O'REILLY BOOK KILLS JFK & EVANS
O'Reilly doesn't cite Donovan's 1961 PT-109 classic or the 1963 PT-109 movie
in which Evans is correctly named as the coastwatcher.
So either O'Reilly didn't read Donovan's book, didn't see the movie
or is intentionally falsifying the past and
throwing Evans down the Orwellian memory hole.
To Orwell Today,
I finished reading your very good article: SURVIVAL: THE STORY OF PT 109
I also read the book KILLING KENNEDY, by Bill O'Reilly.
Both of you refer to Lt. Wincote as the man that saved Kennedy and his men by radioing in help.
I have always loved the show TO TELL THE TRUTH since my early teens. Went to U-Tube and up came a whole bunch of them. One particular was the show from May 1, 1961. The panel had to guess who was the man who saved Kennedy. His name is Reg Evans not Lt. Wincote. As a matter of fact he went to the White House to have dinner with JFK after the 18 years from when he saved him.
Do you have any research on this? I wrote O'Reilly several times with no answer which told me he got some misinformation and didn't want it exposed. Any way you can clear this up?
Robert Clark, Retired, Philippines
Thanks for pointing out that the coastwatcher's name in the SURVIVAL article is wrong -- it should be EVANS not WINCOTE. Actually, I didn't write that article myself -- merely transcribed it from the original written in 1944 by John Hersey for NEW YORKER magazine and posted it on my website about ten years ago.
However, in a more recent article on ORWELL TODAY -- and which I did write myself -- Evans is correctly named as the coastwatcher. See JFK SOLOMON SWIM SAVED SURVIVORS
In writing that article three years ago, I relied mainly on Robert Donovan's bestselling book PT 109: JFK IN WORLD WAR II which came out in 1961 and was made into the 1962 blockbuster movie PT 109 and the 1962 hit song PT 109. In the book, the movie and the song REG EVANS is correctly named as the coastwatcher who rescued JFK.
But I must admit that until you pointed it out I'd forgotten that Hersey's SURVIVAL article named Wincote instead of Evans -- it's been so long since I'd read it. But, as you requested, I've researched how it happened.
It turns out that JFK, when telling his survival story to author/journalist Hersey in August 1944 -- a year after the collision and while recuperating in hospital from malaria and back surgery -- had forgotten the coastwatcher's name (in the chaos surrounding their one and only meeting) and had misread Evans's signature in the letter Evans had sent him:
ON HIS MAJESTY'S SERVICE
TO SENIOR OFFICER, NARU IS
FRIDAY, 11PM. HAVE JUST LEARNT OF YOUR PRESENCE ON NARU IS
& ALSO THAT TWO NATIVES HAVE TAKEN NEWS TO RENDOVA.
I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU RETURN IMMEDIATELY TO HERE IN THIS CANOE
& BY THE TIME YOU ARRIVE HERE I WILL BE IN RADIO COMMUNICATION
WITH AUTHORITIES AT RENDOVA &
WE CAN FINALIZE PLANS TO COLLECT BALANCE YOUR PARTY.
WILL WARN AVIATION OF YOUR CROSSING FERGUSON PASSAGE.
A R EVANS LT
R A N V R
To JFK the signature "A R EVANS LT R A N V R" looked like "A RINHAUS" and that's the name he told Hersey. Then compounding the mis-identification, Hersey used a pseudonym -- WINCOTE -- so as not to blow the coastwatcher's cover as the war was still raging in the Pacific and Evans (alias Rinhaus, alias Wincote) was still spying in enemy territory. Also in his SURVIVAL article, Hersey changed Evans' nationality from AUSTRALIAN to NEW ZEALANDER and his branch of service from NAVY to INFANTRY etc etc.
It wasn't until 1960 -- when Donovan was in the Solomons researching his book about JFK and PT 109 -- that the true identity of Evans was discovered and that he was now an accountant living in Sydney, Australia. When JFK read Donovan's book -- by that time he was President -- he contacted Evans and invited him to the White House.
And that's where your godcidental discovery of the 1961 TO TELL THE TRUTH episode comes in. After receiving your email I watched it several times. Here's the transcript:
watch REG EVANS ON TO TELL THE TRUTH, YouTube
HOST INTRODUCTION: One of these men has come 10,000 miles to meet a famous person he rescued almost 18 years ago. Only one of these men is the real Reg Evans -- the other two are imposters and will try to fool this panel.
HOST READS AFFIDAVIT: "I, Reg Evans, during World War Two worked for Australian Navy Intelligence. My job was to sit on an island behind the Japanese lines and report by radio on the movements of enemy ships and planes. One day I received word that the crew of a sunken American PT boat was stranded on a small island nearby. Natives brought the skipper of the group to me in a canoe. I offered this officer immediate rescue but he preferred to stay with his men. By radio I arranged for them to be picked up by American PT boats. I have not seen this American navy officer for more than 17 years. I will meet him again this week in the White House in Washington, DC. His name is John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
As an aside -- an interesting thing I noticed about that TO TELL THE TRUTH episode is that the contestant who followed the Reg Evans segmant looked amazingly like JFK's only grandson -- John Bouvier Kennedy Schlossberg, born to Caroline in 1993 -- in a photo I'd seen a few years ago. You'll need to re-watch the YouTube and see if you agree. Here's the photo:
Coincidently, the photo of grandson John is placed next to a photo of grandfather John in his PT-109 days. The newspaper article accompanying the photo is a letter-to-the editor* written by Schlossberg defending JFK against a hit-piece in the New York Times [Slimes].
