|Review clip from NG's Search for Kennedy's PT 109 from 2002 which few people saw. |
Excellent VHS or DVD, two thumbs up for the only PT 109 book or video which shows that while Kennedy gave the two a coconut, it was Gasa's idea, and Kumana who climbed up a tree to get it. (Also see my parody on how Gilligan gets a coconut from the Fred Meyer)
The WB movie didn't credit the people or even the actors, the Donovan book doesn't say Gasa came up with the idea, and the Tregaski book doesn't even mention them by name. Kennedy would help pay for Gasa's house, but they were turned back at the airport before they could collect on Kennedy's offer to fly them to his inauguration, and they never visited the US. It is my goal to write a new chapter in the history of the PT 109 to bring Eroni Kumana and the descendents of Gasa to the US to meet President Bush while Kumana is still alive. (The Kennedy's of Gizo Diving have confirmed he is still alive, but pretty frail for travel). It is a testament to the benefits of rowing for 35 miles that both of them far outlived any of the crew of the PT 109.
These two guys deserve to rank with Pocahontas and Sacajewa as natives who saved a very important American in a dugout canoe when the full resources of the US Navy's PT boats, aircraft, radio and radio could not or would not find them.
I have invited Juni Freshwater, neice of Gasa and her husband who posted the only obituary of this death to Seattle as my guest. If you would like them to speak or visit your town or organization, or would like to contribute towards the $3,000 airfare, please contact me.