The Info List - Joseph P. Kennedy Jr

Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal

Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. (July 25, 1915 – August 12, 1944) was a United States Navy lieutenant. He was killed in action during World War II while serving as a land-based patrol bomber pilot, and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. He was the eldest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. (1888–1969) and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890–1995). He was the only Kennedy son who never sought political office, though he had planned to. Joe Sr. had aspirations for Joe Jr. to become president.[1][page needed] However, Joe Jr. was killed while participating in a top-secret mission in 1944, and the high expectations of the father then fell upon Joe Jr.'s younger brother John, who was later elected president.


1 Early life and education

1.1 Political ambitions and views

2 U.S. Navy (1941–1944)

2.1 Operations Anvil and Aphrodite

3 Military awards

3.1 Navy Cross citation

4 Legacy 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Early life and education[edit] Kennedy was born in Hull, Massachusetts. He first attended the Dexter School in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his brother, John. In 1933, he graduated from the Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut. He then entered Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating in 1938. Kennedy participated in football, rugby, and crew, and he served on the student council. Kennedy then spent a year studying under the tutelage of Harold Laski at the London School of Economics before enrolling in Harvard Law School. Political ambitions and views[edit] From a very young age, Kennedy was groomed by his father and predicted to be the first Roman Catholic president of the United States. When he was born, his grandfather John F. Fitzgerald, then Mayor of Boston, told the news, "This child is the future President of the nation." He often boasted that he would be president even without help from his father. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1940. Kennedy planned to run for Massachusetts's 11th congressional district in 1946. Kennedy expressed approval of Adolf Hitler before his conquest of Europe began. His father sent him to visit Nazi Germany in 1934. He wrote to his father, praising Hitler's sterilization policy as "a great thing" that "will do away with many of the disgusting specimens of men." [2] He explained that "Hitler is building a spirit in his men that could be envied in any country."[3][4] U.S. Navy (1941–1944)[edit] Kennedy left before his final year of law school at Harvard to enlist in the U.S. Naval Reserve on June 24, 1941.[5] He entered flight training to be a Naval Aviator, and after training, he received his wings and was commissioned an ensign on May 5, 1942.[5] He was assigned to Patrol Squadron 203 and then Bombing Squadron 110.[5] In September 1943, he was sent to Britain and became a member of Bomber Squadron 110, Special Air Unit ONE, in 1944. He piloted land-based PB4Y Liberator patrol bombers on anti-submarine details during two tours of duty in the winter of 1943–1944. Kennedy had completed 25 combat missions and was eligible to return home. He instead volunteered for an Operation Aphrodite mission.[6] Operations Anvil and Aphrodite[edit] Operation Aphrodite (U.S. Army Air Corps) & Operation Anvil (U.S. Navy) made use of unmanned, explosive-laden Army Air Corps Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Navy Consolidated PB4Y-1 Liberator bombers that were deliberately crashed into their targets under radio control.[6] These aircraft could not take off safely on their own, so a crew of two would take off and fly to 2,000 feet (610 m) before activating the remote control system, arming the detonators, and parachuting from the aircraft. Kennedy was appointed a Lieutenant on July 1, 1944.[5] After the U.S. Army Air Corps operation missions were drawn up on July 23, 1944, Lieutenants Wilford John Willy[7] and Kennedy were designated as the first Navy flight crew. Willy, who was the executive officer of Special Air Unit ONE, had also volunteered for the mission and "pulled rank" over Ensign James Simpson, who was Kennedy's regular co-pilot. Kennedy and Willy (co-pilot) flew a BQ-8 "robot" aircraft (drone; a converted B-24 Liberator) for the U.S. Navy's first Aphrodite mission. Two Lockheed Ventura mother planes and a Boeing B-17 navigation plane took off from RAF Fersfield at 1800 on August 12, 1944. Then the BQ-8 aircraft, loaded with 21,170 lb (9,600 kg) of Torpex, took off. It was to be used against the U-boat pens at Heligoland in the North Sea.[8][9]

Last photograph of Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. on day of flight, August 12, 1944.

Commemorative headstone of Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. at Arlington National Cemetery.