Now getting back to coastwatcher Evans, and our attempt to set the JFK historical record straight.
In the 1965 coffee-table book JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY...AS WE REMEMBER HIM (and from which I transcribed the SURVIVAL story on my website) there's a footnote explaining why Hersey got Evans's name wrong:
*The wording and signature of this message are as Kennedy gave them to John Hersey in Boston in 1944. The message was in fact slightly, though not substantially different, and many years later, after Kennedy had become President, the identity of the actual signer was uncovered -- A. Reginald Evans.
Next, from Robert Donovan's 1962 masterpiece PT 109: JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY IN WORLD WAR 11:
*In his weariness and excitement Kennedy forgot Evans's name. He kept his letter, but the signature was run together so that A.R.Evans looked for all the world like A.Rinhaus, which for the next seventeen years was the name by which Kennedy remembered the coastwatcher. Evans's identity was further obscured by the Hersey article. Writing during the war while secrecy still surrounded the coastwatcher organization, Hersey referred to Evans as Lt Wincote, a New Zealand infantry officer. It was not until after Kennedy became President that the discovery was made in Australia that Reg Evans, a modest accountant in Sydney, was the coastwatcher whose scouts found Kennedy and his men and who had helped organzie the rescue.
And here's the clip from the PT-109 movie -- with the PT-109 song as soundtrack -- showing the scene with Evans starting at 43 seconds in:
watch PT 109 SONG listen
"And on the coast of Kolombangara,
looking through his telescope,
Australian Evans saw the battle,
feared the crew had little hope"
Now, inspired by your request to "clear up" misinformation about Evans I've created a new article describing his heroic role from start to finish. See OZ COASTWATCHER EVANS RESCUED JFK
Now -- regarding the book KILLING KENNEDY by Bill O'Reilly -- I bought a copy and read it last year when it was all the rage and being made into a TV movie by National Geographic.
KILLING KENNEDY -- and dozens of other JFK character-assassination 'programs' -- were being aired on all the networks to further corrupt the minds of the masses on the 50th anniversary of JFK's physical assassination. I forced myself to watch almost all of them -- for research purposes -- and it was excrutiating knowing that this mental pornography would be seeping into the psyches of millions of people in TV audiences worldwide.
All through November 2013 I witnessed JFK character-assassination -- and denial of conspiracy -- on ABC/CBS/PBS/CNN/FOX/DISCOVERY/HISTORY/TURNER and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC television channels and also on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation*):
AS IT HAPPENED: JOHN F KENNEDY 50 YEARS
WHERE WERE YOU?
MEET THE PRESS REMEMBERS: JFK THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
COLD CASE JFK
JFK: ONE PM CENTRAL STANDARD TIME
THE JFK ASSASSINATION
50 YEARS OF QUESTIONS: THE JFK ASSASSINATION
JFK: THE LOST TAPES
JFK ASSASSINATION: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE
LEE HARVEY OSWALD
JFK THE FINAL HOURS
JFK THE SMOKING GUN
THE DAY KENNEDY DIED
LETTERS TO JACKIE
*JFK'S WOMEN: SCANDALS REVEALED
As you can see, O'Reilly's KILLING KENNEDY was just one of many films and documentaries but I'll give him credit -- it was one of the most nauseating to watch. JFK, as usual, is portrayed as a vacuum-headed, drug-addicted sex fanatic. But it's the first time I'd heard it said that Jackie Kennedy went to a sex therapist -- a cardiologist she met at a party -- for lessons on how to 'satisfy' her husband and stop him constantly having sex with other women -- including in the White House swimming pool guarded by Secret Service agents who refuse to let her in.
O'Reilly is obviously a hired-gun poison-pen JFK killer -- carrying on the work of his poison-pen predecessors -- Communists pretending to be anti-Communists -- as in fired head of the CIA Dulles -- a subversive agent suspected of being one of the main brains behind JFK's assassination who Orwellianly sat on the Warren Commission investigating the assassination. O'Reilly implies Dulles' complicity throughout the book -- and on the inside cover -- but then doublethinkingly chants OSWALD DID IT and cites the WARREN COMMISSION, CIA, FBI, SECRET SERVICE and MAFIA as his main sources for KILLING KENNEDY.
...In January 1961, as the cold war [democracy vs communism] escalates, John F Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of communism.... At the same time, JFK acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Allen Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. When his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, cracks down on powerful elements of organized crime, the list of those who have it in for the president grows. Then in the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, Kennedy is gunned down, resulting in national chaos...
