TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Former President and US Navy lieutenant John F. Kennedy heroically swam 80 years ago between Plum Pudding Island, Naru Island and Olasana Island at night to save himself and a crew whose boat had been destroyed by a Japanese warship in World War II.

On Thursday, JFK’s daughter Caroline Kennedy, and his grandson Jack Schlossberg recreated his swim in the Soloman Islands. They swam the route between Naru and Olasan Islands, around three-quarters of a mile, commemorating his heroism.

“It gave me a renewed appreciation of the heroism of my father and his crew, and the Solomon Scouts. It was so meaningful to do this with my son, Jack,” Caroline said in an Instagram post.

Caroline and Jack after the recreation of JFK’s swim (US Embassy Australia)

US Embassy Australia shared their journey and remembrance of JFK’s rescue of PT-109. His legacy has even replaced the name “Plum Pudding Island” with “Kennedy Island.”

“My son and I are honored to be able to thank you in person for what your fathers did 80 years ago,” Caroline said. “My father owed his life to their courage, their willingness to put themselves at risk and to serve their country in the battle for freedom.”

Caroline has been a US ambassador to Australia since August 2022. She and Jack spent the week visiting communities and sharing their stories.

Caroline and Jack spent time at Gizo Primary School, sharing stories and their favorite subjects with students. They talked with them about how the United States, Australia and the Solomon Islands sparked a friendship 80 years ago.

Caroline and Jack with members of the local community (US Embassy Australia)

Caroline specifically thanked two Solomon Islanders Scouts- Biaku Gasa and Eroni Kumana- who saved her father’s life during the war. She and Jack spent time with Gasa and Kumana on the very Island where JFk encountered the islanders in 1943.

“Jack and I are here to renew the bond of friendship… We will carry this memory with us always and pass down the story that unites us across generations, space, and time,” Caroline said.

Ambassador Kennedy reflected on the anniversary of the rescue, by reminding us how we are shaped by historical events, but the connections we make define our meaning.