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Ofstein and Oswald


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Ofstein and Oswald

I believe in the possibility of coincidences as much as the next guy, but there are some coincidences that are kind of eerie. In this area, there are several that I can think of:

  • Oswald and Ofstein were the same age. They were both born in 1939

  • They both worked at Jaggers-Chiles-Stovall

  • They were both referred to JCS by Louise Latham at the Texas Employment Commission

  • Ofstein went through the Monterey School of Language and the possibility exists that Oswald may have as well.

DENNIS HYMAN OFSTEIN

http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/ofstein.htm

Mr. OFSTEIN. I was in the Army, sir.
Mr. JENNER And when did you go in and when were you discharged?
Mr. OFSTEIN. I went in in August, I believe, in 1957, and I was discharged November 1960.

Mr. JENNER Did you take any work in the language school out in California at Monterey?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. JENNER. What language did you study there?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Russian.
Mr. JENNER Tell me how that came about?
Mr. OFSTEIN Well, when I went in the service I was interested in radio--I was a disc jockey at the time, and the closest thing my recruiting sergeant said that I could get to radio would be possibly with the Army security agency, so I signed up, and after basic training I went to Fort Devens, Mass., and was held there on a temporary status while the agency determined what type training I should have, and I was given a language ability test and passed that and had a choice of three languages to take, and Russian was my first choice and I was sent to Monterey to study.

This sounds pretty benign, almost like he was a radio disk jockey in the army...except for a couple of things which I'll get into later.

I was puzzled by the term “Army Security Agency” and the fact that the “Agency determined what type of training I should have”. More on that later.

Mr. OFSTEIN. I reside in Dallas at the present time; I was born in St. Louis and I have lived in Florida for the most part of my life.
Mr. JENNER. And are you a married man?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. JENNER. How long have you lived in Dallas?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Approximately 3 years.

Mr. JENNER. You were already employed by Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall when Lee Oswald came there, were you?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes sir.

Mr. JENNER. And how long had you been employed there when Lee Harvey came with the company?
Mr. OFSTEIN. I was hired in March, 2 years ago, 1962--I would say approximately 9 months.
Mr. JENNER. Do you recall when he came about approximately when?
Mr. OFSTEIN. October 1962.

Mr. OFSTEIN. For the past 2 years I have been with Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall as a cameraman.
Mr. JENNER As a cameraman?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. JENNER. What was your work immediately prior to that, by whom, were you employed?
Mr. OFSTEIN. I was working for Sinclair Refining Co. at a local service station.
Mr. JENNER. Here in Dallas?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir.

Ofstein was discharged in November, 1960 and had lived in Dallas for three years. So almost immediately after being discharged, he relocates to Dallas where he takes a job working in a gas station?

When George de Mohrenschildt first visited Haiti in 1956, he was working for the Sinclair Oil Company.

Department of State Incoming Telegram No. 013865, Dec. 19, 1963, House Select Committee on Assassinations (contained in JFK Document No. 009963)

de Mohrenschildt would help Oswald get a job at Jaggers-Chiles-Stovall in 1962.

Now, I don't know many Sinclair Service Stations there were in Dallas in 1961 and 1962. I've asked the Dallas Historical Society if they can provide one.

A Bob Johnston from the Dallas Historical Society Forum wrote me and said, “I do know of one other on Hampton Road during that time that my cousin by marriage, J. H. "Red" Bland, owned, but that's it.

And, another one

former Sinclair station

622 N Haskell Ave
Dallas, TX

In recent years, this former Sinclair station has housed several restaurants. It is now home to the MaD Foodery restaurant. The decorations on top of the columns are not part of the original station design.

inclTexas Sinclair Gas Stations

http://www.roadarch.com/gas/txsinclair2.html

Haskell is way out on the northwest side of Dallas

However, there was another one also, and wouldn't this be ironic if this is where Ofstein worked?

(There was a Sinclair Service Station at 1820 N. Beckley in Dallas)

At 12:45 PM on November 22, 1963 Gene Andre Guinn, age 31 of 636 Lacewood was arrested along with the Joiners for picketing at the Dallas Trade Mart. Guinn was a member of the White Indignant Citizens Council. . Guinn was also suspected of printing the “Wanted For Treason” leaflets.

According to the Mary Ferrell Chronologies, “Guinn runs for political offices and seems to be a right winger” (He ran for City Council in 1965.) His address would be in Police District 84, which Officer Tippitt had been assigned in the past. This street is near O'Bannon street where Mrs. Stella Jacob lives. She formerly lived at 508 S. Marsalis and she works at the TSBD.”

In a handwritten note to the Guinn citation, Ferrell adds, “He owned Sinclair Station, 1820 N. Beckley; member of hate group; did Rockwell's printing?”.

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=40392&relPageId=183&search=Gene_Guinn

Jack Revill wrote a memo to Captain Gannaway about the subversive groups under surveillance prior to Kennedy's visit.

