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Lot 356

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John Kennedy PT-109 Truth on Collision, Signed Statement by Japanese Imperial Navy Commander

Single page autograph statement signed with hand drawn map of the event, 8.5" x 11". Undated. Signed by Captain Katsumori Yamashiro.  The statement was written by Yamashiro to set the truth straight regarding what occurred on the day the Japanese flagship Amagiri rammed into PT-109. Fine condition. From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

Yamashiro begins with confirming his position as Commander of Amagiri authorized him to be in full charge of his boat. He also confirms that it was never intended to have a collision with PT-109 as his concern was the the bow of his own ship might burn by a torpedo explosion caused if the two ships collided as at the time the PT-109 had a torpedo on board. "Upon sighting the PT-109, my concern was the distance was closing, and if the Amagiri would collide with the PT-109, the bow of the Amagiri might burn ..."

"...I Captain Yamashiro, ordered "Hard-A-Port" which was to avoid collision. Afterward skipper Lt. Condr. Hanami told a deliberate lie when he ordered "Hard-A-Starboard". The fact the Amagiri hit PT-109 with her starboard propeller blade proves the starboard statement a lie. When turning starboard it is impossible that she could hit anything with her starboard propeller.

If there would still be an Imperial Japanese Navy, skipper would be reprimanded and disgraced for this outrageous lie, completely ignoring my presence on board. Unfortunately, his lie was picked up by Mr. Donovan in his version of PT-109...My story is the truth, I was there, I was in command and my order was to avoid collision.

I am writing this to provide history with the truth. I as commander of the Amagiri, tried to avoid collision with PT-109. It was sunk by accident and not intentionally..."

What actually occurred on that fateful day is still shrouded in mystery. with conflicting stories. What is commonly believed is that Kennedy and his crew had less than ten seconds to get the engines up to speed and evade the oncoming destroyer, which was advancing without running lights, but the PT boat was run down and severed between Kolombangara and Ghizo Island, near 8°3′S 156°56′E. Conflicting statements have been made as to whether the destroyer captain had spotted and steered towards the 109. Most contemporary authors write that Amagiri's captain intentionally steered to collide with the 109. Amagiri's captain, Lieutenant Commander Kohei Hanami, later admitted it himself and also stated that the 109 was traveling at a steady pace in their direction. This letter by the Commander Yamashiro was intended to set the record straight.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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