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Sgt. Gerald Hill & the rifle "made in Argentina"


Gil Jesus
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On page 5 of CD 1210 Sgt. Gerald Hill says that he was told by another officer that the rifle found on the sixth floor was "made in Argentina".

post-3674-004113900 1313690514_thumb.jpg

The 1933 7.65 Argentine Mauser had stamped on the receiver "7.65 Mauser". Roger Craig said that the stamping was on the barrel, but he may have mistaken the receiver as part of the barrel.

post-3674-087832200 1313690716_thumb.jpg

I'm beginning to wonder if this Argentine Mauser was the rifle Warren Caster brought nto the TSBD two days before the motorcade.

Willam Shelley testified that one of the rifles Caster brought into the building was originally a foreign-made rifle that had been converted to a 30.06.

Mr. BALL. And was there another make of gun too---there was, wasn't there?

Mr. SHELLEY. Yes; I believe there was a .30-06 Mauser that had been converted. It was a foreign make converted to a .30-06.

( 7 H 390 )

In his testimony, Caster admitted that the 30.06 was a Mauser that had been sporterized.

Mr. CASTER. One gun was a Remington, single-shot, .22 rifle, and the other was a .30-06 sporterized Mauser.

( 7 H 387 )

Caster told the Commission that he had bought the rifle for deer hunting.

I had, oh, for several years been thinking about buying a deer rifle and they happened to have one that I liked and I purchased the .30-06 while I was there.

( ibid.)

Arnold Rowland described the rifle he saw in the hands of the sixth floor gunman as a 30.06 deer rifle that had been imported.

Mr. SPECTER. Can you describe the rifle with any more particularity than you already have?

Mr. ROWLAND. No. In proportion to the scope it appeared to me to be a .30-odd size 6, a deer rifle with a fairly large or powerful scope.

Mr. SPECTER. When you say, .30-odd-6, exactly what did you mean by that?

Mr. ROWLAND. That is a rifle that is used quite frequently for deer hunting. It is an import.

( 2 H 170 )

Needless to say, I have some serious problems with rifles being brought into the TSBD just days before the President rides by. I have more problems with the lack of proof that they were ever removed. Also, when added to the "rifle practice" seen on the knoll on the same day by a Dallas Police patrol, the description by Rowland of the weapon he saw shooting, the identification of the weapon by Weitzman and Craig, I'm beginning to buy Craig's story of the Mauser more and more.

On the day of the assassination, Caster was not at work at the Southwestern Publishing Company inside the Texas School Book Depository. He was at the North Texas State University in Denton, having lunch there with Dr. Vernon V. Payne.

( CE 1381 )

Three weeks earlier, student members of the Young Republican Club at NTSU had heckled UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson during his speech at the Trade Mart and upon leaving the building the Ambassador had been spat on and hit with a picket sign.

This "club" was a known satellite of the strident and blustering far-right wing agitator General Edwin A. Walker.

Walker made it known at every chance that he regarded JFK as a gutless "Commie-symp" intent on handing the country over to his Kremlin masters.

The Dallas Secret Service learned from the Dallas Police, who received information from a student informer, that some of Walker's Denton "troops" were planning something for Kennedy's Dallas visit.

One of the suspects that the Dallas Secret Service identified from the Stevenson incident was alleged to have remarked that he and others planned to "drag his [ Kennedy's ] dick in the dirt."

Pictures of this student and others who had been involved in the October 24 fracas were circulated to all security personnel at the Trade Mart and a "trip file" was prepared on each subject for use in any future Presidential visits.

( McKnight, Breach of Trust, pg. 249 )

I find it interesting that the very man who brought two rifles into the building just two days before the motorcade, used as an alibi, the very University from which students aligned with General Walker had made threats against the President.

And on TOP of all of that, none of these students were placed under surveillance or taken into custody before the Dallas motorcade.

No investigation was ever done to determine Caster's political views, the views of Dr. Payne, or if either had any connection with the Young Republican Club or with General Walker.

Edited by Gil Jesus
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On page 5 of CD 1210 Sgt. Gerald Hill says that he was told by another officer that the rifle found on the sixth floor was "made in Argentina".

post-3674-004113900 1313690514_thumb.jpg

The 1933 7.65 Argentine Mauser had stamped on the receiver "7.65 Mauser". Roger Craig said that the stamping was on the barrel, but he may have mistaken the receiver as part of the barrel.

post-3674-087832200 1313690716_thumb.jpg

I'm beginning to wonder if this Argentine Mauser was the rifle Warren Caster brought nto the TSBD two days before the motorcade.

Willam Shelley testified that one of the rifles Caster brought into the building was originally a foreign-made rifle that had been converted to a 30.06.

