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East Texas Ideology and the Assassination of Kennedy in Dallas

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I found your book listed on Amazon. I will check it out. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Showdown-Big-Sandy-Greg-Doudna/dp/0978983807

I see that Google put a lot of it online here: https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Showdown_at_Big_Sandy/0lKHI3VUAkkC?hl=en&gbpv=1

Edited by Mervyn Hagger
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Not to be overlooked when studying East Texas is Lone Star Steel with the major plant located in Daingerfield.

(We turn now to four of those major tenants of headquarters building of Republic Naitonal Bank of Dallas that relate directly, or were positioned closely to the periphery of the plot to assassinate President John Kennedy: Schlumberger Oil Services; Lone Star Steel (which on the surface provided the essential commodity for the military during WWII, Korea and Vietnam, but played a far more intriguing role); Ling Temco Vought (LTV) (the aerospace concern that served as precursor to today’s mega military contractor L3 Technologies); and Neil Mallon’s Dresser Industries (which serviced the petroleum industry on an international scale). Each of these contractors were locked in a symbiosis with the military-intelligence apparatus, reliant on the military for profits and dependent on intelligence for security.)

Lone Star Steel

Lone Star Steel manufacturing operations were located in the small East Texas community sixty miles to the Northeast of Tyler called Daingerfield. Referred to as “A Secret Cold War Military Installation” in the East Texas Journal of October 21, 2017, the Daingerfield Project was a closely kept secret, secured within a compound behind the gates of a state-of-the-art government funded steel plant built during WWII. 

With the opening of the Lone Star Steel Company and the United States Navy Bureau of Ordnance Aerophysics Laboratory, the population of the town tripled during and after WWII. Research involved wind tunnels creating airflow at supersonic speed and compressing air related through nozzles to create thrust. . . . The steel plant’s blast furnace blower and steam generating plant provided nearly four times the capacity needed to build the biggest wind runner on earth . . . the guided missile business’ appears to be a coming thing . . . the first thing that was different than any other secure area on a military [installation[ was being behind the gates of a publicly held company making steel . . . the thing that was really different was the first time I saw a fuel truck be back into a blacked out bay where we opened up the area under a false floor in the tanker and unloaded a rocket engine.

At its height, the Daingerfield Project employed 373 physicists, scientists, engineers, and technicians. The labs also tested prototypes developed by military contractors from Australia, Canada, and England as well as the Department of Commerce and NASA. 

            The heads of four Dallas banks and one from the oil rich North Texas town of Wichita Falls held positions on the board of Lone Star Steel, signifying each institution’s extensive investments in the success of the military contractor that would soon be ramping up for a full-blown war in Vietnam. In addition to: Nathan Adams, chairman of First National Bank of Dallas; R. L. Thornton, Jr., former Dallas mayor and chairman of Mercantile Bank; James Aston, president of Republic National Bank of Dallas; T. L. Bell, Robert Storey’s representative from Lakewood State Bank; and Charles McGaha, president of City National Bank, Wichita Falls, the board of Lone Star included Tyler businessman Watson Wise, who was a business partner of Jack Ruby’s banker Michael Nash, and Joe Zeppa, cofounder and president of Delta Drilling. Both Wise and Zeppa joined Republic National Bank board member Algur Meadows in the founding of Premier Petro Chemical Corp. located in nearby Longview, Texas, a scheme of apparent great interest to SS Otto Skorzeny as evidenced in his private papers. 

            Longview was also home of the heavy moving equipment company LeTourneau, Inc., another domestic and foreign contractor that benefited greatly when nations, including the United States, were at war. Lafitte in fact was knowledgeable of LeTourneau when he recorded “DeLong meet” in his datebook, a likely reference to engineer L. B. DeLong’s corporation whose numerous patents were invaluable to LeTourneau. We encounter the name LeTourneau as the book closes with the revelations of assassin Jean Rene Souetre. 

            Before leaving the Tyler-Longview area, it is of interest that when it came time to sell a sizable ranch in East Texas, the family of founding partner of Delta Drilling, Ukrainian born Sam Dorfman chose the international real estate firm Previews, Inc. to handle the transaction. Sam’s close relative, Louis Dorfman, Jr.’s Dallas office was located in R. L. Thornton’s Mercantile National Bank introducing another web of interlocking interests, both business and political. Thornton served on the board of Jack Crichton’s Amarillo-based Dorchester Gas, along with D. H. Byrd, owner of the building located at 411 Elm. Mercantile National was housed in a pair of adjacent buildings: one was home of the bank, and the other, Mercantile Continental, served as headquarters of H. L. Hunt Oil in 1963, a fact that has long fueled speculation that Ruby’s visit to the twin buildings was somehow related to his gunning down the accused assassin Oswald, then in custody of Dallas law enforcement. 

            Hunt is also alleged to have dispatched his head of security, Paul Rothermel, to secure a copy of Abraham Zapruder’s film which was alleged to have captured the disturbing images and incriminating detail of the assassination. A reminder to the reader that the name Rothermel appears in the financial ledger of Lafitte. First edition copies of the Z film are said to be still in existence. 

Another thread in this web of chance circumstances was Jamieson Labs which produced those copies of the Zapruder film once Eastman Kodak’s Dallas facility had developed the original. Hugh Jamieson, owner of the lab, was the next door neighbor of Robert G. Storey—named in the Lafitte records—located in the prosperous but understated Lakewood neighborhood of Dallas.

          @Greg Doudna  An equally intriguing milieu housed in Thornton’s Mercantile building provides an expanded look behind the curtain. In a well-documented episode, Jack Ruby had recently met Connie Trammell, a young University of Texas student who was on the brink of graduation and looking for opportunities. She told Ruby that she had contact information for Lamar Hunt and that he might be interested in her as an employee. Ruby jumped at the opportunity, explaining that he needed to take care of some business in the Mercantile, and that it was a simple enough act of kindness to drop her off to meet Lamar, the son of H. L. Hunt. 

            Ruby’s business was most likely related to the leases on his establishments, the Carousel Club in downtown Dallas and the Vegas Club in Oaklawn. According to Ed Jordan, an officer at Mercantile National who would later join Lamar Hunt on the board of the city’s prized Cowboy’s football team, also managed Corrigan Properties for his father-in-law which owned the buildings that housed Ruby’s clubs. Jordan later reported that on the day in question, Ruby insisted that he wanted to “see to the boss,” which Jordan knew to be his father-in-law, Leo Corrigan, Jr.

            Jordan’s colleague at Mercantile National was Jacques Pierre Viliere, a dapper Frenchman from New Orleans who joined the Dallas bank in 1946 advancing to vice president of Mercantile’s international department by 1968. When Jacques moved from New Orleans to Dallas, he left behind his brother Pierre Blaise Villere to continue in a public relations enterprise the brothers had launched together. Their clients in the Crescent City included Clay Shaw’s International Trade Mart, and Permindex, the international front closely aligned with the World Commerce Corporation which, as covered earlier, benefited from the business acumen of Jack Crichton. Jacques Villere became honorary consul of Belgium and is seen photographed with Dresser’s Neil Mallon on the occasion of bestowing him with the Cross of the Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Couronne. According to Major Ganis in The Skorzeny Papers, the Villere brothers appear in the private papers of Otto Skorzeny.

Edited by Leslie Sharp
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