Framed PT109 Flag

Magnolia Framing

True Grumbler
Mar 22, 2003
Gautier, MS

One of our customers/friends brought in a flag given to him this past Veteran's day. The flag was presented by Lt. John F. Kennedy (later the president) to MoMM Patrick McMahon in August 1943, while McMahon was in the hospital recovering from his injuries from the sinking of the PT109. McMahon stuffed it into the bottom of his ditty bag where it remained until the late 1990's. It was found by his step-son after McMahon died.

If you remember the PT109 movie, McMahon was the sailor who was injured when the Japanese destroyer ran down the PT boat, and Kennedy had to swim with him for over 3 miles until they could get to a nearby island.

The step-son (who also served during WWII in the Submarine Service) presented the flag to our friend (Mitch) who collects military memorabilia. Mitch approached my wife asking if he could get it shrink wrapped in hopes that he could preserve it from any further damage.

My wife told him 'no-way', the flag was too valuable to just shrink wrap it. We decided to frame it for Mitch's collection with the understanding that we could use it for publicity purposes.

I designed the frame using a Framers Supply shadow box molding. Poplar was used to build the inner structure. The inner structure was covered in a blue cotton material with the back slightly angled to help support the flag. 3 colors of thread (red, white and blue) were used to stitch the flag to the backing.

I have been advised that I should try writing a proposed article and submit it for publication to one of the framing trade magazines - Decor or Picture Framing Magazine. I am trying to get the article written now.
I built two sub-frames out of poplar, to create the "well" in the center. In order to be safe, I put about 5 or 6 coats of gesso over the wood to seal it.
Looks great. Don't forget those pictures of building the sub-frames for the article.

I, for one, am looking forward to reading your article.

Hmmmm just re-read that about "Sub" frame . . . how approapriate for a PT boat: the only other vessel in WWII to use torpedos as it's main form of armament.