Monday, July 25, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 2020


Cambridge, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Today, July 25, 2016, is the 101st anniversary of the birth of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr.*  Joe Junior was the first child of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., and the older brother of President John F. Kennedy.

Joe Junior was delivered by Kennedy family doctor Frederick L. Good in a rented cottage, where the Kennedys were spending the summer, located on Atlantic Avenue in Nantasket.

Joe Jr., stationed in England during WWII, became "one of the most experienced pilots in the  navy."  Joe was part of Operation Aphrodite.  The target was to be a German vengeance weapon bombing site located  in northern France.  Before he took off on the mission, Joe told a friend, "If I don't come back, tell my Dad I love him very much."

On August 12, 1944, Joe's B-24 Liberator, loaded with 21,150 pounds of explosives, was in position at 2000 feet when it exploded before Joe and his navigator could parachute to safety as planned.  The remains were never found and the wreckage of the B-24 was scattered over an area 3 miles x 2 miles. After his death, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. was awarded the Air Medal and Navy Cross for heroism.  

In 1945, As We Remember Joe**, a book of remembrances for Kennedy family, friends and associates, was published.  The book included a forward by brother Jack along with his essay titled "My Brother Joe."

*Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (1915-1944) graduated from Harvard in 1938.  He studied at the London School of Economics and was a delegate to the 1940 Democratic Convention.  Joe joined the US Navy earning his wings as a naval aviator in May 1942.  He completed 25 combat missions before volunteering for the one that took his life.

**As We Remember Joe (1945) is described at as "scarce and one of the most difficult to obtain JFK related books."  It is estimated that there were a total of 360 copies printed.  The price is $1850.

As We Remember Joe
University Press
Cambridge, MA (1945)


"Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Pilot (1915-1944)," Bio.,

"Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.," John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum,

"Lt. Joe Kennedy," by Trevor Jermy, edited by Lester Curtis, Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum,

"Top Secret Drone Mission That Killed Joseph Kennedy, Jr." by Ed Grabianowski, February 21, 2013,

"What if Joseph Kennedy, Jr. had not died on WWII mission?," by Jagdtigerl,