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Boot camp bunkmate says Oswald poor marksman

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The other day Treefrog emailed a PDF of an article by Keith Lawrence that appeared in the November 22, 2010 edition of the

Owensboro (KY) Messenger-Inquirer. A local man, Jerry Paul, claims that he and Lee Oswald were bunkmates while they were both

in the 2nd Battalion, Platoon 4060 at San Diego and Camp Pendleton.


He (Jerry Paul) was sworn in as a U.S. Marine on Oct. 23 in Indianapolis and sent to boot camp in San Diego.

The following day in Dallas, Oswald enlisted in the Marines, six days after his 17th birthday.

On Oct. 26, Oswald reached San Diego and the Second Recruit Training Battalion.

"That was when I met Lee Oswald," Paul said.

Paul opens the "platoon book" -- similar to a high school yearbook -- for 2nd Battalion, Platoon 4060 and points to his own picture.

Two pictures to the left is Pvt. Lee H. Oswald.

They were bunkmates, Paul says.

Oswald sleep on the top bunk. Paul slept on the bottom.

"He was a loner," Paul remembers. "He never said much. But he never wanted to get up for reveille, so I gave him a nudge with both feet every morning."

On Dec. 21, 1956, Platoon 4060 marched to the rifle range to qualify with the M-1 rifle.

"Only three of the 77 men in our platoon failed to qualify," Paul says. "Lee was one of them. He didn't make it. I asked him, 'What happened? Were you jerking it?'

He said, "I just didn't" and left it at that. He didn't want to talk about it."

The Warren Commission, the panel President Lyndon Johnson appointed to investigate the assassination, told a different story in its final report.

"His practice scores were not very good," the report says, "but when his company fired for record on Dec. 21, he scored 212, two points above the score necessary

to qualify as a 'sharpshooter' on a marksman/sharpshooter/expert scale."

Paul says he was there.

He remembers that Oswald failed to qualify.

From San Diego, Paul said, "We went to Camp Pendleton for three months of advanced infantry training. We were still together through that. He didn't qualify again."

Oswald, he said, "was a loner. He straggled to chow by himself. He never had anything to do with anybody. I never saw him take a drink or smoke a cigarette."

The Warren Commission concluded that it was Oswald who fired three shots from a 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano rifle from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building,

striking both President Kennedy and Texas Gov. Connally at a distance of 177 to 266 feet.

The report concluded that "based on the known facts of the assassination, the Marine marksmanship experts, Major Anderson and Sergeant Zahm,

concurred in the opinion that Oswald had the capability to fire three shots, with two hits, within 4.8 and 5.6 seconds."

But Oswald never stood trial for the murder.

He was shot to death at 11:21 a.m. Nov. 24, 1963, in the basement of Dallas police headquarters by Jack Ruby, a 52-year-old nightclub owner

who died of lung cancer on Jan. 3, 1967.

But it's his memory of Oswald's marksmanship that still troubles Paul.

"To this day, I do not believe it," he says. "I just can't believe it. A shot like that would have taken a sniper. In the Marines, to qualify

as a sniper, you had to score 220 or higher on the rifle range. It took a score of 190 to qualify, and Lee didn't qualify. He didn't qualify

on three occasions. I just don't believe he did that."

"I never heard him discuss politics. I've watched everything on TV about the assassination and read everything I could find. I just don't believe it."

Full story: http://dailyme.com/story/2010112200000448/boot-camp-bunkmate-oswald-poor-marksman.html

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I tend to question claims by people like Jerry Paul who claim they have certain facts that are relevant, and even if the official documented information on Oswald is accurate, it still says that he was definitely not JFK’s assassin.

Colonel Allison Folsom, who examined Oswald’s Marine Corps records for the Warren Commission, testified that Oswald’s record showed that his marksmanship was “not good” and that his average score over a two-day period was 36 when “people should get a score of between 48 and 50.” The record also showed that Oswald scored at the bottom in classification and aptitude tests when he entered the Marine Corps in 1956, that he was court-martialed twice, and that he had been demoted from private first class to private.

In addition to his testimony, Colonel Folsom sent a letter to the Warren Commission on June 8, 1964, regarding Oswald’s marksmanship. It states that a Marine would qualify as an Expert with a minimum score of 220, would qualify as a Sharpshooter with a minimum score of 210, and would qualify as a Marksman with a minimum score of 190.

Folsom stated that according to Oswald’s Marine Corps record, on December 21, 1956, two months after Oswald joined the Marines and received his initial Marine Corps training, he received a score of 212, two points above the minimum for sharpshooter, while firing at a stationary target with a Marine-issued M-1 rifle on a Marine Corps rifle range. On May 6, 1959, four months before his defection to the Soviet Union, his score was 191, one point above the bare minimum to qualify as a Marksman.

Folsom also stated, “A low Marksman qualification indicates a rather poor shot and a Sharpshooter qualification indicates a fairly good shot.”

