Testimony Of Allison G. Folsom, Lt. Col, USMC

The testimony of Allison G. Folsom, Lt. Col., USMG, was taken at 1:15 p.m., on May 1, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE. Washington, D.C., by Mr. John Hart Ely, member of the staff of the President's Commission.

Mr. ELY - Colonel, would you please stand up and be sworn?
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Colonel FOLSOM - I do.
Mr. ELY - My name is John Ely. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy.
Staff members have been, authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to the Commission by Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137.
Under the Commission rules for the taking of testimony, each witness is to be provided with a copy of the Executive order and of the joint resolution and a copy of the rules that the Commission has adopted governing the taking of testimony from witnesses. I have provided you with these documents, is that correct?
Colonel FOLSOM - This is true.
Mr. ELY - Under the Commission's rules for the taking of testimony, each witness is entitled to 3 days' notice before he is required to come in and give testimony.
You did not have 3 days' notice. However, each witness can waive that notice requirement if he wishes, and I assume that your presence here indicates you are willing to waive that notice requirement.
Colonel FOLSOM - It is waived.
Mr. ELY - Would you state your full name, please?
Colonel FOLSOM - Lt. Col. Allison G. Folsom, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps.
Mr. ELY - What is your job in the Marine Corps, sir?
Colonel FOLSOM - My primary duty is head, Records Branch, Personnel Department, Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.
Mr. ELY - How long have you held this position?
Colonel FOLSOM - Approximately 3 years.
Mr. ELY - Could you give us something of an idea of your background--what you did before you entered the Marine Corps?
Colonel FOLSOM - I was a student.
Mr. ELY - And how long have you been in the Marine Corps?
Colonel FOLSOM - I entered active duty in the Marine Corps 5 August 1935.
Mr. ELY - Prior to the assassination of President Kennedy, had you ever heard the name Lee Harvey Oswald?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes.
Mr. ELY - Could you tell us in what connection that was?
Colonel FOLSOM - It was in connection with his record, which was requested by the Discipline Branch of Headquarters, Marine Corps, and, they advised me of his renunciation, I would guess, of his citizenship, and the fact that they were trying to effect his discharge.
Mr. ELY - I see. And that is the first time you had ever heard of him?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes, sir.
Mr. ELY - Did you ever meet the man?
Colonel FOLSOM - No.
Mr. ELY - All right. The primary reason that we have called you here, colonel, is not because of any contact which you have had with Oswald, but because of your position. We have here Oswald's Marine records, and we would like you to help us interpret some of the abbreviations, test scores and things like that.
Let me show you this document, which we will mark Folsom Deposition Exhibit No. 1, and ask you if you can tell us what it is.
(The document referred to was marked Folsom Deposition Exhibit No. 1 for identification.)
Colonel FOLSOM - It represents a photostatic copy of the official record held by the Marine Corps of Lee Harvey Oswald, former marine.
Mr. ELY - Our procedure now will be to go through the document which you have just identified. I have numbered the pages of this document in the upper right-hand corner.
We will ask you to explain things as we come to them. Starting on page 1 of Exhibit No. 1, first I wonder if you might tell us what Oswald's scores here under the category of Physical Profile mean.
Colonel FOLSOM - Well, the classification of "A" indicates that there were no physical defects at the time he was examined--the date, 24 October 1956, I assume, was upon his enlistment.
Mr. ELY - Yes; moving down the left side of page 1, we have the abbreviation "PEBD." Will you tell us what that stands for?
Colonel FOLSOM - Pay entry base date.
Mr. ELY - I note that the pay entry base date on Oswald's record has been changed from 24 October 1956 to 8 December 1956. Why would this be?
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct. This was changed to reflect time lost due to misconduct, confinement, or intemperate use of drugs or alcohol. In this instance it was days lost due to confinement.
Mr. ELY - Also on page 1 it is noted that Oswald was a "UQ" class swimmer. What does that stand for?
Colonel FOLSOM - Unqualified.
Mr. ELY - Finally on page 1, at the bottom, there is written in the fact that among the documents inserted in the record are some relating to "SA" action.
Colonel FOLSOM - Supervisory authority action in a court-martial.