O'Reilly's KILLING KENNEDY -- published and produced by the Capitalist-owned Communist media -- is a prime example of what Orwell described as PROLEFEED produced by BIG BROTHER'S BROTHERHOOD in the MINISTRY OF TRUTH (LIES). Here are pertinent passages from 1984:
"...The primary job of the Ministry of Truth was to supply the citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen programmes, plays, novels -- with every conceivable kind of information, instruction, or entertainment, from a statue to a slogan, from a lyric poem to a biological treatise, and from a child's spelling-book to a Newspeak dictionary.... There were huge printing-shops and their sub editors, their typography experts, and their elaborately equipped studios for the faking of photographs. There was the tele-programmes section with its engineers, its producers and its teams of actors specially chosen for their skill in imitating voices.... There was a whole chain of separate departments dealing with proletarian literature, music, drama, and entertainment generally. Here were produced rubbishy newspapers, containing almost nothing except sport, crime, and astrology, sensational five-cent novelettes and films oozing with sex. The rubbishy entertainment and spurious news which the Party handed out to the masses was referred to as 'prolefeed'....
Those who worked in the Fiction Department, could describe the whole process of composing a novel, from the general directive issued by the Planning Committee down to the final touch-up by the Rewrite Squad. Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces. There was even a whole sub-section - PORNOSEC, it was called in Newspeak -- engaged in producing the lowest kind of pornography, which was sent out in sealed packets.... It was nicknamed the Muck House by those who worked there. It produced titles like 'Spanking Stories' or 'One Night in a Girls' School', to be bought furtively by proletarian youths who were under the impression that they were buying something illegal. At school they had sex talks once a month for the over-sixteen and rubbed it into youth for years.... And somewhere or other, quite anonymous, there were the directing brains who co-ordinated the whole effort and laid down the lines of policy which made it necessary that this fragment of the past should be preserved, that one falsified, and the other rubbed out of existence....
Orwell, in writing "1984", adapted many themes he'd read in GULLIVER'S TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift, his idol. Here's Gulliver describing "prostitute writers" (using Swift's capitalization):
...I was chiefly disgusted with modern History. For having strictly examined all the Persons of greatest Name in the Courts of Princes for a hundred Years past, I found how the World had been misled by prostitute Writers, to ascribe the greatest Exploits in War to Cowards, the wisest Counsel to Fools, Sincerity to Flatterers, Roman Virtue to Betrayers of their Country, Piety to Atheists, Chastity to Sodomites, Truth to Informers. How many innocent and excellent Persons had been condemned to Death or Banishment, by the practising of great Ministers upon the Corruption of Judges, and the Malice of Faction. How many Villains had been exalted to the highest Places of Trust, Power, Dignity, and Profit: How great a Share in the Motions and Events of Courts, Councils, and Senates might be challenged by Bawds, Whores, Pimps, Parasites, and Buffoons: How low an Opinion I had of human Wisdom and Integrity, when I was truly informed of the Springs and Motives of great Enterprises and Revolutions in the World, and of the contemptible Accidents to which they owed their Success....
Now -- having read the historically accurate preceding articles about JFK and PT-109 -- read O'Reilly's version in KILLING KENNEDY and see if you recognize the Orwellian spin, lies and twisted distortions. The book, as per its title, starts killing Kennedy in Chapter 1 (and brutally continues non-stop for the ensuing 26 chapters).
But firstly -- as an antidote -- read this passage from JFK AS WE REMEMBER HIM:
...In the spring, Jack tried to enlist in the Army but was rejected because of his old back condition (due to an old football injury). He went through five months of strengthening exercises, however, and managed to pass a Navy fitness test in September 1941. For a time he worked in Intelligence on a news digest for the Navy Chief of Staff in Washington. When Pearl Harbor came, he applied for sea duty, but it was a long time coming. He was assinged for several months to a project in the South for protecting defense factories against bombing -- a job he found dull and distasteful.... Fearing that he might be given a desk job, he asked his father to use his influence with the Navy Department to insure that he would get sea duty.... Late in 1942, Jack realized his hope of training for the kind of sea duty that seemed fitting for a man who had almost grown up in small boats -- assignment to a Motor Torpedo Boat squadron. For six months he learned how to handle the speedy, brittle PT boats, most of the time in Portsmouth and Newport. His instructors graded him near perfect in ship handling, good in technical matters like engineering and 'very willing and conscientious'...
Now read O'Reilly's take in KILLING KENNEDY. I've bolded and underlined the spin, lies and twisted distortions:
August 2, 1943 - Blackett Strait, Solomon Islands -- 2:00 AM
excerpts from pages 19-31
...The skipper of the boat bearing the number 109, a young second lieutenant, slouches in his cockpit, half alert and half asleep.... The skipper, and the man responsible for allowing such an enormous vessel to sneak up on his boat, is Lieutenant John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He is twenty-six, rail thin, and deeply tanned, a Harvard-educated playboy whose father forced him to leave naval intelligence to seek a combat position when it was discoverd that his son's Danish mistress was suspected of being a Nazi spy....
Kennedy has had the luxury of a frivolous life. He was a sickly child, grew into a young man fond of books and girls, and with the exception of commanding a minor vessel such as PT-109, has shown no interest in purusing a leadership postion in politics -- an ambition required of his older brother Joe.
...Later in life, when asked to describe the night's imminent turning point, he will shrug it off: "It was involuntary. They sunk my boat". His words belie the fact that he might have been court-martialed for allowing his boat to be sunk and two of his men to be killed...