Colonel Folsom’s information shows clearly that after Oswald’s first two months of intensive Marine Corps training, he managed to qualify at the low end of being a “fairly good shot.” But two and a half years later, with a score that was one point above the bare minimum to qualify as a Marksman, Oswald was nowhere near a “fairly good shot.” He was most definitely a “rather poor shot,” even though he was still firing at a stationary target with a Marine-issued M-1 rifle on a Marine Corps rifle range.

Oswald’s Marine Corps record also shows that on October 7, 1958, he opened his locker and a .22 caliber pistol fell out, resulting in “an accidental discharge” that wounded Oswald in the “left elbow.”

A 1977 CIA memo states, “The Minsk KGB file on Oswald contained statements from fellow hunters that he was an extremely poor shot and that it was sometimes necessary for them to provide him with game.”

And the facts show that no one could have killed President Kennedy with the rifle that Oswald is alleged to have used: a 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano, a cheap Italian rifle manufactured for the Italian army in 1940 and left over from World War II.

According to a CIA dispatch on December 31, 1963, the rifle was among 100,000 Mannlicher-Carcanos that Adam Consolidated Industries imported into the United States in 1960, two years after “Italian military authorities” decided to “eliminate” them and declare them “obsolete.” Adam Consolidated purchased them “at an average price of $2.20 for serviceable 6.5 rifles” and “$1.10 for unserviceable 6.5 rifles.”

“The first lot of 7,000 rifles that Adam put on the American market had disastrous results. Many of them burst, with frequently fatal results, and many didn’t fire. This forced Adam to withdraw all the rifles from sale and check them before putting them back on the market.”

A March 17, 1964, FBI report states that the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle that was allegedly used to kill President Kennedy, with serial number C 2766, was among “a lot of 5,200” Mannlicher-Carcanos shipped to Adam Consolidated by an Italian machine shop in 1960. It also states that Adam Consolidated said that the rifles in this particular batch were “defective” and refused to pay for them. According to the FBI report, the machine shop was engaged in “legal proceedings” to force Adam Consolidated to pay for the rifles.

William J. Waldman, who was vice president of Klein’s Sporting Goods, the mail order company that sold the Mannlicher-Carcano allegedly used in the assassination, testified to the Warren Commission that the rifle cost $19.95 with a scope, plus $1.50 postage and handling, and that without a scope, it would have cost only $12.95. He further testified that a gunsmith who worked for Klein’s attached a scope to the rifle after drilling holes into it.

He was then asked if the gunsmith or “anyone else” had done “boresighting” (which involves using a sight-aligning tool and aligning the crosshairs) “or actual firing with the sight” to check and see how accurately the sight was aligned with the rifle.

Waldman replied, “No; it’s very unlikely in an inexpensive rifle of this sort that he would do anything other than roughly align the scope with the rifle.”

In a letter to the Warren Commission, the FBI reported, “No indication was found that the telescopic sight was remounted. Its position on the rifle, the mounting screws, and the screw holes show no evidence of having been altered.”

Ronald Simmons, Chief of the Infantry Weapons Evaluation Branch of the Ballistics Research Laboratory of the Department of the Army, who was in charge of test firing the Mannlicher-Carcano, was asked by the Warren Commission if the personnel who ran the test “had any difficulties with sighting the weapon.”

His reply was that “they could not sight the weapon” and had to “adjust the telescopic sight” by having “a machinist in one of our machine shops” add three shims to the telescopic sight.

FBI Special Agent Robert Frazier, with the FBI Laboratory in Washington, D.C., testified to the Warren Commission that adjusting a telescopic sight entails “putting shims under the front of the scope and over the back of the scope to tip the scope in the mount itself, to bring it into alignment.” He also testified that there were no shims in the rifle when the FBI Laboratory first received it, but there were shims “mounted in the rifle” when the Army Ballistics Lab returned it to them.

After it was determined where the rifle was purchased and how much it cost, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover spoke to President Johnson by phone on November 23, 1963, and said, “It seems almost impossible to think that for $21.00 you could kill the President of the United States.”

Oswald’s ability to pull off even one precision shot would have not only been hampered by his total lack of competence and his poor marksmanship, but it would have been rendered completely impossible by shooting at a moving target with a cheap rifle that had a scope that was in no way aligned with the rifle.

On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated, allegedly by a neurotic malcontent who happened to have been working as a stock clerk for five weeks in a building along the President’s motorcade route, a man who allegedly, when he heard where the motorcade route was, decided to bring a decrepit rifle to work three days later and assassinate the President of the United States with no problem whatsoever, because this neurotic malcontent, while not very good at anything else, had supposedly become a phenomenal marksman and could fire three shots accurately in five to eight seconds using a cheap bolt-action rifle that could not possibly have been used for that purpose.

Unfortunately, the neurotic malcontent was killed two days later.

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