Mr. BALL. And was there another make of gun too---there was, wasn't there?

Mr. SHELLEY. Yes; I believe there was a .30-06 Mauser that had been converted. It was a foreign make converted to a .30-06.

( 7 H 390 )

In his testimony, Caster admitted that the 30.06 was a Mauser that had been sporterized.

Mr. CASTER. One gun was a Remington, single-shot, .22 rifle, and the other was a .30-06 sporterized Mauser.

( 7 H 387 )

Caster told the Commission that he had bought the rifle for deer hunting.

I had, oh, for several years been thinking about buying a deer rifle and they happened to have one that I liked and I purchased the .30-06 while I was there.

( ibid.)

Arnold Rowland described the rifle he saw in the hands of the sixth floor gunman as a 30.06 deer rifle that had been imported.

Mr. SPECTER. Can you describe the rifle with any more particularity than you already have?

Mr. ROWLAND. No. In proportion to the scope it appeared to me to be a .30-odd size 6, a deer rifle with a fairly large or powerful scope.

Mr. SPECTER. When you say, .30-odd-6, exactly what did you mean by that?

Mr. ROWLAND. That is a rifle that is used quite frequently for deer hunting. It is an import.

( 2 H 170 )

Needless to say, I have some serious problems with rifles being brought into the TSBD just days before the President rides by. I have more problems with the lack of proof that they were ever removed. Also, when added to the "rifle practice" seen on the knoll on the same day by a Dallas Police patrol, the description by Rowland of the weapon he saw shooting, the identification of the weapon by Weitzman and Craig, I'm beginning to buy Craig's story of the Mauser more and more.

On the day of the assassination, Caster was not at work at the Southwestern Publishing Company inside the Texas School Book Depository. He was at the North Texas State University in Denton, having lunch there with Dr. Vernon V. Payne.

( CE 1381 )

Three weeks earlier, student members of the Young Republican Club at NTSU had heckled UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson during his speech at the Trade Mart and upon leaving the building the Ambassador had been spat on and hit with a picket sign.

This "club" was a known satellite of the strident and blustering far-right wing agitator General Edwin A. Walker.

Walker made it known at every chance that he regarded JFK as a gutless "Commie-symp" intent on handing the country over to his Kremlin masters.

The Dallas Secret Service learned from the Dallas Police, who received information from a student informer, that some of Walker's Denton "troops" were planning something for Kennedy's Dallas visit.

One of the suspects that the Dallas Secret Service identified from the Stevenson incident was alleged to have remarked that he and others planned to "drag his [ Kennedy's ] dick in the dirt."

Pictures of this student and others who had been involved in the October 24 fracas were circulated to all security personnel at the Trade Mart and a "trip file" was prepared on each subject for use in any future Presidential visits.

( McKnight, Breach of Trust, pg. 249 )

I find it interesting that the very man who brought two rifles into the building just two days before the motorcade, used as an alibi, the very University from which students aligned with General Walker had made threats against the President.

And on TOP of all of that, none of these students were placed under surveillance or taken into custody before the Dallas motorcade.

No investigation was ever done to determine Caster's political views, the views of Dr. Payne, or if either had any connection with the Young Republican Club or with General Walker.

Nice work, Gil.

In '63, Vern Payne was the Chairman, School of Business Administration at the university in question. In the '50s, he had been President of the Mountain-Plains Business Education Association which was affiliated with the National Business Education Association, I believe he came from California where he'd worked for a Chamber of Commerce. According to an old DP Echo article, Caster had previously been a teacher. Given current and past jobs, the relationship doesn't look "odd" - but that doesn't mean there was nothing going on. The questions you have, should have been asked and answered back then.

It has always struck me as something worthy of attention that while Walker's stormtroopers were planning on doing some "dick rubbing", Walker was planning an apparent alibi to be mid-flight around the time of this exercise.

There was also another thing noticed which seemed to be a possible connection to Rowland's observations - this time regarding the shooter - not the rifle.

This is from: http://reopenkennedy...e-assassination

"A Dallas businesswoman, who refused to be identified, said she believes she saw Oswald picketing at the scene of the Stevenson speech. He was the only one who did a military type turn. This called my attention to him," she said. Oswald Picketed Adlai Rally in Dallas, Witnesses Say, Washington Post Dec 9, 1963

"The way he was standing it would have been in a position such as port arms in military terms."

Warren Commission Testimony of Arnold Rowland

I know there was a German national among the Denton student followers of Walker, but were there other foreign nationals - especially any who were Eastern European, and perhaps a bit older than the average student?

