TO : Chief
FROM : SA Jerry D. Kivett--Vice Presidential Detail
I -22-6I4 .O
U.S. Secret Service DATE: Nov. 29, 1963
SUBJECT: Statement regarding events in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, November, 1963.
I arrived Love Field, Dallas, Texas, at approximately 10:30 a.m., CST, from Fort Worth,
Texas. I was driven from Fort Worth by SA Warner, Dallas Field office, and SA Shannon
was also in the car. SA Shannon had worked the previous midnight at Fort Worth and was catching a commercial flight from Dallas to Austin in order to work the following
midnight at the LBJ Ranch.
Upon arrival at Love Field, I immediately contacted SA Lawson, and assisted him
in advance arrangements prior to the arrival of the President and the Vice President.
I assisted him in arranging motorcade cars and various other duties as he directed.
I contacted the local representative of Continental Airlines and obtained four pillows
to be used in case the President and his party wanted to sit on the back of the convertible.
I was in constant contact with Art Bales as to the exact location and time of arrival of the Vice President and Presidential aircraft. I also conferred with Mr. Jack
Peuterball (phonetic), political advance officer, on who was going to greet the Vice
President when he arrived.
AF-2, with the Vice President and party aboard, arrived at 11:35 a.m., CST. I was
at the foot of the ramp when Vice President and Mrs. Johnson and party disembarked.
Vice Presidential Detail agents accompanying the Vice President were ASAIC Youngblood,
ATSAIC Johns, and SA Taylor. Other White House Detail agents were also on board. The
Vice President was greeted by the local committee consisting of 15 persons. ASAIC
Youngblood and ATSAIC Johns remained in close proximity to the Vice President, SA
Taylor remained in close proximity to Mrs. Johnson- and I was making sure that the Vice President
and others moved to the proper area to greet the President, and also was keeping
an eye on the Presidential plane so as to advise ASAIC Youngblood of its location.
AF-I, with the President and party aboard, arrived at 11:40 a.m., CST. The Vice
President was at the foot of the ramp to greet President and Mrs. Kennedy when they
descended the steps of the plane. After the President was greeted by the reception
committee (same committee that greeted the Vice President), he walked past his automobile
and up to the crowd which was behind a waist-high cyclone fence. He and Mrs. Kennedy
began to shake hands with those assembled there. The Vice President and Mrs. Johnson
also went past their cars to the fence and also started shaking hands. ASAIC Youngblood
and ATSAIC Johns remained in close proximity to the Vice President with SA Taylor
in close proximity to Mrs. Johnson. I was alternating between remaining in close
proximity to the Vice President and seeing that the Vice President's car and follow-up car
were staying right behind the Presidential car and follow-up car as President and
Mrs. Kennedy and Vice President and Mrs. Johnson moved down the fence to their left
When President and Mrs. Kennedy took their positions in their car, I assisted ASAIC
Youngblood and ATSAIC Johns in getting Vice President and Mrs. Johnson in their car.
The Vice Presidential car was a 1964 Lincoln convertible with the top down. The driver was Herschel Jacks, Department of Public Safety, and ASAIC Youngblood rode in the
right front seat. In the back seat were Senator Yarborough, Mrs. Johnson, and the
Vice President--left to right. As the motorcade started moving out, I ran alongside
the Vice President's car for approximately 15 to 25 yards and then jumped into the Vice Presidential
follow-up car, a 1963 Mercury 4 door sedan. This vehicle was driven by Joe Rich,
Department of Public Safety, with Cliff Carter, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, in the middle front seat, and I was in the right front seat. SA Taylor and
ATSAIC Johns were in the back seat, left and right sides respectively. The motorcade
proceeded out of the airport and along the motorcade route.
The entire route was well lined with people, and on several occasions when the crowds
were large, I opened the door of the vehicle to be prepared to get out if necessary.
During the entire parade route, I could not see the Presidential car well, but I
could see the Presidential follow-up car and observed the agents standing on the
On one occasion (exact location unknown), the Presidential car stopped and a few
well-wishers went over to the car to shake his hand. The stop was very brief and
none of the crowd made an attempt to shake the Vice President's hand. During this
time I had the door open and was standing halfway out of the car, prepared to go up to the Vice
President's car if necessary. During the motorcade, as we moved further downtown,
the crowd became increasingly heavy and I noticed numerous persons watching the motorcade from windows of the various buildings we passed. All agents in the Vice Presidential
follow-up car were closely observing the crowd both along the streets and watching
from the windows.
Approximately three minutes before the assassination, in the very downtown part
of Dallas, I observed a young white male approximately 21 years old, running toward
the Presidential car. As he got alongside the Presidential follow-up car, SA Ready,
who was working the right front running board, jumped down from the follow-up car and forcibly
shoved this individual back into the crowd. We continued along the motorcade route
and turned off Main Street. At this point, SA Lawson in the lead car gave a "5-minutes to Trade Mark signal"--moments later the first shot was heard.
See additional statement for actions during and after assassination.
