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Air Force One Radio Transmissions


William Kelly
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Bill,

That interview in the post above seems to be double posted and that's why at first glance it looks pretty long. Also it ends with a "...." and no "thank you's" or anything leading me to think it's incomplete.

As far as the content, LeMay has nothing nice to say about Kennedy or his Administration but praises President Johnson every time he gets a chance. A lot of good revealing stuff in there. I note though that LeMay couldn't be any more vague about what he was doing at the time of the assassination, "I was off somewhere".

Chris,

Sorry about the double post - I tried to take the most significant parts from the Lemay Oral History from LBJ Library, that is much longer.

Did you resolve the issue of what type of plane Lemay flew back to DC on?

I'd also like to find the newspaper clip that implies Lemay died in an airplane crash that day.

BK

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Bill,

I have not resolved that issue yet.

1446 [2:46] 094197 Dept for Canada. ETA 1546
1712 [5:12] =09=094192 Gen Lemay ARR DCA.

There are two possibilities.

1) Horne's notes (or the log book) contain a"typo" in regards to the call sign of the aircraft he returned on. In which case it was the same plane that took off to get him. (Lockheed C140B Jetstar 62-4197 last seen in the AMARC scrapyard in 2000)

2) He returned on 62-4192, A US Army Caribou, which (much later) was abandoned in Vietnam.

I'm still trying to ascertain whether Wiarton could handle the Jetstar in 1962.

***FYI for everyone else: I've determined that the call signs used have a designator "09", (might be a mission number, I don't know), and then the tail number of the aircraft so "094197" becomes tail number 4197 which is in reality 62-4197.

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From an interview of Jane LeMay Lodge (Gen. LeMay's Daughter) conducted by Barbara Sommer in 1998:

BWS: Did he work with the presidents?

JLL: I am sure that he would...of course, he would be on the Joint Chiefs as the Air Force, so he would sit in on those. A vice chief, too, when General [Thomas] White was away or something like that. So, obviously, he knew [President John F.] Kennedy and he knew [President Lyndon B.] Johnson. I think he was down at Johnson's ranch once or twice, probably. Not socially, but probably more they went down for business. So, he met Kennedy. We were at the White House.

BWS: Who appointed him?

JLL: Kennedy appointed him and then Johnson reappointed him.

BWS: You were at the White House?

JLL: We met Kennedy once. I think it was when my father took over as Chief of Staff. Then we met Johnson. I remember Mother was friends with Lady Bird [Johnson]. I think this was before the White House when he was the majority leader of the House [of Representatives]. They both took a public speaking class together. Of course, I always admired Lady Bird. I think she was very, really probably more astute in more ways than he was. I met their daughters. I met him when he was still in Congress. And, then, of course, I met him the day that Daddy retired.

-------------

BWS: Your father had a lot of people around him at SAC that were hand-picked. Good people. Do you remember some of the key people?

JLL: General [Thomas] Power. General [Francis] Griswold. You know, sometime, it might be...General Griswold, they were stationed together right after they were first married. "Grizzy" and Jeff had been married a couple of years and had a baby - their first daughter - when they were all stationed. They were very close friends until the Griswolds died. And their second daughter is married to Sidney Pollack, the movie director. Very nice people. Really nice people. Mother and Jeff were very close. Very close friends. They ended up...they lived in Omaha. General Griswold ran General Pontiac over in Council Bluffs, which was really...who owned the Cadillac agency. It was all their money.

BWS: Edmondson? Briggs? Rosie O'Donnell?

JLL: Rosie O'Donnell. In fact, we would visit them in Colorado. I think he was in Colorado. I remember all those names.

BWS: Hoyt Vandenberg, the Chief of Staff?

JLL: No, I don't remember him. He died young, too, didn't he? Of course, there was [Carl] Spaatz and Ira Acre, which was earlier on. I wouldn't have know them.

BWS: They were important to your father.

JLL: Yes, it was a nucleus of outstanding people. But I remember the names. We all lived...General [John] Ryan was there; Mike Ryan's father was there.

----------------------
Edited by Chris Newton
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