Mr. ELY - I show you now page 3 of this exhibit. Could you tell us generally what this page of the record is.
Colonel FOLSOM - Page 3 of the Marine Corps Enlisted Service Record constitutes a record of primary duty assignments, the organization to which the individual was attached, with the dates, and also shows conduct and proficiency markings.
Mr. ELY - In connection with these conduct and proficiency markings, could you tell us what the scale is on which these grades are assigned?
Colonel FOLSOM - The Marine Corps marks on a scale of from 0 to 5.0.
Mr. ELY - 5.0 is the maximum grade?
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct.
Mr. ELY - And what would be the minimum satisfactory grade? Is there no minimum?
Colonel FOLSOM - No; there is none as such, because the markings are averaged at the end of the enlistment, and in accordance with existing regulations, the numerical quality of the markings determine the difference in the character of discharge between honorable and under honorable conditions.
Mr. ELY - Do you know what the minimum average for an honorable discharge would be?
Colonel FOLSOM - I believe was the question under honorable conditions?
Mr. ELY - Well, what would be the minimum for an honorable discharge?
Colonel FOLSOM - 40.
Mr. ELY - All right.
Now, I would like to take up some of these abbreviations specifically. I think the easiest way to designate this would be to go down the various columns on this page. Now, the column on the extreme left is labeled "organization." I shall ask you about the ones which I think might be unclear to somebody looking at this exhibit. There is an abbreviation here, after Oswald left Jacksonville, he was transferred to a unit abbreviated CASCO HQBN HQMC. Would you tell us what that stands for?
Colonel FOLSOM - That indicates he was attached to the Casual Company, Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, at that time.
Mr. ELY - Now, this would have been while he was----
Colonel FOLSOM - He joined on 4 May 1957.
Mr. ELY - Yes; I believe it was during the time he was at Keesler Air Force Base.
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes; undergoing duty under instruction.
Mr. ELY - Moving to the "reason" column on this page, we have here an entry of 27 October 1957, which is abbreviated, "To Sk." What does that stand for?
Colonel FOLSOM - To sick. He was admitted to the U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan.
Mr. ELY - And the entry directly below that one, which is abbreviated "To Du" would mean return to duty?
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct.
Mr. ELY - The entry directly below the To Duty entry which is abbreviated "SEMIAN" would indicate what?
Colonel FOLSOM - That it was a semiannual marking.
Mr. ELY - In other words, this is an entry strictly for marking purposes?
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct.
Mr. ELY - And the entry directly below that is abbreviated "To Cnfd."
Colonel FOLSOM - To confinement. In this instance, serving sentence summary court-martial.
Mr. ELY - Moving now to the next column, labeled "Primary Duty," one abbreviation which recurs is "DUINS." Could you tell us what that means?
Colonel FOLSOM - Duty under instruction.
Mr. ELY - And the entry of 12 September 1957 has an abbreviation which I believe refers to the sort of job which Oswald was performing. Could you tell us what that stands for?

Colonel FOLSOM - In this case he was a replacement trainee.
Mr. ELY - Well, that is the entry for 9 July 1957. That stands for replacement trainee. Could you tell us what the entry for 12 September 1957 is?
Colonel FOLSOM - It indicates that he joined Marine Air Control Squadron, No. 1, Marine Air Group 11, First Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, care of "FPO" San Francisco. This is a mailing address for an organization in the First Wing which at that time was in Japan.
Mr. ELY - And what was the job that he performed?
Colonel FOLSOM - He was an aviation electronics operator.
Mr. ELY - All right. I think that with the help you have given us, anybody looking over this record which appears at page 3 and 4 of the Folsom Deposition Exhibit No. 1 could readily understand the progress of Oswald's service.


awarded his final MOS, he was awarded an MOS, that is a Military Occupational Specialty, of 6400. Do you know, Colonel, what that stands for?
Colonel FOLSOM - It is a basic MOS in aviation electronics, I believe.
Mr. ELY - Now, we have an entry at the bottom of page 5 of this exhibit which was later crossed out. Could you explain to us the meaning of that entry?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes. This is an entry that is additional information as to promotion status on transfer to a new organization. This entry shows that Oswald achieved a composite score for the second 1958 testing period of 113. The reason it was deleted was due to his reduction from the rank of private first class to private pursuant to sentence of a summary court-martial.