SA Jerry D. Kivett
STATEMENT BY JERRY D. KIVETT CONCERNING
THE EVENTS OF NOVEMBER 22, 1963
November 29, 1963
I was riding in the Vice Presidential follow-up car immediately behind the Vice
President's car and the third car behind the President's car. The Vice President's
car was a 1964 steel gray Lincoln convertible, borrowed from Ford Motor Company,
Dallas, Texas and was driven by Herschel D. Jacks, Texas Department, Public Safety. ASAIC Youngblood
was riding in the right front seat of this vehicle. In the back seat were Senator
Yarborough, Mrs. Johnson, and the Vice President left to right. The Vice Presidential follow-up car was a 1963 yellow 4-door Mercury Sedan, also borrowed from Ford Motor
Company, driven by Joe H. Rich, Texas Department, Public Safety. Cliff Carter, Executive
Assistant to the Vice President, was seated in the middle of the front seat and I was seated in the right front seat. In the rear seat was SA Taylor and ATSAIC Johns,
left to right respectively. The motorcade had just made a right turn from Main Street
and then made an immediate left turn on to Elm Street. The motorcade was heading
slightly downhill toward an underpass. As the motorcade was approximately 1/3 of the
way to the underpass, traveling between 10 and 15 miles per hour, I heard a loud
noise--someone hollered "What was that?" It sounded more like an extremely large firecracker, in that it did not seem to have the sharp report of a rifle. As I was looking in
the direction of the noise, which was to my right rear, I heard another report--then
there was no doubt in my mind what was happening looked toward the Vice Presidential
car, and as I did so, I could see the spectators, approximately 25-50, scattering--some
were falling to the ground, some were running up a small hill, and some were just
standing there stunned--here I heard the third shot. I could see the President's car,
and observed Mrs. Kennedy, who seemed to be standing up in the car and trying to get out.
I was getting out of the car to get to the Vice President's car and assist Youngblood;
I had reached for my gun but did not draw it for I could not tell where the shots
were coming from; when I saw the Presidential car speed down the street since I could
not get to the Vice Presidential car, I fell back into the follow-up car and hollered
to the driver to go-go, and the car lurched forward behind the Vice President's car.
During this time, I don't know exactly what happened, but it seems that the Vice Presidential
follow-up car was moving quite slow. ATSAIC Johns was out of the car (I have no knowledge
of what actions he took), and as we moved out, ATSAIC Johns was left. SA Taylor was seated to my left rear, and since all the actions took place on my right,
I do not know what action he took. Cliff Carter, to the best of my knowledge remained
still in the middle front seat.
Once we left the area, I could see all three cars--the President's car (I could not
see any principal party and could only see Clint Hill on the back of the car. The
follow-up car, with some agent holding the AR-15 pointed in the air--The Vice President's
car (I could not see the Vice President, but could see ASAIC Youngblood lieing over
the area where he had been sitting--I don't recall seeing Mrs. Johnson or Senator
Yarborough). We were traveling at a high rate of speed. ATSAIC Roberts said over
the radio, and this is not a direct quote but to the best of my recollection--To the hospital--to
the hospital, as fast as possible--Lawson, are we going to the hospital?--Hurry, he's
hit--Then Roberts called to Youngblood, I answered since Youngblood was using Baker
frequency with our follow-up car however, I had a Charlie set in the follow-up car also.
Roberts said to cover our man good, I replied that Youngblood had him covered--at
this point Youngblood, who had switched his radio to Charlie, answered and stated
that he had him covered and to take off, we were right behind them. It took approximately
4 minutes from the time the first shot was fired until we reached the hospital. As
soon as we reached the hospital, ASAIC Youngblood and myself ran the Vice President
into the Hospital and continued running with him until we reached an isolated room. SA Taylor
immediately followed with Mrs. Johnson. As we were taking the Vice President into
the hospital, Roberts informed him that the President had been shot and was critically injured and probably would die. Once inside the hospital, we had the Vice President
and Mrs. Johnson in an isolated room. We pulled all window shades so as no one would
know our exact location. At first it was the Vice President, Mrs. Johnson, Youngblood
and myself. Moments later, Emory Roberts came in and said the President would not
make it. A discussion followed as to what action would be taken and all agents were
in agreement that we should leave the hospital as soon as possible fly to Washington
and go to the White House, which was the safest location for the Vice President to go.
The Vice President asked for Congressman Homer Thornberry and Congressman Jack Brooks
to join him in the isolated room, he also asked that someone go to get coffee for
he and Mrs. Johnson. Cliff Carter who also had come into the room went to get the coffee.
Roy Kellerman came into the room and discussed the President's condition with the
Vice President. The Vice President did not want to leave the hospital immediately
and fly to the White House because he said it would appear presumptuous on his part. ASAIC
Youngblood told me to get in touch with Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. and have
agents assigned to the Vice President's daughters immediately. I located a phone
which was being manned by a member of a telephone company, who had accompanied the Presidential
party and who had an open line to the Signal Board in Washington. I asked first for
Chief Rowley, then Chief Paterni and ended up talking to Chief Wildy. I told him
to call Austin and have an agent assigned immediately to Lynda Bird Johnson and as she
could probably be located at Kinsolving Dormitory, University of Texas. That an agent
should also be assigned immediately to Lucy Baines Johnson, who could best be located
at National Cathedral for Girls, Washington, D.C. Since I was talking to the Signal
Board I asked for Austin, Texas. I talked to SA Paine, advised him to get an agent
with Lynda as soon as possible. He put SA Lockwood on the phone and I told him to
find Lynda and stay with her until he heard further word and that she was probably at Kinsolving
Dormitory, University of Texas. Upon completing these calls, I went back to the room
where the Vice President was.
