October 24 - 1944: The day it was reported the first Kennedy brother died

1976: The sinking of the Patricia Marie with seven men lost
Ralph MacKenzie's iconic photo of the Patricia Marie from Robert Finch's magnificent book, "The Cape Itself".

1976: Seven Provincetown men lost on the Patricia Marie

It was the worst fishing loss for the town in a century

On this day in 1976, the Captain of the 65-foot scalloper the Patricia Marie and his crew of six was lost off Eastham. The 50' Patricia Marie, owned by Capt. Billy King went down during a scalloping trip off Pollock Rip.

Loss at sea were the  seven crew members including Capain. William King, 46; Walter Marshall, 55; Morris Joseph, 47, and his 19-year-old son, Alton; Ernest Cordeiro, 45; Robert Zawalick, 25; and Richard Oldenquist, 35, all were from Provincetown.

Read the story from the Provincetown Banner in 2006 here, more about the Patricia Marie here,and see the book here.

1944: Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr.'s plane explodes over Europe on a mission

The oldest brother who might been president instead of Jack had he lived

On this day in 1944, it was finally reported that the oldest Kennedy brother died in a United States Navy plane explosion over Biscay Bay in Europe in the closing months of World War II on a secret mission to destroy German V-2 rocket bases.  He was the first Kennedy brother to die a violent death.

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Although his death had occurred two months earlier, due to the nature of his secret mission it was withheld from the public.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. (July 25, 1915 – August 12, 1944) was the oldest of the nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and his wife, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was the only older brother of future President John F. Kennedy, and he was expected to bear the family's political hopes rather than Jack.

On Aug. 12, 1944, one of our most tragic secret missions occurred. A PB4Y-1, the Navy version of the B-24, loaded with 374 boxes of high explosives weighing over 20,000 pounds, took off from England. This flying bomb was piloted by Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., and accompanied by an armada of various types of aircraft. Flying V-Bombs launched by the Germans were creating havoc in England, and his mission was to destroy them before they destroyed London.

Kennedy was on his way to eliminate one of these sites when at 6:20 PM his flying bomb exploded in mid air. The U.S. Government ordered an immediate cover-up.

Even the newspaper report of his death was not published until October 24, 1944, due to wartime censorship and the cover-up.

(Above: A US Navy version of the B-24 bomber piloted by Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. on that fateful flight.)


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