KENNEDY, John F. Two autograph letters signed (each signed twice: “Jack” and, on return address, “J. F. Kennedy”) to Bonnie “Bunny” Waters (1916-1992), 25 October  and [30 October 1943]. Together 5 pages, 4to, one on V-Mail stationery. [With:] KENNEDY, Joseph. Typed letter signed to Waters, 8 May 1945. 1 page, 4to, personal stationery.
“I THANK GOD I LEARNED TO SWIM”
Two flirtatious letters to an old flame, mentioning his PT-109 disaster. Kennedy says “Your letter came to me at a particularly grim time – in the hospital -- but it speeded my recovery no end as it served to bring back some great times – the Cape – Boston – and I must add – New York (I suppose you’d leave Boston & New York out, or would you?).” About the PT-109 crash, he says “What happened to us is censorable but we came off second best I’m afraid, though I haven’t seen the other fellow. I thanked God I learned to swim.” He is “leaving in a couple of days” for his new posting, “to try again, a little the wiser.” He congratulates Waters on her Hollywood career and drops the hint that he will be in L.A. on leave in the near future. He laments the lack of good movies to watch in San Francisco, adding “I saw when I was down at the hospital that the real curse of the war is being bored to death—and we at least don’t have to combat that.” He adds a couple of playful postscripts along the margins, including: “Does your heart still belong to Manny or what? Oh, it isn’t any of my business. Well, in that case, OK.” In the V-Mail letter dated 25 October, he tells Waters, “Just wanted to write as won’t be able to for a while…Just want you to know am thinking of you & wishing I could see you…”
The lot also includes a moving letter from JFK’s father (written on V-E Day), about the death of his first-born son, Joseph, Jr. “You were very sweet to write about Joe…I find it almost impossible to write to other people suffering the same catastrophe. I think that God in his supreme wisdom knew that when the young bury the old, time heals the pain and sorrow; but when the process is reversed, the sorrow remains forever.” He mentions JFK’s discharge from the navy “as a result of the injuries incurred in that episode in the Pacific.”