Tuesday, August 5, 2014



Honiara, Solomon Islands (JFK+50) Eroni Kumana, one of the two natives of the Solomon Islands who helped rescue future president John F. Kennedy and the survivors of the PT109, passed away this past Saturday, August 2, 2014, at the age of 93.

Kumana, along with fellow islander, Buiku Gaza, helped gather food for the crew and took a message carved on a coconut shell by JFK to US Navy headquarters.

JFK PT-109 Coconut Shell
JFK Library Photo

Mr. Kumana, according to AFP, was surrounded by family at the time of his death and was buried yesterday, Monday, August 4th, on Ronongga, the island where he lived.

71 years ago today, August 5, 1943, Barney Ross made a half-mile swim from Olasana to Naru Island on the 4th day following the sinking of the 109.

While JFK and Ross were making their way to Naru, the other survivors were "resting in the bushes behind the beach." 

Kennedy and Ross walked to the eastern side of Naru where they found a crate containing bags of "hard candy in the shape of teardrops" and crackers left by the Japanese. 

They also found an abandoned dugout canoe in the bushes "with a large tin of rainwater and also spotted a couple of natives who upon seeing them "paddled furiously away toward Blackett Strait."

The natives came to where the survivors were hiding.  After some reassurance that these men were not Japanese, the natives, Buiku and Eroni came ashore.

Leaving Ross behind on the beach, Lt. Kennedy took the canoe filled with candy and water back to his men. He was surprised when he saw the natives among his men and didn't recognize them as the ones he and Ross had seen earlier.

JFK left the candy and water with his men and headed the canoe back toward Naru to rejoin Barney Ross.

Although they attempted to take the canoe back into the Blackett Strait that night, the waves were too strong and they had to give up.  They returned to Naru exhausted and slept on the beach during the rest of the night. 


"PT 109: John F. Kennedy in WWII," by Robert J. Donovan, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1961, 2001.

"Solomon Islander who helped JFK dies at 93," AFP, August 4, 2014,*

*Thanks to BostonMaggie for providing the link to this article on Twitter.


Moscow, USSR (JFK+50) The Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed today by representatives of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union here in Moscow 51 years ago today, August 5, 1963.

The treaty prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere and under water.

Secretary of State Dean Rusk signed for the United States, Alec Douglas-Home signed for Great Britain and Andrei Gromyko signed for the USSR.

The Limited Test Ban Treaty was ratified on September 24 and it was signed by President Kennedy on October 7, 1963.


Brentwood, California (JFK+50) Actress and singer Marilyn Monroe** was found dead in the bedroom of her apartment here in Brentwood 52 years ago today, August 5, 1962. 

Miss Monroe's body was found by her psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, who was called to the home by Monroe's housekeeper, Eunice Murray, who had been unable to open the locked bedroom door.

Dr. Greenson, who had left Monroe's apartment at 5 p.m after a session for treating her depression, was called by Ms. Murray at 3 a.m.  He arrived in 45 minutes.  

Five days later, the death, occurring between 9:30 and 11:30 p.m., was ruled a "probable suicide" from a drug overdose by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office.

Thomas C. Reeves writes...

"The events surrounding and including the actress's death have been painstakingly probed...and...some of the evidence remains controversial."

Marilyn Monroe
Studio Publicity Still
"Niagara" (1952)


"A Question of Character:  A Life of John F. Kennedy," by Thomas C. Reeves, The Free Press, New York, 1991.

**Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was born as Norma Jean Baker in Los Angeles.
 At age 19, she signed with a modeling agency and later 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures.

Having changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, the young movie actress appeared on the cover of Life magazine and starred in films such as Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Bus Stop.

Marilyn's 1st husband was James Dougherty (1942-46), her 2nd was NY Yankee baseball star Joe DiMaggio (1954) and the 3rd was playwright Arthur Miller (1956-1961).