Following them in a USAAF F-8 Mosquito to film the mission were pilot Lt. Robert A. Tunnel and combat camera man Lt. David J. McCarthy, who filmed the event from the perspex nose of the aircraft.[10] As planned, Kennedy and Willy remained aboard as the BQ-8 completed its first remote-controlled turn at 2,000 ft (610 m) near the North Sea coast. Kennedy and Willy removed the safety pin, arming the explosive package, and Kennedy radioed the agreed code Spade Flush, his last known words. Two minutes later (and well before the planned crew bailout, near RAF Manston), the Torpex explosive detonated prematurely and destroyed the Liberator, killing Kennedy and Willy instantly. Wreckage landed near the village of Blythburgh in Suffolk, England, causing widespread damage and small fires, but there were no injuries on the ground. According to one report, a total of 59 buildings were damaged in a nearby coastal town.

Attempted first Aphrodite attack Twelve August with robot taking off from Fersfield at One Eight Zero Five Hours. Robot exploded in the air at approximately two thousand feet eight miles southeast of Halesworth at One Eight Two Zero hours. Wilford J. Willy Sr Grade Lieutenant and Joseph P. Kennedy Sr Grade Lieutenant, both USNR, were killed. Commander Smith, in command of this unit, is making full report TO US Naval Operations. A more detailed report will be forwarded to you when interrogation is completed — Top Secret telegram to General Carl Andrew Spaatz from General Jimmy Doolittle, August 1944[11]

According to USAAF records, the trailing Mosquito "was flying 300 feet above and about 300 yards to the rear of the robot. Engineer photographer on this ship was injured, and the ship was damaged slightly by the explosion."[12] The Mosquito, which made an immediate emergency landing at RAF Halesworth, belonged to the 325th Reconnaissance Wing, a unit under the command of the son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Colonel Elliott Roosevelt. Years later, Roosevelt claimed to have been aboard this trailing aircraft, and his version of the event has gained wide currency.[13] However, Air Force records cannot substantiate this. Instead, an after-action account by the 8th Combat Camera Unit (CCU) noted that:

Memorial for Joseph Kennedy Jr. inside the fortress of Mimoyecques (France)

".....'the Baby just exploded in mid-air as we neared it and I was knocked halfway back to the cockpit. A few pieces of the Baby came through the plexiglass nose and I got hit in the head and caught a lot of fragments in my right arm. I crawled back to the cockpit and lowered the wheels so that Bob could make a quick emergency landing,' Lt. McCarthy reported from his hospital bed."[14] The 8th CCU film of the event, has, so far as is known, not been found. The Navy's informal board of review, discussing a number of theories, discounted the possibility of the crew making a mistake or that suspected jamming or a stray signal could have armed and detonated the explosives. An electronics officer, Earl Olsen, who believed the wiring harness had a design defect, had warned Kennedy of this possibility the day before the mission, but he was ignored.[11] Kennedy and Willy were both posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart Medal. The names of both men are listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, a cemetery and chapel near the village of Madingley in Cambridgeshire, Britain, that commemorates American servicemen who died in World War II.[15] Later reports that Kennedy's final mission were kept top secret until many years later[1] are negated by a detailed public account of the operation and Kennedy's death released in 1945.[16] Military awards[edit] Kennedy's military decorations and awards include:

Navy Cross

Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Medal

Purple Heart Medal

American Defense Service Medal

American Campaign Medal with one ​3⁄16" bronze star

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one ​3⁄16" bronze star

World War II Victory Medal

Navy Cross citation[edit]

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Joseph Patrick Kennedy, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Commander of a Navy Liberator Patrol Plane in Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED TEN (VB-110), Special Air Unit ONE (Europe), during a special air mission directed at Mimoyecques, France, on August 12, 1944. Well knowing the extreme dangers involved and totally unconcerned for his own safety, Lieutenant Kennedy unhesitatingly volunteered to conduct an exceptionally hazardous and special operational mission. Intrepid and daring in his tactics and with unwavering confidence in the vital importance of his task, he willingly risked his life in the supreme measure of service, and, by his great personal valor and fortitude in carrying out a perilous undertaking, sustained and enhanced the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.[17]