Someone like this maybe? http://www.reopenken...-and-music.html

More here: http://reopenkennedy...ppit-phone-call

Edited by Greg Parker
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It has always struck me as something worthy of attention that while Walker's stormtroopers were planning on doing some "dick rubbing", Walker was planning an apparent alibi to be mid-flight around the time of this exercise. I know there was a German national among the Denton student followers of Walker, but were there other foreign nationals - especially any who were Eastern European, and perhaps a bit older than the average student?

One wonders if there was any connection between Larrie Schmidt, Bernard Weissman, "The American Fact-Finding Committee" and this group.

I agree with your observation of Walker.

Walker made sure he had an alibi and when news broke on the plane that the President was shot, he made sure everyone on the plane knew who he was and that he wasn't involved.

Edited by Gil Jesus
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http://mdah.state.ms...43|1|1|1|43755| search button down the bottom for Ned Touchstone. Look out for "The Councilor" edition that reports the arrival in Shreveport as well as the reporting (in German and translation and some commentary) about the German article re Oswald.

Perhaps there is a way to track these guys in the days following the assassination too.

edittypos

Edited by John Dolva
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  • 3 years later...

Bumping this old thread for two reasons. One is the mention of Edwin Walker. The other is Sgt. Gerald Hill, the man who was everywhere. The thing is, I can find all kinds of stuff on Hill, like his lengthy WC testimony and many interviews, and a little about his bio. But what I want to know is what his political views were, whether he was ex-military, did he belong to any organizations outside of work. Anyone know anything more about Sgt. Hill?

Edited by Paul Brancato
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There is an Allen photo, taken in the early afternoon of 11-22-63, showing DPD officers Will Fritz and Elmer Boyd emerging from the TSBD. Boyd is carrying a rifle. It appears to have no scope and to my eyes to be a semi-automatic. It is clearly not a Mannlicher Carcanno.

The photo is part of Robin Unger's collection.

Does anyone have information on this photo?

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Remington Model 8 semi-auto, weapon of choice for many Southern police forces, including the Texas Rangers, since the days of Bonnie and Clyde. It could be special ordered, for police only, with a special 15 round box magazine.

This rifle had the most unusual action on it that was referred to, I believe, as "partial blowback". Wikipedia explains the action very well:

"The Remington Model 8 rifle is long recoil-operated and uses a rotating bolt head. After firing, the barrel and bolt, still locked together, move rearward inside the receiver and compress two recoil springs. Then the bolt is held back while the barrel is returned forward by one of the springs permitting extraction and ejection. Once the barrel is returned, the bolt is returned forward by the second spring; in so doing it picks up a fresh round from the magazine and chambers it. The Remington Model 8 has a fixed 5-shot magazine and bolt hold-open device which engages after the magazine is empty. It is a takedown design, meaning that the barrel and receiver are easily separated with no tools, allowing for a smaller package for transport."

I have seen one of these fired up close, and it is quite interesting to watch the action of what appears to be an inner and outer barrel.

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Robert - as you are quite obviously an expert in firearms, what is your opinion on whether a MC was the murder weapon?

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I have seen this excellent article. I was wondering about Hill's personal bio. If he was involved in setting Oswald up one would have to wonder why. The explanation that Oswald was a 'communist' is fine as far as it goes. It seems odd that we don't know more about the personal histories of Dallas cops and detectives who collectively were quite a bunch, mostly far right racist ex-military as far as I can make out.

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Paul, perhaps I can point you in the right direction and somebody else can give you the actual names. The investigator who went to Dallas with voice stress equipment wrote a book afterwards and spent a great deal of

time on Hill because he thought that Hill was offered up to deflect researches and that his voice stress raised some real credibility issues. That book probably as as much insight on Hill as anything I have seen and it

might produce some leads...just can't recall the author or title.

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Robert - as you are quite obviously an expert in firearms, what is your opinion on whether a MC was the murder weapon?

Hi Paul

Just to confuse things, what model of Carcano? While the M91/38 Carcano short rifle found, supposedly, on the 6th floor, might not have been the most accurate or well made weapon in the world, there are Carcano models that are extremely well built AND accurate. Here is one model that comes to mind:

M.1891-41.JPG

Pictured above is a 6.5mm Carcano M91/41 long rifle. This particular version was built for competition shooting, as evidenced by the double or "match" triggers. This rifle was so accurate, it was used by Italian teams in international shooting competitions, right into the 1960's.