Dallas Municipal Archives and Records Center : Box 13, Folder 4, Item 52

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/27/2705-002.gif and

jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/.../Poster%205.doc

“The only demonstrators observed at the DALLAS RADE MART were members of the INDIGNANT WHITE CITIZENS COUNCIL. Six of those individuals were taken into custody shortly after knowledge of the assassination became known. This step was taken to prevent theses persons from being assaulted by spectators at the scene. The arrested persons of this group are as follows:

BOBBY JOINER

RAYMOND LEE JOINER

GARY DWAYNE JOINER

ROY EUGENE JOINER

GENE AURORA GUINN

WILLIAM L E CUMMINGS”

(I have seen his name spelled Gene Andre Guinn, Gene Audra Guinn, and Gene Aurora Guinn).

Mr. OFSTEIN. I was laid off by Sinclair Refining Co. and I registered with the Texas Employment Commission.
Mr. JENNER. Did anybody in particular handle that over there at the Commission?
Mr. OFSTEIN. I don't recall who the person was at the time.
Mr. JENNER. A lady or a gentleman?
Mr. OFSTEIN. I'm fairly certain it was a young lady and they sent me to Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall.
Mr. JENNER. Does the name Latham--Louise Latham trigger any recollection?
Mr. OFSTEIN. The name is familiar--whether she was there or not--I don't know.
Mr. JENNER. Is that name familiar in connection with the Texas Employment Commission?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir.

Out of the blue, Jenner asks Ofstein if he knew Lousie Latham.

John Graef testified before the Warren Commission on March 30, 1964.

Mr. GRAEF. That's correct--I'll have to recall as best I can.
“In about October 1962, as director of our photographic department we found ourselves in need of another man, so at this time I called the Texas Employment Commission and spoke to them about sending me someone having as close as possible the abilities that might work out in our photographic department.”

”Mr. JENNER. Would you tell us what you told her in that connection, as best as you can reconstruct it, giving us her name--it was a her?
Mr. GRAEF. “I believe I remember--yes--Louise Latham”. “They have a larger pool to draw from, so I called--in the course of my dealing with them they have various departments and in the course of dealing with them, I became familiar with one person.” “... So, I called this person repeatedly--after the first call or two--this has gone on now over several years and she knew the type person I was looking for and the type of experience that I was looking for, so I called her, and her name was Louise Latham.”

Mr. JENNER. Where had you learned to decipher Russian characters?
Mr. OFSTEIN. I learned this while I was in the service.
Mr. JENNER. Where were you stationed?
Mr. OFSTEIN. I was stationed in Germany for the active part of my tour. I was stationed in California for my training and at the various and sundry other little towns for basic training and temporary status.
Mr. JENNER Did you take any work in the language school out in California at Monterey?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. JENNER. What language did you study there?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Russian.

Mr. OFSTEIN Well, when I went in the service I was interested in radio--I was a disc jockey at the time, and the closest thing my recruiting sergeant said that I could get to radio would be possibly with the Army security agency, so I signed up, and after basic training I went to Fort Devens, Mass., and was held there on a temporary status while the agency determined what type training I should have, and I was given a language ability test and passed that and had a choice of three languages to take, and Russian was my first choice and I was sent to Monterey to study.
Mr. JENNER. And how long were you at Monterey?
Mr. OFSTEIN. One year.
Mr. JENNER. And was that entire year spent in the study of the Russian language?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir.

Mr. JENNER. And I assume, with an entire year's study at that special school of Monterey, you acquired a facility with the language, did you?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Not as well as I should have; no, sir.

Mr. JENNER. And why was that?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Well, I was a little on the young side then and I was interested in other things and the freedom to leave the post and go to town and the availability of recreation there deterred my studies.
Mr. JENNER. I see you acquired some facility in reading Russian?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. And some facility in speaking Russian?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. Was this conversational Russian?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir
Mr. JENNER. What about writing Russian?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir; all that was covered.
Mr. JENNER. And at the end of the 1 year what happened?
Mr. OFSTEIN. I was sent to an oversea duty station in Germany and completed my tour there.

Mr. JENNER. Did you pursue your study of the Russian language at anytime from the time you left Monterey until the present?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Only in little--what you might say, self study in spurts.
Mr. JENNER. All right. I interrupted you--you told him you could handle few characters?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. Did you then tell him about your study of the Russian language when you were in the Army?
“Mr. OFSTEIN. No, sir; he asked me where I had learned it and I told him I had picked it up during the time I was in the service, as well as the German language, which I picked up while I was stationed in Germany,...”

So, Ofstein spends a year studying Russian, and also picks up German while he was stationed in Germany.

