Lapel pin promoting John F. Kennedy for president, 1960. Gilt brass, formed in the shape of the PT-109, a U.S. Navy patrol boat commanded by Kennedy in the South Pacific during World War II.
Rammed by a Japanese destroyer, the PT-109 sank and the survivors swam three miles to avoid capture. Though badly injured, Lt. Kennedy towed another crew member to safety and made contact with the Pacific fleet. He was later awarded the Naval Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart. When Kennedy ran for president in 1960, the PT-109 was used to make the case that the youthful Massachusetts senator possessed the courage and fortitude to helm the ship of state through the troubled waters of the Cold War. Its reincarnation as this lapel pin provided one of the more memorable pieces to issue from the campaign, and Kennedy is known to have kept a supply of them in his pocket to personally hand out to supporters. No collection of JFK memorabilia is complete without one!