I had forgotten about John Tague getting hit too.
Part 2 of Lee Harvey Oswald's 91/38 rifle, bullets and shots fired.
Oswald’s first try at assassination. Part 2 of 3.
Oswald, at this point of his life, was standing on street corners handing out leaflets for support of Cuba and the American Communist party. After a breaking in period, Oswald, on April 10, 1963, was alleged to use his new rifle in an attempt to assassinate Major General Edwin Walker, whose views were opposite Oswald’s. Oswald was outside of the Generals home and attempted to shoot the General through his window, the bullet struck the window pane at the General’s house and was deflected. The bullet fragmented and the pieces that were recovered, some of which struck the Maj. General, were not large enough to be used for ballistic tests.
After the failed assassination attempt, Lee continued to try to gain support for the Communist Party. He also tried to move to Cuba. None of his efforts paid off for him. He moved to New Orleans for a time, then moved back to Dallas. Lee got a job at the Texas School Book Depository through a friend of his wife.
Ammo and practice.
Somewhere Oswald got a box or two of cartridges for his rifle. He used Western Cartridge Company 160 grain, round nose, full metal copper jacket, lead core bullets. It has been said, on some weekends Oswald would borrow a car from the woman that secured his job at the School Book Depository. He would then go off and practice shooting the rifle and handgun in a deserted scrub area.
Many people also observed Oswald sitting on his front porch dry firing the rifle to practice shooting it.
The Facts surrounding the shots fired.
The Government concluded through the Warren Commission Report, on November 22, 1963 at 12:30 pm that Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy, shot and wounded Texas Governor John Connelly, and wounded a bystander, John Tague, who was watching the Presidential Motorcade. He shot them from the 6th floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. The President and Governor were riding in an open topped convertible Lincoln Limo traveling approximately 11 MPH down Elm Street in Dealy Plaza, Dallas Texas.
Two shots hit JFK. One entered his upper back and exited his neck. The other was a head shot entering the back of his skull and exiting the front right of his skull. The second shot resulted in the death of President Kennedy.
Governor Connelly was also shot in the back. The bullet entered his back and skidded along a rib. This created a stress fracture of the rib near the spinal column. Yawing along the rib allowed it to go around his lung without puncturing it with the bullet. It exited the front of the rib near Connelly’s sternum. The fracture of the front of the rib caused bone fragments to pierce his lung and it collapsed. The bullet went out through his chest and fractured his right wrist. The bullet then entered Connelly’s leg creating a superficial wound in his upper thigh. Governor Connelly recovered from his wounds.
John Tague was an onlooker hit by bullet fragments and was slightly wounded in the face.
The rifle’s discovery.
After the shooting, Dallas Police entered the Texas School Book Depository and searched for the shooter. Dallas Police officer Marrion Baker and Depository supervisor Roy Truly came upon Oswald in a second floor lunchroom. The police officer asked the supervisor if Lee worked there. When told yes they moved off. Oswald then left the building.
Shortly after that Deputy Sheriff Luke Mooney searched the 6th floor. He found the snipers nest left by Oswald. He also found three spent shell casings lying by the window Oswald had used.
Just after the snipers nest was found Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone and Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman searched further and found the Carcano rifle in the North West corner of the 6th floor hidden between some boxes. The police were unfamiliar with this type of rifle and originally thought it was a 7.65 Mauser. Again it’s been said the rifle was originally chambered for 7.65 and re-barreled to 6.5 but, I see no evidence of this. Later this rifle was found to have Lee Harvey Oswald’s handprint on it.
The bullets and the cases.
There were three empty cases found in the Texas School Book Depository by the police. The cases had matching marks from the rifle’s extractor on them. When examined the rifle had one unfired round in the en-bloc clip inside the box magazine. All 4 cases were from the same lot. I find it strange that the clip holds 6 rounds in it but only 4 were found.
The most plausible explanation for this is that Lee Oswald decided to shoot the president on the spur of the moment. He had been target shooting with his original two boxes of ammo. He only had 4 rounds left from those boxes, and he simply did not have enough time to find more ammo for a 6.5 Carcano rifle.
