Within the rich Kennedy family, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. attended Harvard University before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II. While serving in the armed forces, he became among the very most experienced fighter pilots in the navy. Sadly his time in the navy brought about Kennedy, Jr.’s death, as explosives that were taken in his airplane denotaned early, killing the pilot on August 12, 1944.
He was the firstborn child of Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy. His dad amassed a sizable fortune through businesses like property and movie creation. Beginning his professional career as a banker, he also made substantial amounts in a then-unregulated stock exchange.
He graduated cum laude in 1934 and started studying at Harvard Law. With World War II underway, Kennedy left law school and joined the U.S. Navy in June 1941 and was given his aviator wings a year after.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. started flying Caribbean patrols shortly after, until he was sent abroad to England in September 1943 to join a B24 squadron. Inside the British Naval Command, he’d be among the very first aviators to fly B24s, which were big bombers. As the war went on, Kennedy became among the very most seasoned battle fighters in the positions of the navy, as well as the absolute number of assignments he’d flown gave him the opportunity to come back to America.
Kennedy refused to go back, instead getting his crew to stay on and fly more bombing missions. June and July of 1944 discovered Kennedy always in the air, running bombing strikes from the Axis forces, and as August approached he was given the chance to head home once more. Now, he chose to stay but told his crew to head back to the States. This may end up being a fateful choice for the young aviator.
Kennedy elected to stay in Europe so he could offer for a dangerous, top secret bombing mission, called Operation Aphrodite, over Normandy, France. On the night of August 12, 1944, he along with his crew flew a drone loaded with 21,170 pounds of explosives into the heavens over a German v2 rocket launching site. At some point, Kennedy as well as the crew would bail out once two “mom” airplanes had taken control of the drone via remote control. They’d then fly the drone to the German launching site and Kennedy would parachute to safety.
But, the explosives in the Kennedy-piloted drone detonated prematurely in flight, as well as the aircraft exploded, killing all aboard immediately.
A year after, Kennedy’s younger brother Robert briefly served aboard the boat.