Legacy[edit] In 1946, the Navy named a destroyer for Kennedy, the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., aboard which his younger brother, (future U.S. Senator) Robert F. Kennedy, briefly served. Among the highlights of its service are the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the afloat recovery teams for Gemini 6 and Gemini 7, both 1965 manned spaceflights in NASA's Gemini program. It is now a floating museum in Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts. In 1947, the Kennedys established the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation and funded the construction of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Hall at Boston College, now a part of Campion Hall and home to the college's Lynch School of Education. The foundation was led by his youngest brother, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, until his death in August 2009. In 1957, the Lieutenant Joseph Patrick Kennedy Junior Memorial Skating Rink was opened in Hyannis, Massachusetts, with funds from the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. In 1969, Hank Searls wrote a biography of Joe Jr., entitled The Lost Prince: Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy. A television movie based on Searls' book won a primetime Emmy in 1977.[18] See also[edit]

World War II portal United States Navy portal Biography portal

Kennedy curse Kennedy family Kennedy family tree Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy, a 1977 TV movie


^ a b Olsen, Jack (2004) [1970]. Aphrodite: Desperate Mission. ISBN 978-0-7434-8670-5.  ^ Gordon, Meryl (October 6, 2015). "'Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter,' by Kate Clifford Larson". New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2015.  ^ Honig, Sarah (February 28, 2015). "Another Tack:Movie Musings". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 13, 2015.  ^ Beauchamp, Cari (December 2004). "Two Sons, One Destiny". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 13, 2015.  ^ a b c d "Destroyer Photo Index DD-850 USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, JR". Navsource.org. Retrieved October 2, 2017.  ^ a b Sorensen, Theodore (1966) [1965]. Kennedy (paperback). New York: Bantam. p. 37. OCLC 2746832.  ^ "Lt Wilford John Willy (1909 - 1944) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved October 2, 2017.  ^ Freeman, Roger A. (1970) [1970]. The Mighty Eighth, A History of the U.S. 8th Army Air Force (Hardback). London: Macdonald. ISBN 0-385-01168-7.  ^ "US Navy and US Marine Corps Bureau Numbers, Third Series (30147 to 839998)". Joseph F. Baugher. Archived from the original on September 8, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2007.  ^ Hansen, Chris (2012) [2012]. Enfant Terrible: The Times and Schemes of General Elliott Roosevelt. Tucson: Able Baker. ISBN 978-0-615-66892-5.  ^ a b Renehan, Edward J. Jr. (2002). The Kennedys at War, 1937–1945. New York: Doubleday. p. 304. ISBN 978-0-385-50165-1.  ^ Telegram to AWW, cipher, Top Secret, August 17, 1944, Project Aphrodite box, Air Force Historical Research Agency. ^ Searls, Hank (1977) [1969]. Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy (paperback). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-27395-8.  ^ 8th AAF CCU unit history for August 1944, 25-GP-HI (Recon), AFHRA ^ Lieut Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. at Find a Grave ^ New York Times, August 15 and 17, 1944 (announcement of Kennedy's death) and October 25, 1945 (detailed account of the mission) ^ "Valor awards for Joseph Patrick Kennedy". Valor.militarytimes.com. Retrieved October 2, 2017.  ^ "Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy". IMDb.com. September 18, 1977. Retrieved October 2, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joseph P. Kennedy Jr..

JFK Letter on the Death of Brother Joe Kennedy Jr. Shapell Manuscript Foundation Eye Witness of Plane Crash, BlythburghWeb.co.uk; accessed September 26, 2017

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Kennedy family


P. J. Kennedy (1858–1929)

Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. (m.) Rose Fitzgerald


Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. (1888–1969)

Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. John F. Kennedy (m.) Jacqueline Bouvier Rosemary Kennedy Kathleen Kennedy (m.) William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington Eunice Kennedy (m.) Sargent Shriver Patricia Kennedy (m./div.) Peter Lawford Robert F. Kennedy (m.) Ethel Kennedy Jean Kennedy (m.) Stephen Edward Smith Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy (m./div. 1st) Joan Bennett; (m. 2nd) Victoria Reggie


John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963)

