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WWII veteran shares story of saving a president

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:49:32 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 11 2013 02:00:00 AM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

Lt. Cmdr. Ted Robinson shared his story in Chico Monday morning describing how he and his crew rescued John F. Kennedy after his ship was destroyed.

He said that is was a coconut that ultimately helped save JFK during World War II.

"He hung on to the bow for a full day and found the bow was drifting towards a Japanese island with 40,000 troops on it," said Robinson.
Robinson said Kennedy's ship was split in half by a Japanese destroyer in 1943.
"The survivors, including Kennedy, got to this little plum island and we thought they were gone, nobody could have survived the explosion," said Robinson.
Robinson explains that Kennedy and his crew were stranded on that island for a week without food or water.
"We had a funeral for Kennedy.  That funeral in Washington years later was not his first funeral, it was his second funeral," said Robinson.
Robinson and his crew got a message from a native that paddled out with a message engraved on a coconut.
"On it said, '11 still alive. Send help, JFK,'" said Robinson.
Once they got that message, Robinson and his men got the orders to go rescue them.
"We got them out alive and I ended up marrying a friend of Jackie's [Kennedy]," said Robinson.

Robinson said he and Kennedy became very good friends after that and stayed in touch until Kennedy's assassination in November of 1963.