"What do you want to do if the Japs come out?" Kennedy asks the crew. Completely responsible for the lives of his men, he is at a loss.... But Kennedy is not comfortable being the boss. In his months being skipper of the 109, his job has largely consisted of steering the boat. The men complain that he is more interested in chasing girls than commanding a ship. Kennedy is much more at ease in a supporting role. Growing up he took orders from his domineering father and looked up to his charismatic older brother.
His dad, Joseph P Kennedy, is one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in America, and a former ambassador to Great Britain.... The Kennedy family takes all its directives from their patriarch. John Kennedy will one day liken the relationship to that of puppets and their puppet master. Joseph P Kennedy decides how his children will spend their lives, monitors their every action, attempts to sleep with his sons' and daughters' girlfriends, and even had one of his own daughters lobotomized....
Now, on this tragic Pacific night, there is no way for Joseph P Kennedy to tell his son what to do. "There's nothing in the book about a situation like this," JFK tells the crew, stalling for time.... The men have been trained to follow orders, not discuss strategy. They argue, and Kennedy still won't play the role of commander... Finally, John F Kennedy takes charge.... Kennedy, a member of the swim team at Harvard, tows a badly burned crew member by placing a strap from the man's life jacket between his own teeth and pulling him. During the five long hours it takes to reach the island, Kennedy swallows mouthful after mouthful of saltwater, yet his strength as a swimmer allows him to reach the beach before the rest of the crew. He leaves the burned crewman in the shallows and staggers ashore to explore their new home.... After more than fifteen hours in the ocean, there's no better place to be. The rest of the crew finally arrives. They hide in the shallows as a Japanese barge passes with a few hundred yards. Kennedy is collapsed in the shade of the nearby bushes, exhausted from the swim and nauseated from swallowing all that seawater. Yet, despite his weakened condition, something is different about him. The man who once shied away from leadership has realized that only he can save his crew. JFK rises to his feet and gets to work...
Kennedy looks toward the beach.... Kennedy staggers to his men and outlines a plan: he will swim to another nearby island, which is closer to a channel known as the Ferguson Passage, a popular route for the patrol torpedoes, and will use the lantern to signal any passing PT boats that might venture their way in the night. If Kennedy makes contact, he will signal his crew with the lantern.
Kennedy prepares for the swim. He is still on the verge of vomiting, and is now also light-headed from dehydration and lack of food. He peels off his shirt and pants to save weight, and ties a .38-caliber pistol to a lanyard around his neck.... He puts his shoes back on to save his feet from being cut on the sharp reef. Finally, Kennedy hugs the kapok vest [with the lantern inside] tightly around his naked body, knowing that the lantern wrapped inside it is the key to their rescue.
Kennedy steps back into the sea. He thinks of the giant barracuda that live in these waters, which are rumored to swim up out of the blackness and bite off the genitals of passing simmers. Without pants he is surely an inviting target.... Kennedy never finds that sandy beach. So, tying his shoes to his life belt, he undertakes a courageous and slightly foolhardy alternate course of action: he swims out into open water, lantern held aloft, hoping to signal a passing PT....
He drifts farther and farther out into the Pacific. No matter how hard he swims, the currents push him in the other direction.... Kennedy bobs lifelessly. He is an enigmatic man. Despite his reputation for bedding as many girls as possible, he was raised in a Roman Catholic household. His faith has faltered in recent months, but it now servies him well....
Days pass. Kennedy and his men survive by choking down live snails and licking moisture off leaves.... After four days, Kennedy persuades George Ross of Highland Park, Illinois, to attempt a swim with him. This time they head for an island named Naru where it is very possible they will run into Japanese soldiers. At this point in their ordeal, with the men's bodies racked by hunger and excruciating thirst, capture is becoming preferable to certain death. The swim lasts an hour. At Naru they come upon an abandoned enemy barge and see two Japanese men hurriedly paddling away in a canoe. Kennedy and Ross search the barge for supplies and find water and hardtack biscuits. They also discover a small canoe. After spending the day in hiding Kennedy leaves Ross on Naru and paddles the one man canoe out into the Ferguson Passage..... JFK is now desperate, taking crazy gambles and yet despite long odds he once again makes it through the night paddling the canoe back to his men. Finally he received a bit of good news, the men he mistook for Japanese soldiers were actually local islanders. They had spotted Kennedy and Ross and then paddled to PT-109's crew to warn them about Japanese forces in the area.
Kennedy meets these islanders in person the next morning, when his canoe founders on the way back to Naru. These highly experienced men of the sea come out of nowhere to pluck him from the Pacific and paddle him safely to George Ross. Before the islanders depart, Kennedy carves a note into the shell of a fallen coconut. "NAURO ISL...COMMANDER...NATIVE KNOWS POS'IT...HE CAN PILOT...11 ALIVE...NEED SMALL BOAT...KENNEDY". With that cryptic message in their possession the natives paddle away.