Mr. ELY - Is there any way of evaluating his score of 113?
Colonel FOLSOM - It would be very difficult to reconstruct it. It is a composition of conduct and proficiency markings, time in service, and time in grade. And promotions are based on cutting scores established by Headquarters Marine Corps, which are promulgated to the field, and individuals holding the cutting score or higher may be promoted by their local organizations.
Mr. ELY - But the cutting score which is promulgated varies from time to time?
Colonel FOLSOM - It fluctuates. Well, it does not fluctuate--it is controlled by a staff agency at Headquarters, Marine Corps, to fulfill the needs of the Marine Corps by--in the varying grades.
Mr. ELY - Turning our attention now to page 6 of the exhibit, I notice here in the section labeled "Allotments" that toward the end of Oswald's Marine Corps career his mother received two allotments. These two allotments are designated differently in terms of purpose--one being given a "Q" designation and the other being given a "D" designation.
Can you explain what the difference is?
Colonel FOLSOM - The "Q" allotment is one where a portion of it is provided by the Government, and the other portion by the individual. It is a dependency allotment.
The "D" allotment, I believe, is an additional voluntary contribution.
Mr. ELY - The "D" allotment is one that the individual marine decides to send out of his pay?
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct.
Mr. ELY - Immediately below the allotment section is the record of Oswald's firing of various weapons. We would like you to explain some of the abbreviations found in this record.
Under the column "Course" we see that at one point he fired the M-1 Rifle on a so-called "A" course, and, too, he fired it on a "B" course. Could you tell us what the difference is between those two courses?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes; the "A" course is the standard marksmanship qualification course used by the Marine Corps for the M-1 Rifle. The "B" course is a shorter course-by that, less rounds of ammunition are fired.
Mr. ELY - But both of these courses are such that one can record a score?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes; there are scores and adjective designations as a result of the scores.
In the case of the "A" course, Oswald obtained a score of 212 which would, under regulations in effect at that time, have made him a sharpshooter. However, the score of 212 was erroneously designated with the abbreviation "MM" for marksman.
When he fired the "B" course, he is rated "MM" or marksman, and this is a correct designation in accordance with the score fired.
Mr. ELY - Am I correct in stating that when he fired the "A" course he would have been still in basic training at San Diego?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes.
Mr. ELY - This was on the 21st of December 1958. Did you mention what the minimum score for sharpshooter would have been at that point?
Colonel FOLSOM - It would have been 210.
Mr. ELY - In other words, he was two points over the minimum for sharpshooter and the designation "MM" on his record was an error?
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct.
Mr. ELY - Am I correct in stating that the "B" course firing to which you referred occurred on May 6, 1959, at El Toro, Calif.?
Colonel FOLSOM - This is correct.
Mr. ELY - His record also discloses that he fired a riot gun, a .45 caliber pistol, and at some times an M-1 rifle on a course designated "FAM." That stands for familiarization?
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct.
Mr. ELY - And that means that no scores----
Colonel FOLSOM - No score is recorded. It is merely to familiarize the people with the operation of the weapon.
Mr. ELY - When you speak of ratings of sharpshooter and marksman, is it correct that the scale runs--marksman is the lowest, sharpshooter the next highest, and expert would be the highest category?
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct.
Mr. ELY - Turning now to page 7 of the exhibit, which is titled "Military and Civilian Occupational Specialties and Education," I see hereabout halfway down the left column abbreviations for the courses taken by Oswald, first while he was at Jacksonville, and then while he was at Keesler Air Force Base. Could you tell us the meanings of these two abbreviations?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes; at Jacksonville he was undergoing instruction in aviation fundamentals school, course "P." And at Keesler Air Force Base, he was undergoing a course of instruction in air control and warning operator's course. Both of these courses were of 6 weeks' duration.
Mr. ELY - I am a little curious about Keesler Air Force Base. Is that under the auspices of the Air Force rather than the Marine Corps?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes; it is an Air Force School.
Mr. ELY - And do people from all branches of the service get trained there?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes; we have cross training with all the other services.