After the shooting there was one fired bullet recovered in almost intact condition. It was slightly deformed, had lands markings on it, and had lost some of its lead core out of the base of the bullet. This is the so called “Magic Bullet” that supposedly went through Kennedy and then Connelly and was found on the gurney that the Governor had been carried into the hospital on.
The Secret Service recovered copper bullet fragments from the floor of the presidential limousine that amounted to about 2/3 the weight of a 6.5 bullet.
Lead fragments were recovered from both Kennedy’s and Connelly’s wounds.
Lead fragments were also left in The Presidents body and in Governor Connelly’s body.
One bullet was thought to have been a total miss. But the evidence points to the fact that the bullet that went through Kennedy's neck hit the trim on the limo and tumbled away. This bullet was never recovered.
Small fragments hit bystander John Tague in the face and could have been bullet or curb particles.
The misconceptions of the bullet wounds.
I believe some theories were put forward to cover up the possibility of a second shooter. I do not believe there was a second shooter. But at the time some of the politicians doing the inquiry into the shooting wanted to leave no possibility of it. The following is what the politicians would like everyone to believe. This is what was presented to the Warren Commission. It is NOT what the evidence tells.
Remember some believe that the first shot was a miss. Some believe that the second shot or the third shot was a miss. Let’s just go with the assumption that the first shot was a miss.
The first shot was considered a total miss that hit the curb on the opposite side of Dealy Plaza. This ricocheted off the curb leaving a channel in the asphalt. The bullet was thought to have disintegrated with some of the fragments hitting bystander, John Tague in the face. These only caused small wounds.
The second shot fired went through the Presidents neck. It entered from the President’s back just below the neck to the right of the center of the middle of the neck. This bullet traveled in a downward angle. It exited the Presidents neck in the front, below his Adams apple. It created an exit hole just below the top button on JFK’s shirt and nicked the left side of the knot in his tie. On the Zapruder film the actual shot contact is not seen because the Limo was behind a road sign at that moment. However, as the Limo is seen coming from behind the sign, the President is clearly holding his neck.
This shot is thought to have been the “Magic Bullet” that went through Kennedy’s neck, Governor Connelly’s chest, then striking and fracturing Connelly’s wrist, coming to rest in his leg. The bullet was found on the gurney that the Governor was carried into the Hospital on.
The third shot is the infamous one from frame 313 of the Zapruder film. JFK is hit in the back of the skull and his head is blown open. This bullet disintegrates into three large fragments, with many smaller ones. One fragment hits the front window of the Limo causing a star type fracture of the front windshield. There is generally no dispute between the factions about this shot other than if it was made from the front and side (the grassy knoll) or the back (Oswald).
This is the story politicians presented to the Warren Commission and expected the American public to believe. One has to remember that this was politicians and not Homicide Investigators.
Coming up Part 3 the final chapter.
Part 3 here.
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Copyright 2011 2012 all rights reserved Capt Mil Coll
Last edited by Capt Mil Coll; 11-15-2012 at 11:10 AM.
I had forgotten about John Tague getting hit too.
From your article: The police were unfamiliar with this type of rifle and originally thought it was a 7.65 Mauser. Again it’s been said the rifle was originally chambered for 7.65 and re-barreled to 6.5 but, I see no evidence of this. Later this rifle was found to have Lee Harvey Oswald’s handprint on it.
The rifle was in fact a Italian Manlicher Carcarno which came in 6.5 mm caliber. Many were chambered in 7.35 mm later in the war I believe. It was a rough rifle and some say a little dangerous to shoot. There were tales of the firing pin coming back out of the center of the bolt and injuring shooters if you had a primer blowout or cartridge base failure.
I actually used one for deer hunting during my term in the Air Force in upper michigan. Mine was the 7.35 mm version. Never could hit anything with that rifle. They sold for about $10-25 bucks back then by mail order and came with a supply of jacketed ammo.
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