William Kelly in the Education Forum Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:24 AM

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=7527

“...a number of other figures did spend time there, including Ralph Meyers, the son of Ruby's friend Larry Meyers. Ralph was Army Security Agency,

JFKcountercoup

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2011/09/monterey-language-institute-presidio.html


Dick Russell, in The Man Who Knew To Much wrote: The official record on Oswald makes no mention of his having received official tutelage in any language during his Marine years. However, at a Warren Commission executive session whose minutes were declassified in 1974, chief counsel J. Lee Rankin is quoted saying of Oswald: “We are trying….to find out what he studied at the Monterey School of the Army in the way of languages.” (This was an Executive Session on January 27, 1964).

California’s Monterey School, where Ricahrd Nagell had received his own extensive language training, was still quite active when Oswald was stationed in California in 1959...

In Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald
http://www.jfk-online.com/jfk100wholho.html
It is noted:

However, Lee Oswald wasn't trained in Russian, and his military file discloses no such training. Several of his fellow Marines recalled Oswald teaching himself Russian, and he apparently requested to take a written examination to test his knowledge. The examination is part of Oswald's USMC file, and no attempt was made to conceal it from the Warren Commission. The existence of the exam was voluntarily disclosed to the Commission during the deposition of Lt. Col. Allison G. Folsom of the Marine Corps's Personnel Department, Records Branch.(23)

23. Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. VIII, p. 307. There has been speculation that Oswald attended classes at the Army's Monterey Language School (now the Defense Language Institute), fueled by a statement of Lee Rankin, chief counsel to the Warren Commission, that the Commission was looking into a rumor that Oswald had attended classes at the school. The Commission investigated the matter and concluded that Oswald had not studied there. As author Gerald Posner notes, Monterey was not an intelligence facility, and its records show that Oswald never attended a single class there. (Gerald Posner, Case Closed [New York: Random House, 1993], p. 63.)

The Career of Lee Harvey Oswald

By Jeremy Bojczuk

http://22november1963.org.uk/the-career-of-lee-harvey-oswald


The Warren Commission appears to have heard, from sources not yet publicly identified, that Oswald had received instruction from the Defense Language Institute: “We are trying to run that down to find out what he studied at the Monterey School of the Army in the way of languages” (Warren Commission Executive Session, 27 January 1964, p.192). He had spent about three months at a marine base not far from Monterey: Warren Commission Document 113. According to the portion of his Marine Corps record that has been made public (Warren Commission Hearings, vol.19, pp.656ff), Oswald had been tested in the Russian language while in the marines, which implies that he had been taught Russian while in the marines. Needless to say, foreign language tuition and testing were not normally part of Marine Corps life. Oswald had no significant knowledge of any other foreign language.


The WC Executive Session was on January 27, 1964

Folsom testified on May 1, 1964

This was four months later. While Folsom makes no mention of Oswald attending the Monterey School, it would seem that that the Warren Commission could have resolved that question between January and May


WC testimony of Lt. Col. Allison G. Folsom, on May 1, 1964 (WC VIII) p. 307 concerning a Department of the Army Russian exam given to Oswald in February, 1959.

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=36#relPageId=315&tab=page


Colin Crow:

http://www.jfkassassinationforum.com/index.php?topic=11247.25;wap2

OFSTEIN said this statement aroused his suspicions and he asked Sgt. TOM CRIGLER, who is employed with the U. S. Army Recruiting Station, Dallas, and is a resident of the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, regarding this. He said he told CRIGLER he had run into a fellow at work who had spent some time in Russia and he wondered if the FBI should run a security check on him inasmuch as he, OFSTEIN, did not want to jeopardize his own status for any possible future security clearances in the event he ever returned to the U. S. Army."

The problem with the above is the fact that Sgt. Tom Crigler told the FBI that Ofstein contacted him in August, 1963. Five months AFTER Oswald had left Jaggars. Why would Ofstein suddenly want the FBI to run a check on Oswald in August, 1963 when he allegedly hadn't seen the guy in five months? Why would Ofstein be concerned about "future security clearances" a minimum of five months after Oswald had spoken to him about "microdots" and three months before the assassination? Why did Ofstein say it was the "microdot" conversation that pushed him into the Crigler meeting but fail to mention the meeting was in August?

Ofstein also states that Oswald gave him the details of his P.O. Box address in Dallas and that he sent a letter to it after Oswald had left the company asking (AGAIN) if Oswald and his wife wanted to visit his house for dinner.”


On December 9, 1963 Thomas Crigler was interviewed by the FBI. He said that he met Olfstein “accidentally” on the street.

See FBI interview of Crigler December 9, 1963:

CD 205 p. 478

https://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10672#relPageId=481&tab=page

Thomas H. Crigler, Jr., 1705 McAdams, advised he is currently a Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Security Agency, Field Representative, assigned to U.S. Army Recruiting Station, Dallas. He advised that he and Dennis Ofstein were assigned to the same U.S. Army branch in Europe and that he knew Ofstein from about June, 1960 to December, 1960 purely as another person attached to the same unit with him. He said that he had never become socially or well acquainted with Ofstein at that time. He said the caption of their group was the 507th USASA Group, Heilbron, West Germany.”

