Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy, Jr. (July 25, 1915 — August 12, 1944)
Joe was a junior officer in the United States Navy, a Naval Aviator, and a land-based bomber pilot during World War II. He was the eldest of the nine children born to Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy, Sr., and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald.
The elder brother of future U.S. President, John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy, had been expected to become President, especially after his father’s political exile for supporting the appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain in the advent of World War II.
Jospeh earned his wings as a Naval Aviator in May 1942 and was sent to Britain in September 1943. He piloted land-based PB4Y Liberator patrol bombers on anti-submarine details during two tours of duty in the winter of 1943–1944. Kennedy had completed 25 combat missions and was eligible to return home. He instead volunteered for an Operation Aphrodite mission. He was killed in action whilst working on Operation Aphrodite in 1944.
Jospeh was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal.