journalist and actress Inga Arvad, one which federal agents were apparently keen to keep an eye on. Kennedy would leave Charleston in the summer of 1942 for training in Chicago and eventually take command of his patrol boat, PT-109, in the South Pacific in 1943.

North Charleston spokesman Ryan Johnson says the city has a part-time archivist working through documents, photos, maps, and other records left by the Charleston Navy Base.

"North Charleston, and the North Area that predates the incorporation of the city, has a very rich history, which is why we have committed efforts to sharing items from the archives on a regular basis."

The city continues to welcome donations of materials for the archives.

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