Night falls, rain pours down, Kennedy and Ross sleep under a bush. Their arms and legs are swollen from bug bits and reef scratches. The islanders have shown them where yet another canoe is hidden and Kennedy insists to Ross that they paddle back into the open sea one more time in search of a PT. Only now the Pacific isn't placid. The rain turns torrential, the seas are six feet high. Kennedy gives the order to turn back, only to have the canoe capsize. The two men cling to their overturned boat, kicking as hard as they can to guide it toward land. Giant waves now pound against the reef. Kennedy is torn from the canoe. The sea's force holds him under and spins him around. Yet again he believes he is near death but just when it seems all is lost, he comes up for air. He battles his way onto the reef. Ross is nearby, alive. As the rain pours down, they pick their way across the sharp coral and onto the beach, once again slicing open their feet and legs. This time there are no thoughts of barracuda, only survival. Too exhausted to care about being seen by the Japanese they collapse onto the sand and sleep. John Kennedy is out of solutions. He has done all he can to save his men. There is nothing more he can do.
As if in a mirage Kennedy wakes up to see four natives standing over him.... "I have a letter for you, sir," one of the natives says in perfect English. An incredulous Kennedy sits up and reads the note. The natives have taken the coconut to a New Zealand infantry detachment hidden nearby. The note is from the officer in charge. Kennedy, it says, should allow the islanders to paddle him to safety. So it is that John F Kennedy is placed in the bottom of a canoe, covered in palm fronds to hide him from Japanese aircraft, and paddled to a hidden location on New Georgia Island. When the canoe arrives at the water's edge, a young New Zealander steps from the jungle. Kennedy comes out from under his hiding place and climbs out of the canoe. "How do you do?" the New Zealander asks formally. "I'm Lieutenant Wincote". He pronounces his rank the British way: LEFF-tenant. "Hello, I'm Kennedy". The two men shake hands. Wincote nods toward the jungle. Come up to my tent and hava a cup of tea". Kennedy and his men are soon rescued by the US Navy. And thus the saga of PT-109 comes to and end, even as the legend of PT-109 is born....
~ end quoting O'Reilly Killing Kennedy ~
Now let's look at the sources O'Reilly cites in writing the PT-109 chapter of the book. He cites two -- the 1944 Hersey magazine article and an unheard-of book by an unheard of author published in 2005. He doesn't cite Donovan's 1961 PT-109 classic -- and yet elsewhere in the book he mentions the PT-109 movie which was based on Donovan's book and in which Evans is correctly named as the coastwatcher. So either O'Reilly didn't see the movie, didn't read Donovan's book, or is intentionally falsifying the past and throwing Evans down the Orwellian memory hole. O'Reilly makes the point -- several times -- that he's the most knowledgeable and trustworthy talking-head on the planet and that his book is NOT fiction -- everything he says about JFK and everyone else is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
This book required both primary and secondary source research. Much of the primary material came from interveiws and reporting that Bill O'Reilly has done over the years.... Extensive new information was gleaned from a variety of law enforcement agents, in particluar...the FBI agent...who has never spoken before on the record about his findings.... But since many of the events recounted in this book are so fantastic and also so horrific, and because so many of the details are rather intimate, it's important to remind the reader that KILLING KENNEDY is completely a work of nonfiction. It's all true. The actions of each individual and the events that took place really happened. The quotations are words people actually spoke. Those detials are made possible in large part because JFK is a contemporary historical figure whose entire presidency was thoroughly doucmented by all manner of media.... Chapter 1: John Hersey's 1944 NEW YORKER story about PT-109 provided the best account of the ordeal. Lance Morrow's THE BEST YEARS OF THEIR LIVES, which is a quick and fascinating read, nicely counterbalances Hersey's sometimes fawning version of events.
I googled the book O'Reilly cites as a source. Here's an excerpt from the New York Times book review (In "The Best Year of Their Lives" Lance Morrow argues that Kennedy had such a degree of "personal recklessness" as to call into question his "moral sanity"....He took to lying about his health (while seducing nearly every woman in his path)...Detailing secrecy and ruthlessness, Morrow, a journalist, a professor at Boston University and the author of six other books, draws lines from 1948 to the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam and Watergate....)
Now let's compare O'Reilly's KILLING KENNEDY sources with Donovan's sources for PT-109. Donovan's book came out in 1961 and was a best-seller endorsed by JFK himself for its accuracy.
This book is the product of 30,000 miles of travel to visit the places described here and to talk with many persons who particpated in these events. I am deeply grateful to President John F Kennedy and all the survivors of PT 109, whose recollecitons of their experiences in the South Pacific in World War II made this account possible. The President took the time to read it in manuscript and in galley proofs.
With Elliott Erwitt, the photographer, I explored all the islands on which the President and his shipwrecked crew were castaways in August 1943. I walked along the same reefs and swam in the same currents that they did. To my astonishment all ten of the natives who in one way or another participated in the rescue of the President and his crew are still living in the Solomon Islands. For several days most of them accompanied us...and showed us exactly what happened, how it happened and where it happened. We went to Sydney to interview Arthur Reginald Evans, the Australian coastwatcher who helped arrange the President's rescue. He generously gave me access to his log of messages dealing with the wreck of PT 109 and the rescue of the President and his crew. From Austalia we flew to the Solomons to visit the islands that appear in this story.... From the Solomons we went to Tokyo where I interviewed about thirty offices and men of the Amagiri, the destroyer that sank PT 109 in Blackett Strait... The Navy and Marine Corps gave me all extant reports bearing on this subject, some of which were declassified for the purpose.... Like everyone who writes on this subject I am indebted to John Hersey, whose article "Survivor" in The New Yorker in 1944 captured some of the dialogue still fresh in the memory of Mr Kennedy and the crew....