However, he said later in his FBI interview that about a week after meeting Ofatein in the street in August, Ofstein and his family came to Crigler's house, and that twice mor he and his wife visited Ofstein at his (Ofstein's) house.

In researching the 507th UASA Group:

https://www.usarmygermany.com/Sont.htm?https&&&www.usarmygermany.com/Units/ASA%20Europe/USAREUR_ASAE.htm

I”n contrast to Vietnam where airborne COMINT was playing a significant role in the 1960s, there was no need for airborne COMINT assets in Europe where the ASA collected COMINT via a well-established network of fixed Field Stations.”

“Our mission was communications monitoring and intercept “

According to Wikileaks the Army Security Agency:

“The Agency existed between 1945 and 1976 and was the successor to Army signal intelligence operations dating back to World War I. ASA was under the operational control of the Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA), located at Fort Meade, Maryland; but had its own tactical commander at Headquarters, ASA, Arlington Hall Station, VA.”

“Composed of soldiers trained in military intelligence, the ASA was tasked with monitoring and interpreting military communications of the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and their allies and client states around the world. The ASA was directly subordinate to the National Security Agency and all major field stations had NSA technical representatives present.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Security_Agency

These are two very interesting websites. Many of the men went through the Language School at Monterey. They were on the front lines of the East/West tensions at the height of the Cold War in Germany. Their job was to monitor, intercept and translate Russian and East German military radio traffic:

https://www.usarmygermany.com/Sont.htm?https&&&www.usarmygermany.com/Units/ASA%20Europe/USAREUR_ASAE.htm

In May 1951, HHC, 502nd Communications Reconnaissance (Comm Rcn) Group was activated at Ft. Devens, MA. The unit received orders to move to Germany in June 1952. Upon arrival in Europe, the Group was assigned to HQ ASA, Europe and ordered to Badenerhof Kaserne in Heilbronn. The 502nd was probably further attached to the Seventh Army and assigned the mission of providing signal intelligence and security support to the field army and its subordinate units. At this time, the 502d Group also assumed control of the 302d and 307th Communications Reconnaissance Battalions which were already in country.

On 15 October 1957, the 502nd ASA Gp was redesignated as 507th USASA Gp.

The 507th reported directly to Headquarters USA Europe.

see also:

http://www.picturetrail.com/bennettpics

Paul Mowrey, Det K-1, Coburg, 1957-58:

https://www.usarmygermany.com/Sont.htm?https&&&www.usarmygermany.com/Units/ASA%20Europe/USAREUR_ASAE.htm

“The primary mission at Coburg when I was there was intercepting Russian and German voice traffic, mostly tank units in some phase of their training cycle. I was part of about 10 students who graduated from the ASA Voice Intercept School in Feb, 1957. After the surge in traffic from the Hungarian Revolution and perhaps to attain more central control over what is going on, the Army decided to upgrade Russian language transcription services. This effort was headed by CWO Owen Yates in the 502nd (GP) in Heilbronn.

All transcription material from Lübeck, Bahrdorf, Coburg, and Passau came to Heilbronn to be checked or cross referenced. After we gained some experience we were sent out to the 302nd and 307th.”

So, Ofstein went to the Monterey School of Languages where he studied Russian for a year, and knew German which he had “picked up while he was in Germany” working for a military unit who job it was to intercept and translate Russian and East German military radio traffic.

Ofstein deserves a closer look, and I'd like to see his military records to see what his Unit and military designation was. Things don't seem quite so “benign” now.

Steve Thomas

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Steve that's great stuff. Thanks for the careful citations.

I agree that this doesn't pass the 'smell" test. I question if Mr Ofstein is being honest when he claims that his past careers as a Disc Jockey and service station attendant helped him qualify for the language school. It sounds good to the layman but not to someone that's gone through the candidate process to attend the school in the Presidio of Monterey.

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Ofstein and Oswald

Ofstein deserves a closer look, and I'd like to see his military records to see what his Unit and military designation was. Things don't seem quite so “benign” now.

Steve Thomas

from Ofstein's WC testimony http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/ofstein.htm

“...he had one picture that he wanted to enlarge. It showed a river of some sort, with a fairly nice looking building in the background, and I asked him if that was in Japan because he had been stationed in Japan.

Mr. JENNER..He told you he had?

Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir; and he said, "No, it wasn't in Japan," but he wouldn't elaborate on it, and I found out later that it was in Minsk.

Mr. JENNER. How much later did you find that out?

Mr. OFSTEIN. Possibly the latter part of February, or the middle part of February 1963.

Mr. JENNER. How did you find that out?

Mr. OFSTEIN. He came down with some Russian literature one day.

Mr. JENNER. Russian literature--what was the form of this literature?

Mr. OFSTEIN. It was a newspaper, I believe, at the time.

Mr. JENNER. Did he show it to you?

Mr. OFSTEIN. He didn't exactly show it to me, but it was in plain view.

Mr. JENNER. Did you look at it?

Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir.

Mr. JENNER. Do you remember anything about it that would tend to identify it?

Mr. OFSTEIN. Not extremely clearly--it was possibly a copy of the Soviet White Russian, I believe is what the title of it is, but I noticed that there--we had a conversation about the paper.

On 12/4/63 FBI Special Agent Anatole Boguslav obtained from Dennis Ofstein three Russian language publications which Ofstein claimed he had received from Lee Harvey Oswald. One was called “Soviet White Russia”, the other two were called, “The Agitator” and “The Crocodile.”

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=95634&search=Ofstein#relPageId=25&tab=page

The were given FBI Document Numbers, Q478, Q479, and Q480.

Q478 is a magazine called “Agitator”, Issue# 6, March, 1963.

Q479 is a magazine called, “The Crocodile”, Issue# 4, February 10, 1963

Q480 is a newspaper called “Soviet White Russia”, issue date date Thursday, March 28, 1963

These are pro-communist publications, put out by the Soviet government.

Now, I don't want to put too fine a point on this, but Ofstein couldn't have seen a Russian newspaper called "White Soviet Russia" in "middle to late" February" that hadn't been published yet until March 28th. Were "The Agiator" and "The Crocodile" part of that "some Russian literature" that Ofstein mentioned that was over and above the "Soviet White Russia" newspaper?

Either:

a) he didn't see this paper until late March or early April, and not mid to late February?

B) In August, 1963, Ofstein meets Crigler and tells him that he (Ofstein) knows a guy who speaks Russian and worries that he might be a security risk. Crigler couldn't remember if Ofstein mentioned Oswald's name. If Ofstein was worried that he knew a Russian speaking guy, and knowing him might jeapordize his (Osfstein's future employment, why would Ofstein still have pro-communist Russian language publications in his possession in December that had been published in February and March?

See FBI interview of Crigler December 9, 1963:

CD 205 p. 478

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10672

c) Did the Russian publications really come from Oswald, or were they Ofstein's?

Mr. JENNER. Looking at Commission Exhibit No. 427 again, would you identify the handwriting and block printing on this Exhibit 427, if you can?

There appears the word "terminated" with the date 4-6-63, which I assume is April 6, 1963?

Mr. GRAEF. Yes.

So, sometime between March 28th when the newspaper was published, and April 6th, Oswald is fired.

Or, Oswald had a copy of the "Soviet White Russia" newspaper that he showed Ofstein that was published prior to March 28th.

I don't remember seeing any documentation that Oswald subscribed to these publications. If they did come from him, how did he obtain copies?

Steve Thomas

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http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/ofstein.htm

Mr. OFSTEIN Well, when I went in the service I was interested in radio--I was a disc jockey at the time, and the closest thing my recruiting sergeant said that I could get to radio would be possibly with the Army security agency, so I signed up, and after basic training I went to Fort Devens, Mass., and was held there on a temporary status while the agency determined what type training I should have, and I was given a language ability test and passed that and had a choice of three languages to take, and Russian was my first choice and I was sent to Monterey to study.

That sounds pretty innocuous, except...

Submitted by Walter Chisholm

http://www.fortdevensmuseum.org/ArmySecurityAgency.php

“Most enlistees who joined the Army when I did, did so for a period of three years and that was my intention, too. However, after taking the ordinary battery of tests given to new recruits, I and two others in my group were called aside and taken to a room to talk to another recruiter. He told us that our high scores on those tests qualified us to join an elite group of soldiers in the "Army Security Agency". Of course we had never heard of the ASA and when we asked questions he seemed quite evasive saying only that it was so secret that he couldn't tell us much about it, but he used the words "Top Secret" several times. Sounded very "cloak and dagger". He made a point that "you don't have much time to decide. If you accept, I have to get you on a plane to Fort Jackson SC where you will undergo basic training and then go on to your ASA schooling."

After basic at Fort Jackson, I arrived at Fort Devens in March of 1964. Upon arrival there everyone was first assigned to Charlie Company. Before anyone could start training, a complete background investigation had to be performed by the FBI. That sometimes took a few weeks.

I have read other accounts of soldiers who were "volunteered" to go into the ASA, and they weren't given much time to decide.

History of Fort Devens

http://www.fortdevensmuseum.org/history.php

After serving as a demobilization center for New England troops, the base was again declared excess and was put on caretaker status. The GI Bill of Rights brought so many students to colleges that the University of Massachusetts had an extension at Devens and Harvard University used it for student housing. Thousands of officers, enlisted men and civilians were trained as linguists, cryptographers, code operators, traffic analysts and specialists at the Army Security Agency Training Center and School following its activation in August 1951 until its move to Fort Huachuca when the base closed.

