USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. DD850 Destroyer Museum
at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts.
Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was born in 1915 as the son to Ambassador Joseph
P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Kennedy. He was the older brother of both John
F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. In May of 1942, he was commissioned
in the United States Navy. Following flight training, he was sent to
Europe to fight against the Germans.
By July of 1944, England was under massive air attacks from the German
V-1 and V-2 rockets. A plan was developed to fly a B-24 Liberator
bomber from England as a radio controlled drone that would bomb German
V-2 rocket launching sites. Since the plane could not take off by radio
control, Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. and Lt. W.J. Willy volunteered to
take it into the air and then parachute out over the English channel
when the planes guidance systems would bring the Liberator to the
target. The plane took off on August 12, 1944 and exploded in mid-air,
killing both Kennedy and Willy. In honor of Kennedy's heroic effort,
United Stated Ship DD850 was named USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr..