With the support of the Kennedy family, best-selling National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Robert D. Ballard embarks on the search for PT-109, the boat made famous by commander John F. Kennedy's heroic rescue efforts following a harrowing collision with a Japanese destroyer in WWII. The companion to a major National Geographic Explorer television documentary Forty years after his death and 60 years after his first collision with history four miles off the island of Gizo in the South Pacific, John F. Kennedy and his story still inspires readers.
JFK's heroic efforts to save his 11-man PT 109 (personal torpedo boat) crew including - swimming close to 80 miles over a period of six days through Japanese- and shark-infested waters, at one point even towing an injured crewman by a rope in his teeth for a two-mile swim- come to life interwoven through a comprehensive history of PT boats and the World War II campaign in the Solomon Islands. Collision with History combines first person presence on Ballard's search expedition for the wreckage, survivor accounts, and Kennedy family members' recollections to introduce the reader to the young war hero who would later become president. Covering subjects such as modern exploration, World War II, and personal heroism, Ballard weaves a tale that spans 60 years.