Donovan, in citing Hersey as a source, honours him for his invaluable contribution to the story of PT-109 -- the story that was told to Hersey by JFK and the PT-109 crew while it was still a fresh experience. But years later, when Donovan was researching for his PT-109 book, he learned details that not even JFK or the other participants knew -- including the correct name of the coastwatcher.
So that's how it came to be that Evans was misnamed in Hersey's 1944 SURVIVAL article and how the mistake was corrected in 1961 by Donovan's PT-109 book and in subsequent movies, songs and tellings of the JFK PT-109 story. At least, that is, until 2012 when O'Reilly's KILLING KENNEDY came out. It would be interesting to hear O'Reilly's excuse. But, as you say, you tried pointing it out to him but got no response.
A few years ago I came across Hersey's SURVIVAL article in an anthology of WRITERS ON WORLD WAR II that I own. The other day -- in researching to answer your question -- I pulled it from the shelf to have a look. And there, sure enough, on the very last page, Wincote is the name, not Evans.
This brings us back to where we began -- Will the real Reg Evans please stand up.
All the best,
PS -- Please make sure to read the two other articles inspired by your enquiry. See OZ COASTWATCHER RESCUED JFK and JFK O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
watch BATTLE STATIONS: PT BOATS, Documentary, YouTube (Pound for pound they were the most heavily armed fighting boats of WWII. These 50 tons of fast fighting fury were the smallest and most maneuverbile naval craft and fully war loaded could exceed an amazing 45 knots. Screwed and glued together on a hull made of wood they took on the enemy at close quarters with greater frequency than any other surface craft. And in one of the greatest stories of survival in WWII the PT would play a vital role in the making of a USA President -- John F Kennedy...)
JFK TOP JUDGE PRO-LIFE (...JFK and Byron White first met in London when JFK's father was Ambassador to England and again during World War II when both were serving in the Solomons. It was Byron White who wrote the intelligence report on the sinking of PT-109...Navy Report on Loss of PT-109...Arrangements were made through the Offices of the Coastwatcher Organization for the rescue....
PT 109 Memorabilia, Coral Sculpture, Price $68,500 (Just the mention of this famous World War II boat immediately calls to mind images of the young Jack Kennedy risking his own life to save his shipmates. Many books were written commemorating the event, and Hollywood made a movie about the famous rescue, aptly called PT 109. JFK collaborated closely with one author, Robert Donovan, on his book PT 109: John F Kennedy in WWII. A copy of the book was part of a lot auctioned for $6,325.... In a sentimental presentation, Mr Donovan gave the President a piece of coral from the island in the South Pacific where he was shipwrecked. Jewelry designer David Webb integrated the piece of coral into the sculpture.)
On March 14, 1962, President Kennedy hosted a White House reception for Peter Tare, an organization of people who served on PT boats. The group gave the President several gifts, some of which are on display at the Kennedy Museum. The Tiffany cold key (left), inscribed "109", was one gift that Jackie kept.
*JFK's grandson defends JFK's legacy, John Kennedy Schlossberg, Letter-to-editor, New York Times, Dec 2, 2011
As a young man inspired by politics and history who has spent time studying the Kennedy administration, I take issue with Ross Douthat's Nov. 27 column, THE ENDURING CULT OF KENNEDY, about President John F. Kennedy, my grandfather. Mr. Douthat suggests that President Kennedy was a "near disaster". He criticizes Kennedy on civil rights; Kennedy was the first president to deem civil rights "a moral issue", and applied federal authority to force desegregation. The president described as "famously hawkish" resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis peacefully. Mr. Douthat does not mention what President Kennedy called his proudest accomplishment: the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Contrary to what Mr. Douthat asserts about the Vietnam War, in 1963, at American University, Kennedy stated that America would never start a war. Many who served in his administration, including Ted Sorensen and McGeorge Bundy, long argued that my grandfather would have never invaded Vietnam as Lyndon B. Johnson did. Finally, I take issue with Mr. Douthat's condescending view of the American people. He suggests that Americans who admire President Kennedy -- and as Mr Douthat points out, the majority of Americans rank him among our best presidents -- do not understand their own history. Instead, I suggest that President Kennedy's legacy remains relevant today not because of Camelot or conspiracy, but because Americans find inspiration and meaning there. Watch JFK STRATEGY OF PEACE SPEECH JUNE 1963 (not peace of the grave or security of the slave) & watch JFK'S LAST PRESS CONFERENCE NOV 14/63 (pulling out of Vietnam; won't trade with Red China)
JFK SOLOMON RESCUER KUMANA'S FUNERAL
JFK SOLOMON RESCUER KUMANA DIES
listen JACKIE JURA INTERVIEW ON JFK 50TH, with Patrick Timpone, One Radio Network, November 21, 2013 (...They tell blatant lies that are totally in contradiction to the facts and the truth...that you can see with your own eyes and they don't even make an excuse for it...They just blatantly lie and that's all there is to it...I've been watching quite a few of the documentaries this last month because they've been doing them almost every night...As part of my resesrch I force myself to watch them and stomach it...Alot of it's got alot of truth...But some of them are blatantly really ridiculous...There was one out awhile ago...the KILLING KENNEDY one...That book came out last year by...I forget who...I've got the book...some big journalist..,and then they did an adaptaiton of his book on TV a few weeks ago...They had Jackie looking like Monica Lewinsky...It was just the big lie about the womanizing..
