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I found this while researching something else. I never heard of him. Maybe others know him.


12:00 AM CDT on Wednesday, June 14, 2006

By JOE SIMNACHER / The Dallas Morning News

On Nov. 22, 1963, FBI Special Agent Vincent E. Drain was just back from lunch when Dallas police radio traffic pulled him into the biggest case of his career.

About 10 minutes later, he was in the trauma room at Parkland Memorial Hospital, where doctors were trying to save President John F. Kennedy's life. Mr. Drain found himself immersed in history as it unfolded.

His assignments included escorting Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle and other evidence to Washington, D.C., on a midnight flight aboard an otherwise empty C-135 Stratolifter. About 24 hours later, he made the return flight to Texas on an F-104 Starfighter.

Mr. Drain, 86, died Sunday of a stroke at UT Southwestern University Hospital.

Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas. Burial will be at Ridgeview Memorial Park in Allen.

"He absolutely adored his work," said his wife, Ruth Vandeveer Drain of Dallas. "Going to work every day ... he was just so happy to be in the FBI."

Mr. Drain was born in McKinney. He received a bachelor's degree from what is now the University of North Texas.

He wanted to serve in the Army Air Corps but could not pass the vision test. He taught school and coached football in Wylie before attending the FBI Academy. He graduated in 1941.

He spent 28 years of his 35-year FBI career in Dallas, his wife said.

Mr. Drain was extensively involved in the investigation of Kennedy's assassination but, out of loyalty to the FBI, did not write a book about his time on the case, his wife said.

He did recount his story for one of the eyewitness accounts that Larry A. Sneed used for his 1998 book No More Silence: An Oral History of the Assassination of President Kennedy.

The afternoon of the assassination, Mr. Drain was in the Parkland trauma room and at Love Field when the president's body was taken aboard Air Force One.

About 8 p.m., Mr. Drain's superiors in Washington demanded the rifle for testing. He first had to assure Dallas authorities that he would personally protect the chain of evidence. In Mr. Sneed's book, Mr. Drain said he would take the evidence to Washington, wait until it was examined and bring it back.

The negotiations and packing took hours, well past the last Dallas flight to Washington.

"We were told that the FBI in Washington wanted the material by morning if we had to walk it up there," he said in his account.

Mr. Drain arranged for a C-135 transport to fly him from Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth to Washington.

"This was an empty plane, and they were flying high and really letting her go," Mr. Drain said. "During the flight they let me listen to all the shortwave broadcasts about the British, French and Canadians – calling their troops and their submarines going to sea – because they were afraid the Russians might attack."

Mr. Drain later took other evidence to Washington and back. He worked on the investigation, including interviewing Oswald's wife, Marina, whom he met the night of the assassination.

He said he was part of a team that worked long hours on the case.

Mrs. Drain said her husband did "tons of interviews" and testified before the Warren Commission.


Edited by Kathleen Collins
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Here is another obituary that I found. Like Mr. Drain, he suffered a stroke.


12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, April 22, 2007

By JOE SIMNACHER / The Dallas Morning News


During his two terms as a Dallas County justice of the peace, David L. Johnston had jurisdiction over misdemeanor civil and criminal matters. At the time, he was also an acting coroner, ruling on the cause of death in many cases.

But from the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963, and into the following morning, Mr. Johnston presided over legal proceedings followed around the world.

That Friday afternoon he issued a search warrant for a suspect's room on North Beckley Avenue. That evening, he arraigned the renter, Lee Harvey Oswald, with the charge of murder with malice in the death of Dallas police Officer J.D. Tippit. Shortly after midnight, he formally charged Oswald with the murder of President John F. Kennedy.

Mr. Johnston, 80, died Tuesday of an apparent stroke at his East Dallas home.

Services were Saturday at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home. He will be entombed in Hillcrest Mausoleum.

While Mr. Johnston's role in history attracted considerable media attention, he rarely discussed those events with anyone outside his family, said his son Thomas Johnston of Mesquite.

"Every five years or so – when there would be a significant anniversary like 25 or 30 [years] – some reporter somewhere would find his name and call him up," his son said. "My dad would routinely tell them, 'Look, President Kennedy is dead, Johnson's dead, Oswald's dead, Ruby's dead. Everybody's dead – who cares?' and hang up on them. That's how he was."

In November 1963, Mr. Johnston was among those waiting to hear the president speak at a luncheon. After the shooting, law-enforcement officers who recognized the justice of the peace from his days as a deputy summoned him to Parkland Memorial Hospital, beginning his involvement in the event.

Mr. Johnston asserted that when he arraigned Oswald, the suspect came under Dallas County jurisdiction and should have been transferred to the county jail and not returned to the city jail.

"My dad always said that had they transferred Oswald in the middle of the night – as soon as he had been arraigned – no one would have known any better and no one would have been able to get to him," Thomas Johnston said.

Had Oswald not been killed by Jack Ruby on the morning of Nov. 24, 1963, Mr. Johnston was to have arraigned him on charges of assault to murder Gov. John Connally the following week.

He was a Mason for more than 50 years.


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