Mrs. Johnson stated that she would like to visit Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally.
Someone, I don't remember who, I think it was a member of the hospital staff, showed
Mrs. Johnson to Mrs. Kennedy's location and to Mrs. Connally's location where she
visited briefly with each. She was accompanied at all times by SA Taylor and myself. Upon
returning to the isolated room where the Vice President was located, I overheard
Ken O'Donald tell the Vice President that the President was dead. It was then decided
to leave the hospital immediately. ASAIC Youngblood told me to get in touch with Air Force
One to advise them to fuel for a cross country flight and to move to another part
of the airport. I located a phone which was opened to the Dallas Signal Board and
contacted Air Force One, cannot recall who I talked to. I advised them to refuel the plane
for a cross country flight, and to move it to another location. I was advised that
the plane was refueled and ready to go and that they were in the process of trying
to locate another location. I told him to call me back as soon as they moved to a new location.
I returned to the room where the Vice President was and Youngblood told me we are
leaving right now. We exited from the hospital by the same room we had entered. SA
Taylor and myself accompanied Mrs. Johnson, placed her in an unmarked police Sedan
and drove immediately behind the car carrying the Vice President to the airport.
A car of Secret Service agents followed directly behind us. This vehicle (the one
Mrs. Johnson was in) was driven by an uniform police officer, name unknown, with SA Taylor,
SA Bennett, in the front seat; in the rear seat were Congressman Brooks, Mrs. Johnson,
and myself, left to right. I requested Mrs. Johnson to crouch down in the seat so
that she could not be seen from the outside, she did so immediately. Upon arrival to the
airport (Love Field) SA Taylor and myself ran Mrs. Johnson up the ramp into the airplane.
Upon instructions from ASAIC Youngblood, all window shades in the airplane were pulled down and check points were established at both doors leading to the Vice President's
area of the airplane, (Air Force One). At first the Vice President was put in the
State Room, i.e. where the beds were; however he said this was in bad taste and he
moved up to the sitting room, i.e. where the table and television set are located.
At first inside this area were the Vice President, Mrs. Johnson, Cliff Carter, Marie
Fehmer, Jack Valenti, members of the Vice President's staff, Paul Glynn, Vice President's Air Force Valet, ASAIC Youngblood and myself. SA Taylor manned the check point at
the front door leading to the State Room and SA Bennett manned the check point at
the rear door leading to the State Room. There followed a series of conferences between
the Vice President, Congressman Homer Thornberry, Congressman Jack Brooks, and Albert
Thomas. The Vice President and the others in the State Room where also watching television
accounts of the President's Assassination. I do not recall what necessarily was discussed and at one time or another various members of the White House staff came back
to the State Room to talk to the Vice President. It was decided that the plane would
remain and wait for Mrs. Kennedy and the President's body. Malcolm Kilduff asked
me to inquire of the Vice President if he wanted any press to go back on the plane with
him. I inquired of the Vice President wishes in this matter and he said yes, let
me talk to Kilduff. I then asked Kilduff to come in and talk to the Vice President.
About this time we received word that Mrs. Kennedy and the President's body were on the way.
During the discussions that took place in the State Room, the Vice President stated
that he had talked with the Attorney General and they agreed that the Vice President
should take the oath of office of President of the United States as soon as possible.
The Vice President added that he had been able to contact Judge Sarah T. Hughes and
she would be at the plane in 10 minutes to administer the oath of office. About this
time Mrs. Kennedy and the President's body arrived at the airplane. The Vice President
and Mrs. Johnson attempted to console Mrs. Kennedy in the State Room where she was.
It cleared of all personnel exception of Vice President, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Kennedy,
ASAIC Youngblood, and a member or two of the White House staff, exactly who I cannot
recall. Judge Hughes soon arrived and prepared to administer the oath of office.
The Vice President invited all who wished to observe the proceedings into the State
Room. I do not know exactly who was there, but to the best of my knowledge the following persons
were there: Vice President, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Kennedy, Ken O'Donald, Dave Powers,
Congressmen Brooks, Thomas, and Thornberry, Marie Fehmer, Elizabeth Carpenter, Cliff Carter, Jack Valenti, Paul Glynn, ASAIC Youngblood, ATSAIC Johns, myself, Mariam
Smith of the United Press International and Captain Stoughton, White House photographer.
The Vice President took the oath of office at approximately 2:40 PM in the airplane
and it was airborne enroute to Washington, D.C., at 2:47 PM.
The foregoing account of events is to the best of my knowledge.
Jerry D. Kivett