Mr. ELY - All right. Now, moving further down page 7, we have the record of a Russian examination taken by Oswald on February 25, 1959. Could you explain to us what sort of test this was, and what the scores achieved by Oswald mean?
Colonel FOLSOM - The test form was Department of the Army, Adjutant General's Office, PRT-157. This is merely the test series designation.
Now, under "understands" the scoring was minus 5, which means that he got five more wrong than right. The "P" in parentheses indicates "poor." Under reading he achieved a score of 4, which is low. This, again, is shown by the "P" in parentheses for "poor."
Mr. ELY - This 4 means he got four more questions right than wrong?
Colonel FOLSOM - This is correct.
And under "writes" he achieved a score of 3, with "P" in parentheses, and this indicates he got three more right than he did wrong.
His total score was 2, with a "P" in parentheses meaning that overall he got two more right than wrong, and his rating was poor throughout.
Mr. ELY - Page 7 also summarizes the results of the battery of classification and aptitude tests taken by Oswald upon his entry into the Marine Corps, specifically on October 30, 1956. This battery was composed of six examinations. Oswald's scores I see range from as low as 92 to as high as 125.
Could you, Colonel, tell us about these six categories, what they are, and what Oswald's scores in each of them means?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes. I will take this in sequence.
The "RV" indicates reading and vocabulary, and the score, Roman numeral II-125 indicates that he was in the second category. Categories throughout the test battery run from I to IV, with IV being the highest.
The abbreviation "AC"---arithmetical computation--and the score Roman numeral III-108, indicates that he dropped into the third class.
"AR" is arithmetical computation, Roman numeral III-90, indicates that he was at the bottom of the Grade 3 in this area.
"PA" indicates pattern analysis, Roman numeral III-94 indicates that he was the bottom portion of the third group in this category.
Now, these four areas are grouped into a general classification test score, the abbreviation "GCT" represents that definition. And as a result of Oswald's composite scores, he was graded as a Grade 3, Roman III-103. At that time, Marine Corps average, I believe, was 107.
Mr. ELY - Would you explain the one designated "RCT"?
Colonel FOLSOM - The abbreviation "RCT" is--represents radio code test. There are three scores in this, ranging from one to three, with one being the highest. The minimum, or the range in Grade III is from 90 to 109. As Oswald achieved 92, he was in the bottom, practically, of Group III.
Mr. ELY - Which is the lowest group.
Colonel FOLSOM - Which is the lowest.
Mr. ELY - Now, directing your attention to page 8, which is a summary court memorandum: this relates, I believe, to his first court-martial, and in general is self-explanatory. I want, however, to ask you about one sentence which to me seems to be in error.
According to the notation made here on page 8, under the title "Convening Authorities Action Dated," it states that that part of Oswald s sentence confining him at hard labor for 20 days would be suspended "for 6 months at which time, unless the suspension is sooner vacated, the sentence to confinement at hard labor for 20 days will be remitted without further action."
However, turning our attention down to Section 11, page 8, it was noted that on June 27, 1958, which would be the time of his second court-martial, "Confinement at hard labor for 28 days vacated on June 27, 1958."
So the way it is worded it says that the confinement would be vacated. Am I correct in assuming, Colonel, that what it really means to say is that the suspension of the sentence was vacated?
Colonel FOLSOM - This is correct.
However, there appears to be an error here, since the original sentence was for 20 days, and not 28 days, as shown under the subject entry.
Mr. ELY - Right.
So I suppose we have a typographical error, substituting 28 for 20 and we also have a misleading sentence in that it implies that the sentence was vacated rather than that the suspension of the sentence was vacated.
Colonel FOLSOM - This is correct.
Mr. ELY - However, Colonel, what did happen is that when he was court-martialed the second time, they then sentenced him to both the sentence for the second court-martial and at that time gave him the sentence that he received in connection with the first court-martial?
Colonel FOLSOM - Well, that portion of it--unexecuted portion of the first sentence.
Mr. ELY - That is correct. Thank you.
On page 9 of the exhibit we have some records relating to the second court-martial. At this point, again, I think the page is in general self-explanatory. However, under the section marked "Findings" on each charge, and specifications, there is the notation that on Charge II he was found not guilty, and then it goes on to say, "On specification of" Charge I. Am I correct in thinking that is a typographical error and that it should be that on the specification of Charge II, he was found not guilty?
