Kennedy Island (colloquially known as Plum Pudding Island, though the local name is Kasolo Island) is a small uninhabited island in the Solomon Islands that was named after John F. Kennedy, following an incident involving Kennedy during his World War II naval career. Kennedy Island lies 15 minutes by boat from Gizo, the provincial capital of the Solomon Islands' Western Province.
The island is notable for its role in the story of PT-109, part of the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II. In August 1943 it was to this island that the crew of the PT-109, commanded by then Lieutenant Kennedy, swam after their craft was rammed and wrecked by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. Two American sailors died in the incident. Kennedy later had the crew swim to the larger Olasana Island.
A small shrine to Kennedy, built by Solomon Islander Eroni Kumana who aided in the rescue of the crew, stands on the island. In 2003, a race was held where participants re-enacted Kennedy's swim.
The island remains uninhabited, but is a tourist attraction.
Previously a public area, it was acquired in 2004 at a cost of SI$7000 (US$950) by Joseph Douglas, an advisor to then Caretaker Premier of Western Province Clement Base. The legality of the sale was the subject of a legal challenge. In 2009, Douglas sold Kennedy Island to Gizo Hotel (owned by Australian Shane Kennedy), one year after brother Dan Kennedy purchased the resort closest to Kennedy Island (Fatboys on Mbabanga Island).
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