Steve Thomas

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Incredible work Steve. Somewhere online when I browsed for any info I could find on Ofstein, I came across a reference to a Dr. David Ofstein who someone thinks is the same man. Are you aware of that reference?

If you had to guess what the significance is of all the clues in Ofstein's testimony to the WC what would it be?

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Paul,

Incredible work Steve. Somewhere online when I browsed for any info I could find on Ofstein, I came across a reference to a Dr. David Ofstein who someone thinks is the same man. Are you aware of that reference?
If you had to guess what the significance is of all the clues in Ofstein's testimony to the WC what would it be?

Thank you.

You might be interested in the discussion in the jfkassassinationforum.com here under the heading "Oswald's employment at Jaggars Chiles Stovall":

see the post by Tom Scully on 10/06/16. I think the man's name you are thinking of was Dovid.
As far as Dennis Ofstein goes, I just don't know. All I can think of though, is that there is more here than meets the eye.
Steve Thomas
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Robert Gemberling Report of 12/23/63. pp.472-477.

Commission Document 205 - FBI Report of 23 Dec 1963 re: Oswald

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10672

Ofstein's interview was conducted by FBI SA Kenneth Jackson on December December 2nd and 3rd, 1963. During that interview, Ofstein tells of meeting with Thomas Crigler and asking Crigler about Oswald. He said that he told Crigler about Oswald because he didn't want to “jeapordize his own (Ofstein's) security status for any possible future security clearance in the event he ever returned to the U.S. Army.”

Which is a little odd in itself since Ofstein married a German national and had a son in Stuttgart, Germany in July of 1960 and a daughter in Dallas in 1961. Why would a married man, and a father of two children be considering in 1963 a return to the Army?

Three days later, Crigler is interviewed by the FBI.

See FBI interview of Crigler December 6, 1963:

CD 205 p. 478

https://www.maryferr...tml?docId=10672

Crigler said that about a week after meeting Ofstein in August, he (Ofstein) had visited Crigler in his home, and that twice more he (Crigler) had visited Ofstein in his (Crigler's) house.

Ofstein's WC testimony was taken at 2 p.m., on March 30, 1964.

Mr. OFSTEIN. No, sir. After Oswald was released from employment, I did ask the recruiting sergeant for Army security here in town, who I was stationed with overseas, about the possibility of getting the FBI to run a routine check on him because of the fact that I have done security work, and the. fact that I also--this was just before I wrote the letter to Oswald inviting him and his wife over--due to the fact that I wanted to keep my record clean. Well, I didn't suspect him as being a spy or anything like that--I just wanted to make sure I was with the right company, and he told me that it was probably nothing.
Mr. JENNER. You wanted to inquire not only with respect to him but also whether you were with the right company?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Well, sir, I wouldn't jeopardize losing any chance of getting a security clearance at anytime I needed it.
Mr. JENNER. And, Sergeant Crozier, did you say his name was--I believe it is Sergeant Geiger.
Mr. OFSTEIN. His first name is Tom--I can't remember his last name now.
Mr. JENNER. Or, is it Kriegler?
Mr. OFSTEIN . Kriegler yes, sir.
Mr. JENNER. He had been in the service with you, you had served together?
Mr. OFSTEIN. Yes, sir.

So, sometime between August, 1963 (and at least three more times when they had been in each others' homes) and a two-day FBI interview on December 2nd and 3rd, 1963, Ofstein forgot Crigler's last name by March, 1964.

Seems a little odd.

Steve Thomas

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Robert Gemberling Report of 12/23/63. pp.472-477.

Commission Document 205 - FBI Report of 23 Dec 1963 re: Oswald

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10672

On December 2nd, Ofstein told Agent Jackson that Oswald had given him (Ofstein) some Russian publications, and that Oswald had gotten them from the Victor Kamkin bookstore in New York. On the back, Oswald had written “Victor A. Kamkin, New York.”Oswald had given these three publications to Ofstein, and that Oswald's handwriting was on the back of one of them.

The were given FBI Document Number D81 and Warren Commission Exhibits, Q478, Q479, and Q480.

FBI LABORATORY EXAMINATIONS INCLUDING TRANSLATIONS OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE p.12.

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=95735&search=Ofstein#relPageId=1&tab=page

Ofstein was recontacted the next day on December 3rd. He said he wanted to correct something he said the day before. On the back of “The Agitator”, Oswald supposedly had written, “Victor Kamkin Bookstore, Inc. 2906 14th St. N.W. Washington, 9 D.C. “ Ofstein said that the previous day he had said the bookstore was in New York, but in fact it was in Washington.D.C.

