Solomon Islander who helped save JFK dies at 93

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HONIARA: A Solomon Islander who helped save John F. Kennedy when a Japanese destroyer sank the future US president’s patrol boat during World War II has died aged 93, his family said on Monday. Eroni Kumana and his fellow islander Buiku Gasa were out in a canoe in 1943 when they came across the injured Kennedy, who was then a naval lieutenant, and members of his crew stranded on a coral atoll. The pair helped the Americans survive and Kennedy went on to become the 35th president of the United States, keeping a coconut from the ordeal as a paperweight on his White House desk. Kumana’s son Esori said his father passed away surrounded by family members on Saturday aged 93 and was laid to rest on his home island of Ronongga on Monday. “It was very sad [but]he lived a full life and we are proud of him,” he told Agence France-Presse via telephone from the island, where villagers were preparing a feast in Kumana’s honor.

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AFP

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