Caroline Kennedy (m.) Edwin Schlossberg John F. Kennedy Jr. (m.) Carolyn Bessette Patrick Bouvier Kennedy

Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1921–2009)

Bobby Shriver Maria Shriver (m./div.) Arnold Schwarzenegger Timothy Shriver Mark Shriver Anthony Shriver

Patricia Kennedy Lawford (1924–2006)

Christopher Lawford

Robert F. Kennedy (1925–1968)

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Joseph P. Kennedy II Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (m.) Cheryl Hines David A. Kennedy Courtney Kennedy Hill Michael LeMoyne Kennedy Kerry Kennedy (m./div.) Andrew Cuomo Christopher G. Kennedy Max Kennedy Douglas Harriman Kennedy Rory Kennedy

Jean Kennedy Smith (born 1928)

William Kennedy Smith

Ted Kennedy (1932–2009)

Kara Kennedy Edward M. Kennedy Jr. Patrick J. Kennedy


Rose Schlossberg Tatiana Schlossberg Jack Schlossberg Katherine Schwarzenegger Patrick Schwarzenegger Joseph P. Kennedy III


Hickory Hill Kennedy Compound Kennedy curse Merchandise Mart The Kennedys (museum) The Kennedys (miniseries)


Kennedy family

m. = married; div. = divorced; sep. = separated.

v t e

John F. Kennedy

35th President of the United States (1961–1963) U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (1953–1960) U.S. Representative for MA-11 (1947–1953)

Presidency (timeline)

Presidential Office: Inauguration Cabinet Judicial appointments

Supreme Court

Presidential pardons

Domestic policy: Clean Air Act Communications Satellite Act Community Mental Health Act Equal Pay Act Federal affirmative action Federal housing segregation ban Fifty-mile hikes Food for Peace New Frontier Pilot Food Stamp Program Space policy Status of Women (Presidential Commission) University of Alabama integration Voter Education Project

Foreign policy: Alliance for Progress Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Flexible response Kennedy Doctrine Peace Corps Trade Expansion Act USAID Vietnam War Cuba: Bay of Pigs Invasion Cuban Project Cuban Missile Crisis


Soviet Union: Berlin Crisis Moscow–Washington hotline Vienna summit

White House: Presidential limousine Presidential yacht Resolute desk Situation Room

Presidential speeches

Inaugural address American University speech "We choose to go to the Moon" Report to the American People on Civil Rights "Ich bin ein Berliner" "A rising tide lifts all boats"


U.S. States House of Representatives elections, 1946 1948 1950 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, 1952 1958 1960 Presidential primaries 1960 Presidential campaign Democratic National Convention 1956 1960 U.S. presidential election, 1960


Personal life

Birthplace and childhood home Kennedy Compound US Navy service PT-109

Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana Arthur Evans PT-59 Castle Hot Springs

Hammersmith Farm Coretta Scott King phone call Rocking chair "Happy Birthday, Mr. President"


Why England Slept (1940) Profiles in Courage (1956) A Nation of Immigrants (1958)



timeline reactions in popular culture

State funeral

Riderless horse attending dignitaries

Gravesite and Eternal Flame


John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston) 1964 Civil Rights Act Apollo 11 Moon landing Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Kennedy Space Center (Florida) Kennedy Round U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development VISTA Cultural depictions

films Kennedy half dollar U.S. postage stamps U.S. five cent stamp Lincoln–Kennedy coincidences

Operation Sail

Memorials, namesakes

Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.) John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York) John F. Kennedy Memorial (London) John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial (Dallas) John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial (Portland, Oregon) John F. Kennedy Memorial (Runnymede, Britain) John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge (Kentucky–Indiana) John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard Univ.) John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (Fort Bragg, North Carolina) John F. Kennedy University (California) John Kennedy College (Mauritius) Kennedy Expressway (Chicago) MV John F. Kennedy USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Yad Kennedy (Jerusalem)


Jacqueline Bouvier (wife) Caroline Kennedy (daughter) John F. Kennedy Jr. (son) Patrick Bouvier Kennedy (son) Jack Schlossberg (grandson) Rose Schlossberg (granddaughter) Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. (father) Rose Fitzgerald (mother) Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (brother) Rosemary Kennedy (sister) Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington (sister) Eunice Kennedy Shriver (sister) Patricia Kennedy Lawford (sister) Robert F. Kennedy (brother) Jean Kennedy Smith (sister) Ted Kennedy (brother) P. J. Kennedy (grandfather) John F. Fitzgerald (grandfather)