The effort here is to prove that the publications were, in fact, Oswald's.

The problem, as I see it, is that Victor Kamkin didn't own a bookstore in Washington.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Kamkin_Bookstore

I haven't found that the FBI did a handwriting analysis to determine that the notation on the back of “The Agitator” was in fact in Oswald's handwriting. After stating that the three publications came from Oswald, FBI Exhibit D81 says, “No further action taken”.

2906 14th St. NW appears to be at the intersection of 14th NW and Columbia in Washington. On Google maps, there doesn't seem to be a 2906 , but maybe somebody else who's better at Google Maps, or has a criss cross directory of Washington, D.C. can verify this.

Steve Thomas

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The "L" shaped building on the North side of 14th St. NW before the intersection of Columbia has a large "2900" on the west end facing the street. A small "2906" can be seen in street view next to the door of the last shop on the east end.

Google's historic maps for that location show that intersection unchanged since 1981.

Edited by Chris Newton
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Chris,

The "L" shaped building on the North side of 14th St. NW before the intersection of Columbia has a large "2900" on the west end facing the street. A small "2906" can be seen in street view next to the door of the last shop on the east end.

Google's historic maps for that location show that intersection unchanged since 1981.

Thank you. And thanks too for the tip about Google's Historic Maps. I'll have to look into this.

Bart, thank you for your kind words.

On December 19, 1963 FBI Washington Field Office Special Agent, Richard Woolf wrote a memo that reads in part, “On December 18, 1963 WF-T1 said he learned (through a Washington, D.C. bookstore – name not revealed in the memo) that...in September, 1962, Lee Harvey Oswald had requested a subscription to the magazine “Krododil” for which he paid a subscription fee of $2.20.”

On October 27th, he filed a change of address card asking that his subscriptions be mailed to P.O. Box 2915.

In January, 1963 Oswald requested subscriptions to several Soviet magazines including “The Agitator” for which he paid $13.20. Again, the name of the Washington, D.C. bookstore is not named.

Commission Document 201 - FBI Morrissey Report of 20 Dec 1963 re: Oswald page 2

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10605#relPageId=3&tab=page

Steve Thomas

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On January 29, 1964 Ofstein was interviewed by FBI Special Agents Allan Bray and Raymond Yelchak. “Mr. Ofstein advised he has no personal knowledge as to the residence of Lee Harvey Oswald

from the period of October 19 to November 3, 1962, during which time Oswald was working for Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall.”

. FBI 105-82555 Oswald HQ File, Section 84, pg 67

This specific time period puzzled me. It seems to be a period of time when Oswald went incomminicado for a period of about two weeks. He had first lived at the YMCA, but then moved into an apartment, but Marina didn't know where it was.

(See Marina's WC testimony and Mary Ferrell Chronologies)

Mary Ferrell Chronologies, Volume 2 (B) - 1960 to June 1963 pages 83 and 84

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=40390#relPageId=83&tab=page

In her Chronologies for these two weeks, Mary continually asks, “Where does Oswald spend this night?”

This is the period of time when Oswald rents P.O. Box 29 2915 in Dallas and almost all of his mail is now being forwarded to thisP.O. Box.

Oswald moved into Appt# 2 at 604 Elsbeth on November 3, 1962 and moved out on March 3, 1963.

http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/tobias.htm

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=57773&relPageId=67&search=Ofstein

In the National Archives, there is a message dated November 26, 1963 from the Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command re-transmitting a message dated November 23, 1963 from someone at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio to CINC U.S. Strike Command at McDill Air Force Base in Florida. The November 23rd message summarizes a telephone conversation between a Captain Saxton in Strike Command and a Lieutenant Colonel Fons, Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence at 4th Army Headquarters at Fort Sam Houston that took place on November 23, 1963. In the middle of this summary, there is this passage:

“ASSISTANT CHIEF DON STRINGFELLOW, INTELLIGENCE SECTION, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT, NOTIFIED 112TH INTC GP, THIS HQ, THAT INFORMATION OBRAINED FROM OSWALD REVEALED HE HAD DEFECTED TO CUBA IN 1959 AND IS CARD CARRYING MEMBER OF COMMUNIST PARTY EVALUATION B-3

(FOUO) DCSI COMMENT , FBI, DALLAS, TEXAS, AND SAN ANTONIO LIGHT NEWSPAPER STATED OSWALD TRAVELED TO MOSCOW, USSR, IN 1959. POSSIBILITY EXISTS THAT OSWALD MAY HAVE TRAVELED TO USSR VIA CUBA, IN VIEW OF ABOVE INFORMATION UNCOVERED BY DALLAS POLICE.”

In November, 1963 Leonard Don Stringfellow was a Detective in the Criminal Intelligence Section of the Dallas Police Department Special Services Bureau, headed by Captain W. P. Gannaway.