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct.
Mr. ELY - So the record should read, on page 9, that Oswald was found guilty on Charge I, which was a violation of Article 117 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Similarly he was found guilty on the specification under Charge I, which was wrongfully using provoking words to a staff noncommissioned officer. However, on Charge II, which was a violation of Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he was found not guilty, and he was similarly found not guilty on the specification of that charge which was assaulting a staff noncommissioned officer by pouring a drink on him.
Colonel FOLSOM - This is correct.
Mr. ELY - Turning now to page 10 of the exhibit, the title of which is "Administrative Remarks" I note entries dated April 14, 1958, indicating that a request for an extension of Oswald's overseas tour had been received and approved. Must such a request come from the marine whose overseas tour is involved?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes. This must be a voluntary request from the individual concerned.
Mr. ELY - In other words, then, Oswald wanted to stay overseas longer than he was scheduled to have been over there?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes.
Mr. ELY - I note, also, on page 10 that this extension which had been approved was later canceled, on July 13, 1958.
Is there any way of determining from this record what the reason for this cancellation was?
Colonel FOLSOM - No; other than knowledge of the system, which indicates that the local commander withdrew his approval of the extension as a result of the disciplinary action.
Mr. ELY - So we might guess that because this followed his second court-martial, that was the reason?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes; and it followed it very closely.
Mr. ELY - Now, we will move all the way over to page 26, and I want to ask you about only one entry here--actually it is two entries relating to one event.
On January 19, 1959, the record discloses that Oswald departed El Toro for Yuma, Arizona, and that on January 26, 1959, he returned to El Toro from Yuma.
Is there any way of telling from this record for what purpose he went to Yuma?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes. The record shows that he departed MCS, MCAS, El Toro, for ADEX, 1-59, which is a designation for an air defense exercise, the first one held during 1959.
Mr. ELY - Turning to page 27, I just want to clear up one detail that might be confusing to somebody who has been in the Army rather than in the Marine Corps.
It is here noted that Oswald was, at least for part of his career, private, first class, and at the same time his pay grade was "E-2". Am I correct in asserting that in the Marine Corps a private is an E-l, a private first class is an E-2, your E-3 is a lance corporal, and your E-4 is a corporal?
Colonel FOLSOM - This is correct. This is under the new rank structure.
Mr. ELY - Turning now to page 36 of Folsom Deposition Exhibit 1, I want to ask you about only one abbreviation here. This is one that is indicated for both the periods June 27, 1958 through June 30, 1959 and July 1, 1958 through July 24, 1958. It is an abbreviated CNF SSCM. What does that stand for?
Colonel FOLSOM - Confined, serving sentence--it should be summary court-martial, but let me look at the record.
Mr. ELY - You mean there should be three "S's"?
Colonel FOLSOM - I just want to be sure somebody didn't goof and ring a special in here.
Yes--serving sentence, summary court-martial.
Mr. ELY - Turning now to page 106 of the exhibit, we have here a document relating to the high school level general educational development tests which were taken by Oswald on March 23, 1959. Page 106 reports the scores received by Oswald on each of these five tests, and also converts each score into a so-called United States percentile.
However, it does not make clear what the five areas in which Oswald was tested were. Could you tell us what they are?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes. The high school "GED" test covers five areas. One, English literature; two, English composition; three, social sciences; four, physical sciences; five, mathematics.
Mr. ELY - Is it the case that those five that you have just read off were read in the same order as they are numbered on the score sheet?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes. The battery is administered in the sequence in which it appears on the report.
Mr. ELY - And am I correct in asserting that on this test Oswald received a rating of satisfactory?
Colonel FOLSOM - This is correct. I believe USAFI rates as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
Mr. ELY - Right.
Well, that is not entirely clear. We have a rating code printed in the lower right-hand corner.
Colonel FOLSOM - Well, they have two passing ones--satisfactory, and "D" with distinction, and "U", unsatisfactory.
Mr. ELY - So he could have received a higher rating than he did?
Colonel FOLSOM - This is correct.