← Dwight D. Eisenhower Lyndon B. Johnson →


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Robert F. Kennedy

November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968

United States Senator from New York, 1965–1968 64th United States Attorney General, 1961–1964


1948 Palestine visit Senate Committee investigation of Labor and Management Cuban Missile Crisis


Civil rights

Freedom Riders Voter Education Project

Baldwin–Kennedy meeting 1964 Democratic National Convention Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Mississippi Delta tour Kennedy Compound Hickory Hill home


1964 U.S. Senate election 1968 presidential campaign

primaries Boiler Room Girls


Law Day Address (1961) Day of Affirmation Address (1966) Conflict in Vietnam and at Home (1968) University of Kansas (1968) Ball State (1968) On the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (1968) "On the Mindless Menace of Violence" (1968)


The Enemy Within (1960) The Pursuit of Justice (1964) To Seek a Newer World (1967) Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis (1969)


Sirhan Sirhan Ambassador Hotel Conspiracy theories Gravesite

Legacy and memorials

Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

Human Rights Award Journalism Award Book Award

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Landmark for Peace Memorial Kennedy–King College Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools Robert F. Kennedy Bridge

Popular culture

Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963 documentary) Robert Kennedy Remembered (1968 documentary) "Abraham, Martin and John" (1968 song) The Missiles of October (1974 docudrama) Kennedy (1983 miniseries) Blood Feud (1983 film) Prince Jack (1985 film) Robert Kennedy and His Times (1985 miniseries) Hoover vs. The Kennedys (1987 miniseries) Thirteen Days (2000 film) RFK (2002 film) Bobby (2006 film) RFK Must Die (2007 documentary) The Kennedys (2011 miniseries) Ethel (2012 documentary) Jackie (2016 film)

Family, family tree

Ethel Skakel (wife) Kathleen Kennedy (daughter) Joseph P. Kennedy (son) Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (son) David Kennedy (son) Courtney Kennedy (daughter) Michael Kennedy (son) Kerry Kennedy (daughter) Chris Kennedy (son) Max Kennedy (son) Doug Kennedy (son) Rory Kennedy (daughter) Joseph P. Kennedy III (grandson) Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. (father) Rose Kennedy (mother) Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (brother) John F. Kennedy (brother presidency) Rosemary Kennedy (sister) Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish (sister) Eunice Kennedy Shriver (sister) Patricia Kennedy Lawford (sister) Jean Kennedy Smith (sister) Ted Kennedy (brother) Patrick J. Kennedy (grandfather) John F. Fitzgerald (grandfather)

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Ted Kennedy

February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009

United States Senator from Massachusetts, 1962–2009

Electoral history

United States Senate special election in Massachusetts, 1962 United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 1964 1970 1976 1982 1988 1994 2000 2006 United States presidential election, 1980 (Democratic Party presidential primaries, 1980)


My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, D.C. (2006) True Compass (2009)

Family, family tree

Joan Bennett Kennedy (first wife) Victoria Reggie Kennedy (second wife, widow) Kara Kennedy (daughter) Edward M. Kennedy Jr. (son) Patrick J. Kennedy II (son) Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. (father) Rose Kennedy (mother) Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (brother) John F. Kennedy (brother presidency) Rosemary Kennedy (sister) Kathleen Kennedy (sister) Eunice Kennedy Shriver (sister) Patricia Kennedy Lawford (sister) Robert F. Kennedy (brother) Jean Kennedy Smith (sister) Patrick J. Kennedy I (grandfather) John F. Fitzgerald (grandfather)


Awards and honors Political positions Kennedy Compound Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act Chappaquiddick incident The Dream Shall Never Die Mary Jo Kopechne Friends of Ireland Chappaquiddick (2018 film)

Commons Wikiquote Wikisource texts

Authority control

WorldCat Identities BIBSYS: 90852796 LCCN: n83073805 SNAC: w67d4fg9 VI