What is interesting about this document is that is says that Detective Stringfellow “notified 112th Intelligence Group, this Headquarters…”

I believe that this message was the one Col. Robert Jones, formerly of the 112 Military Intelligence Group in San Antonio was asked about during his testimony before the HSCA on April 20, 1978. (History Matters Archive – Unpublished testimony of Robert Jones, pp. 55-57.

http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/hsca/unpub_testimony/Jones_4-20-78/html/jones_0055a.htm

see also http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2011/02/112-mi-fourth-army-fort-sam-houston_05.html

Jones told the HSCA that while he did not know who prepared the cable, the cable was prepared by Mr. Arthur Nagle on the staff of the Chief of Staff, Intelligence, Fort Sam Houston. The From line on the original cable reads: FM CGASARFOUR FTSAMHOUSTON TEX. This could be Commanding General, Assistant Secretary, Fourth Army Headquarters Fort Sam Houston. He also definitely said that the original cable had not been prepared by the 112th.

Robert Gemberling Report of 12/23/63. p. 474.

Lieutenant Jack Revill testified before the Warren Commission concerning a report he had filed with Chief Jesse Curry wherein he had wrongly listed Oswald’s address as 605 Elsbeth:

Revill (5H41)

Mr. RANKIN. And the words 605 Elsbeth Street, was that given by you?
Mr. REVILL. Yes, sir; this is the address we were given or I was given by some of the officers involved in the arrest.
Mr. RANKIN. Who gave that to you?
Mr. REVILL. I believe Detective Carroll, Carroll or Detective Taylor, they were both there.

Mr. RANKIN. And was that at the time you made this out that you were given that information?
Mr. REVILL. Shortly before I made this out.
Mr. RANKIN. You didn't even know where he lived then?
Mr. REVILL. No, sir; I did not. I had never heard of him.
Mr. RANKIN. You know that is wrong, don't you?
Mr. REVILL. The 605?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes.
Mr. REVILL. I don't know.
Mr. RANKIN. Is it wrong?
Mr. REVILL. Yes; it is.
Mr. DULLES. As of the time.
Mr. REVILL. That is what they gave me.
Mr. RANKIN. You found that out?
Mr. DULLES. This is an address he once lived at.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you know that?
Mr. DULLES. This is correct. I want to find out what he knows about it.
Mr. REVILL. Is this a-is this an incorrect address on Mr. Oswald where he was living at the time?
Mr. RANKIN. If you check it up I think you will find--it is an incorrect address at the time. I think you will also find that 602 Elsbeth Street is where he lived at one time.
Mr. REVILL. Now, where they got this address----
Mr. RANKIN. You never checked that?
Mr. REVILL. I personally have not checked it but I am sure it has been checked.
Mr. RANKIN. I see.
Mr. REVILL. But this is the address I was given.

(5H42)

Mr. DULLES. Could I ask a question? Where did you get this address that you put on of 605 Elsbeth Street, do you recall?
Mr. REVILL. Yes, sir; from Detective E. B. Carroll or Detective Taylor.
Mr. DULLES. Are they subordinates?
Mr. REVILL. No; they are detectives assigned to the special service bureau. One of them works the narcotics squad and one of them is assigned to the vice unit.
Mr. DULLES. You never ascertained where they got it?
Mr. REVILL. No, sir; this might be the address that they got from Oswald, I do not know. I never even thought about it until you brought up the point that this is not the address.
Mr. DULLES. Can you find out where they got this address?
Mr. REVILL. Yes, sir; I can.
Mr. DULLES. I think that would be useful. I would like to know that. I would like to know where they got this address also.
Mr. REVILL. It would have been the same day because this was made within an hour----

Commission Document 205 - FBI Report of 23 Dec 1963 re: Oswald

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10672 concerning Ofstein's FBI interview on December 2nd and 3rd: page 474:

“Ofstein noted that he, himself, is not in the U.S. Army Reserve at the present time.”

What is interesting to me here is what is not said. Was Ofstein saying he had never been in the Reserve, or was he saying that he had been in the Reserve, but just wasn't in the Reserve at the present time? (December, 1963).

Back in 2004 I posted an essay in the Education Forum entitled, How did the police first learn that Oswald lived at 1026 N. Beckley? You can read it here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=2331

My conclusion at the time was, “Captain Fritz knew Oswald lived on Beckley before he started talking to him. The address didn’t come from Oswald and it didn’t come from any of the arresting officers. The Sheriff’s Deputies didn’t learn it until after the police had already arrived at Beckley. If Hosty can be believed, it didn’t come from the FBI. I believe it came from someone associated with military intelligence. “

I also believe that military intelligence – at some level – was the source of information on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 as to the Elsbeth residence. At the time, Tosh Plumlee told me to pay particular attention to the 4th Army Reserve.

Was Ofstein involved? I don't know.

Steve Thomas

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