The M91/41 is a central part of the bizarre history of Second World War Italian infantry rifles. As you may know, the short rifle made its debut in 1938 as the M38, chambering an all new 7.35x51mm cartridge, which was, in fact, not a new cartridge at all. It was actually the old 6.5x52mm cartridge, with 1 mm trimmed off the case length and its cartridge neck opened up to accept the larger diameter bullet. Everything else about the 7.35mm (ie. bolt, receiver) was identical to the old 6.5mm rifles. This rifle was manufactured for a grand total of two years, 1938 and 1939, before production was abandoned and the 6.5x52mm cartridge was brought back. They did retain the short rifle design, and the 6.5mm and the 7.35mm short rifles cannot be told apart without close inspection of stampings. The 6.5mm short rifle, designated the M91/38, had an even shorter production life, and was only manufactured for one year, that year being 1940, although there was a tiny number of them made at one plant in early 1941. This may qualify as the shortest production run of any infantry rifle of the 20th Century, and one has to wonder just what was wrong with the M91/38 short rifles, to justify their relegation to the scrap heap.

So, in 1941, in the middle of a war Italy was losing badly, an all new infantry weapon was introduced to Italian troops, the M91/41 long rifle. It had one very interesting feature that I would have considered, should I have been the one planning the assassination, that it shared with the M91/38 short rifle but with no other Carcano rifle. Up to 1938, Carcano rifles had been made with rifling grooves in their barrels in a style known as "progressive" or "gain" twist. Starting with the M38, and continuing with the M91/38 and M91/41, the riflings were made with a standard twist. The ratio of twist for both the M91/38 and M91/41 was 1:8.47, meaning that a bullet would complete one complete spin in every 8.47 inches of barrel length it travelled through. In the progressive twist models, no other model had exactly the same ratio of twist for its final twist. What this meant was a bullet could be fired from either model of rifle and, if only the rifling impressions on the bullets were examined, you would not be able to tell which model of rifle each bullet had been fired from. Can you see the potential for confusing investigators here?

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Robert - as you are quite obviously an expert in firearms, what is your opinion on whether a MC was the murder weapon?

Hi Paul

Just to confuse things, what model of Carcano? While the M91/38 Carcano short rifle found, supposedly, on the 6th floor, might not have been the most accurate or well made weapon in the world, there are Carcano models that are extremely well built AND accurate. Here is one model that comes to mind:

M.1891-41.JPG

Pictured above is a 6.5mm Carcano M91/41 long rifle. This particular version was built for competition shooting, as evidenced by the double or "match" triggers. This rifle was so accurate, it was used by Italian teams in international shooting competitions, right into the 1960's.

The M91/41 is a central part of the bizarre history of Second World War Italian infantry rifles. As you may know, the short rifle made its debut in 1938 as the M38, chambering an all new 7.35x51mm cartridge, which was, in fact, not a new cartridge at all. It was actually the old 6.5x52mm cartridge, with 1 mm trimmed off the case length and its cartridge neck opened up to accept the larger diameter bullet. Everything else about the 7.35mm (ie. bolt, receiver) was identical to the old 6.5mm rifles. This rifle was manufactured for a grand total of two years, 1938 and 1939, before production was abandoned and the 6.5x52mm cartridge was brought back. They did retain the short rifle design, and the 6.5mm and the 7.35mm short rifles cannot be told apart without close inspection of stampings. The 6.5mm short rifle, designated the M91/38, had an even shorter production life, and was only manufactured for one year, that year being 1940, although there was a tiny number of them made at one plant in early 1941. This may qualify as the shortest production run of any infantry rifle of the 20th Century, and one has to wonder just what was wrong with the M91/38 short rifles, to justify their relegation to the scrap heap.

So, in 1941, in the middle of a war Italy was losing badly, an all new infantry weapon was introduced to Italian troops, the M91/41 long rifle. It had one very interesting feature that I would have considered, should I have been the one planning the assassination, that it shared with the M91/38 short rifle but with no other Carcano rifle. Up to 1938, Carcano rifles had been made with rifling grooves in their barrels in a style known as "progressive" or "gain" twist. Starting with the M38, and continuing with the M91/38 and M91/41, the riflings were made with a standard twist. The ratio of twist for both the M91/38 and M91/41 was 1:8.47, meaning that a bullet would complete one complete spin in every 8.47 inches of barrel length it travelled through. In the progressive twist models, no other model had exactly the same ratio of twist for its final twist. What this meant was a bullet could be fired from either model of rifle and, if only the rifling impressions on the bullets were examined, you would not be able to tell which model of rifle each bullet had been fired from. Can you see the potential for confusing investigators here?

Except for the two triggers, it looks a lot like the 1942 Mosin-Nagant 91/30 I used to have. I'm no marksman, but I was able to put 30 rounds inside an 8" X 8" square at 100 yards with iron sights.

It's total length was 48.5 inches and it was made in Izhevsk, Russia, after Stalin moved the factory to the Urals to be out of range of the German bombers, and it kicked like a mule.

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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