|The PT 109 "Tie Clasp Connection...."
|Carvajal had a nodding acquaintance with Bobby Kennedy since their days on Capitol
Hill (1953). Kennedy had just finished law school and was working as a Democratic
Party counsel on Senator Joe McCarthy's committee. Carvajal was just starting in at
George Washington University. Bobby, like his brother Jack, was a very friendly,
outgoing sort of person. The famous "PT 109" tie clasp had been a much
sought-after memento of JFK's 1960 presidential campaign. It was a reminder of
JFK's heroic actions as skipper of a Patrol Torpedo boat in the South Pacific in World
War II (where he nearly lost his life when the boat was sunk by a Japanese
destroyer). In 1962, Carvajal was the publicist for a D.C. event at which Attorney
General Bobby Kennedy was the main speaker. He took a snapshot of RFK with a
couple of well-wishers after the event. Carvajal said, "I see you're wearing one of
those hard-to-get PT 109 tie clasps." Kennedy said, "Here, take it. I've got a drawer
full of them."
In these photos, Kennedy and Carvajal are seen wearing that tie clasp.
There is also a scanned close-up of that now-rare item.
|Attorney General Robert
well-wishers at the old Hilton
Hotel in D.C. (1962).
Note the PT 109 tie clasp.
Photo by Joe Carvajal
|Embassy Press Attache
Carvajal (with his wife
Nedra) being greeted by
Ambassador and Mrs.
Leonard Unger as they
arrived for the annual
Christmas Party at the
Bangkok, 1968. There's
that tie clasp again.
U.S. Embassy Photo
|A close-up scan of the tie clasp.
|Robert Kennedy was
assassinated in Los Angeles
on June 5, 1968. In those
days before instant global
communications, it was Joe
Carvajal's sad duty to notify
the Bangkok press corps (and
Ambassador Unger) of that
event, having received word
through a secure U.S.
Government Telex channel to
the Embassy Press Office.