And then they had another one that was actually pretty good...It was a four-hour documentary on the assassination of JFK...It ran for two nights in a row...2 hours each night...and that was full of excellent, excelltnt film coverage...some of it i'd never seen before...It's amazing all these pictures they've had hidden and buried all these years...And yet...like you said in our last interview one time...they'll stick the knife in anyway...And even in the ones that are about 90% true...they stick in the poison...right in the middle...They can show a beautiful picture of JFK standing there with Jackie and the children...and while you're looking at that picture they're saying..."He had a very sexual-impulse problem...He was sleeping with so and so"...They're telling a lie while the picture they're showing doesn't back up what they're saying...There's never been a picture of JFK with any of these women...Have you noticed that?...You've never seen it...I've never seen it...No one has ever seen it...because it doesn't exist...and yet for 40 years they've been assassinating his character...)
JFK SOLOMON SWIM SAVES SURVIVORS (...After Kumana and Gaza left WANA WANA the native coastwatcher there sent native scouts in a canoe to a little island in the middle of Blackett Strait -- GOMU -- to wait there for the Australian coastwatcher -- Evans -- who would be moving his base there that night from his previous lookout on KOLOMBANGARA island (from where he'd seen PT 109 explode Sunday night and debris on Monday morning and had radioed a report to USA headquarters in Guadalcanal and told his native scouts to be looking for any survivors). Upon hearing from the scouts that survivors had been found on OLASANA Evans radioed the news to Guadalcanal with word that native scouts were on the way to Rendova with a message.... The next morning -- Saturday, August 7th -- Evans sent seven natives in a canoe to OLASANA with food and drinks for the survivors and a note to the senior officer -- that was JFK -- telling him to return with the natives to GOMU to help arrange the rescue.... Around 6pm that evening, after the survivors had eaten a feast prepared by the natives, JFK got into the canoe for the trip to GOMU. He crouched on the floor, covered in palm leaves, to hide from Japanese airplanes flying overhead Two hours later the canoe pulled up to GOMU and JFK popped out from under the palm leaves and introduced himself to Evans -- who invited him into his hut for tea and talk...)
listen Killing Kennedy, Audio Book in Full, Nov 5, 2014, YouTube
Bill O'Reilly's Killing Kennedy Brings in Record Ratings for NatGeo Channel, Mediaite, Nov 11, 2013
Sunday evening's debut of Bill O'Reilly's KILLING KENNEDY brought in record ratings for the National Geographic Channel. The KILLING KENNEDY film was based on O'Reilly's co-written book of the same name. Racking up 3.35 million total viewers, this iteration of the Fox host's KILLING series broke NatGeo's previous record and tied the record for a 1.1 rating in the key 25-54 demo. Those previous records were held by O'Reilly's KILLING LINCOLN movie. Among households, KILLING KENNEDY generated a 2.8 rating, second-highest for the network behind its Inside 9/11 documentary. The #KILLINGKENNEDY hashtag was also the number-one trending Twitter topic in the United States during the movie's broadcast. "KILLING KENNEDY demonstrated once again that our constant efforts to expand the type of programming National Geographic Channel presents is paying off", said network president Howard Owens. As such, the network is slated to begin production on a film version of O'Reilly's latest book, KILLING JESUS, starting in March 2014.
watch Killing Kennedy author Bill O'Reilly intervieweing Killing Kennedy actor Rob Lowe, O'Reilly Factor, Fox News, Oct 31, 2013 (...A week from this Sunday evening a movie based on my book KILLING KENNEDY will be shown on the National Geographic channel...With us now is actor Rob Lowe who plays President Kennedy...You really did a good job...What's the reaction to you in dealing with a project I wrote...I mean these pinheads in Hollywood don't like me at all...I'm not going to have dinner with Hanks or Damon any time soon...This movie was shot in 18 days in Virginia...We presented it really factually...
*watch JFK's Women: Scandals Revealed (Passionate Eye documentary), CBC News Network, Nov 10, 2013
An explosive biography that reveals the real John Fitzgerald Kennedy -- a President who was prepared to risk his political career and, at the height of the cold war, his country's security in return for sex. In a terrible irony, as the American Press finally braced itself to reveal the story, the Kennedy assassination in Dallas in November 1963 took his life but saved his reputation. John Fitzgerald Kennedy is still regarded as the most charismatic US President, an icon of modernity cut down in his prime. But the true story of JFK has never been revealed. JFK's Women focuses on his relationships with four 'dangerous' women during his Presidency -- Marilyn Monroe, Ellen Rometsch, Mariella Novotny and Judith Campbell. All four were seen as security risks by the FBI, three because of alleged Communist connections, and one because of her close links to senior Mafia bosses. The film shows how JFK grew up in a liberal Boston family in which the men were expected to have mistresses. During the war he had a relationship with a Danish journalist, Inge Arvad, who was suspected of having Nazi connections. He was warned to stop the affair, but he persisted. FBI director J Edgar Hoover kept tape recordings of JFK's love-making to Arvad....
Review of KILLING KENNEDY by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard (Unabashed in the Face of Tragedy), NewYorkTimes, Oct 10, 2012
... More extreme are examples of word-mangling like this: "The president's voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesn't exist"... At one party, the president is said to gaze flirtatiously at a young woman half his age, who wears a coy smile and a dress with a plunging neckline. She turns out to be Lisa Gherardini, da Vinci's model for "Mona Lisa", at a time when the painting is on loan to the White House. In their endless search for convenient contrasts, the authors come up with this: "But Lisa Gherardini has been in the grave for almost five centuries. There is no way she can be shot dead. The same cannot be said of the president. That is why the Secret Service never lets down its guard....)
"Killing Kennedy" author Bill O'Reilly wimps out, by David Talbot, Salon, Oct 8, 2012
Once upon a time, Bill O'Reilly had balls when it came to investigating the Kennedy assassination. Back in 1991 -- as a reporter for the tabloid TV news show, INSIDE EDITION -- O'Reilly had the guts to track the epic crime all the way into the dark labyrinth of the CIA. Following up on the important work done by investigators for the HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS in the late '70s, O'Reilly boldly told his INSIDE EDITION audience that there were "crucial" links between alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and the CIA. O'Reilly also reported that the CIA had infiltrated the office of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, who brought the only criminal case in the JFK assassination to trial, in an effort to sabotage Garrison’s investigation.
That was then -- when O'Reilly was a scrappy reporter for low-budget syndicated TV. But now, of course, he's BILL O'REILLY -- Fox News icon, a lavishly paid centerpiece of the Murdoch empire. Everything he says -- every windy pontification and dyspeptic remark -- is writ LARGE. He can no longer afford to have the courage of his suspicions. In O'Reilly's new ideological mold, the CIA is not the incubator of an unspeakable crime against American democracy -- it's the defender of the greatest nation in the world. And so we have the Fox News star's latest instant bestseller, KILLING KENNEDY: THE END OF CAMELOT, co-written by Martin Dugard, who collaborated with O'Reilly on his earlier runaway success, KILLING LINCOLN. There is almost nothing in this KENNEDY FOR BEGINNERS book that indicates O'Reilly once did some original research on this murky and still deeply haunting subject. Most of this surprisingly dumbed-down book is a biographical rehash of the Kennedy story that will contain nothing new for even casual readers of People magazine and viewers of Kennedy soap opera biopics over the years. Once again, we get the story of JFK's PT-109 heroics in the South Pacific; the lurid tales of Jack's womanizing and Jackie's anguish; the requisite cameos of Sinatra, Marilyn and the Mob; the familiar snapshots of a deeply disgruntled Lyndon Johnson, continually humiliated by the Kennedy brothers and their elite Harvard crowd. None of this is worth the book's $28 price of admission.
watch Bill O'Reilly interview about Killing Kennedy book, Imus In the Morning, YouTube, Oct 2, 2012
...O'Reilly: "...Killing Kennedy is a fact based book and we don't chase any conspiracy theories...You know Oswald did it...He did it...He put two into that car in three and a half seconds...One miss...Two bullets into that car with frightening accuracy...That's what he did...My co-writer...Dugard...he's in California and we go over every line of the book...It's basically he's in charge of the research and then...he sends me an outline...and then I shape it into chapter form...and then we start to write...in the sense that...he'll put down something and then he'll send it to me and then I'll change it and send it back to him...But every line in the book is gone over by both of us...We just give it to you right between the eyes...We tell you about Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra...We're not wasting any time here...)
Killing Kennedy (is an American television film, based on the 2012 non-fiction book of the same title by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, and starring Rob Lowe as United States President John F Kennedy and Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald. It premiered in the US and Canada on National Geographic Channel on November 10, 2013, followed by the various European National Geographic channels a few days later.... The plot follows the rise of John F Kennedy (Lowe) as he becomes President of the United States. As Kennedy's career shapes, Lee Harvey Oswald (Rothhaar), a former Marine, begins to grow disillusioned with America. Their paths ultimately cross and results in Oswald's assassination of Kennedy. The film is based on Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's best-selling book.
Guide to all the JFK specials airing on TV this month, Mediaite, Nov 14, 2013
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy. Arguably one of the most controversial events in American history, Kennedy was shot and killed while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. According to four government investigations, Lee Harvey Oswald was the sniper who assassinated the president. To mark the 50th anniversary, many TV networks will present special programming throughout the month to revisit and commemorate Kennedy's presidency and his tragic assassination.
JFK OPPOSED MONOLITHIC CONSPIRACY
JFK TRUTHS & UNTRUTHS and JFK ASSASSINATION PUZZLE PIECES
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