Mr. ELY - Finally for this document, turning to page 120, we have a rather imposing score sheet which relates Oswald's scores while he was in training at Jacksonville, Florida. Could you explain the meaning of these numbers in-sofar as you can?
Colonel FOLSOM - Well, the first column indicates the number of hours devoted to the subject. In the first instance, 37 hours to mathematics, two examinations were given, he achieved a score of 67 on the first and 54 on the second. The last--the next column indicates his average score for that subject. Twenty-five hours physics, score, 75 and 77.
Mr. ELY - Excuse me. Do you know whether those scores you just read are on a scale of 100?
Colonel FOLSOM - I do not know. But from the mathematics I would assume they are, particularly since they say that 62 is a passing score.
Mr. ELY - I see.
Now, getting back again to the column which is second from the right, which you say represents his average. It is his average on the previous test carried out to three digits without the decimal point.
Colonel FOLSOM - That is correct. This report was prepared on an electric accounting machine, and is a little difficult to interpret.
Mr. ELY - Yes. But I do see that that makes sense in terms of the individual scores.
Colonel FOLSOM - Do you want to go through all of these?
Mr. ELY - No; I don't think that will be necessary, now that you have explained the principle by which the scores are recorded.
Colonel FOLSOM - Under the heading "Indoctrination Test Scores" this is a test, an Army test battery, which in this instance was administered by the Marine Corps at a Navy installation. It consists of a reading and vocabulary, arithmetic computation, arithmetical reasoning, and pattern analysis. The "GC" is an abbreviation for "GCT". These are raw scores.
Mr. ELY - The ones designated RV, AC, AR, and PA?
Colonel FOLSOM - And the scores indicated are raw scores, which converted to the Marine Corps scoring on the general classification test shows that Oswald achieved a score of 105 on this test battery, and a score of 106 on the Marine Corps test batter. So the correlation is quite close.
The column headed "B" indicates year of birth. And the "G" column indicates the number of years of schooling--in this case, nine.
Mr. ELY - All right.
Colonel, I would finally like to show you a document which has already been introduced in evidence before the Commission in connection with the testimony of Marguerite Oswald. It is, therefore, designated Exhibit 239. This exhibit is a photostatic copy.
Could you tell us, Colonel, of what it is a photostatic copy?
Colonel FOLSOM - It is a photostatic copy of the U.S. Marine Corps Scorebook for use with the U.S. Rifle, Caliber 30 M-1.
Now, this scorebook is issued to each individual at each time they are sent on the rifle range for qualification or requalification.
They are maintained by the individual and are used to provide the individual with a record of the idiosyncracies of the weapon, and the weather on the day that the entries are made. This is referred to in the Marine Corps as the zero of the rifle, because the sight settings are individual characteristics of the particular rifle used. That is, he may--this rifle may require a half a point more windage under the same wind velocity than another rifle, and that the scale by yards may require adjustment depending upon the range that is being fired.
Mr. ELY - This book, then, is used by the individual Marine prior to his firing for record in order that he can zero his weapon so that he will do well on his record firing?

Colonel FOLSOM - This is the purpose. And it should be maintained even on the day that he fires for record.
In this particular record, it would appear that the entries were rather limited. As a matter of fact, it was not adequately maintained for the purpose for which it was designed.
Mr. ELY - Is it possible, Colonel, to tell anything from this scorebook, assuming for the moment that it was accurately maintained, concerning the marksmanship of Lee Harvey Oswald?
Colonel FOLSOM - Well, yes. But very generally. For instance, at 200 yards slow fire on Tuesday, at 200 yards slow fire, offhand position----
Mr. ELY - You are referring, are you not, to the page designated 22 in Oswald's scorebook?
Colonel FOLSOM - Right--well, 22 as opposed to 23. He got out in the three ring, which is not good. They should be able to keep them--all 10 shots within the four ring.
Mr. ELY - And even if his weapon needed a great deal of adjustment in terms of elevation or windage, he still would have a closer group than that if he were a good shot?
Colonel FOLSOM - Yes. As a matter of fact, at 200 yards, people should get a score of between 48 and 50 in the offhand position.
Mr. ELY - And what was his score?
Colonel FOLSOM - Well, total shown on page 22 would be he got a score of 34 out of a possible 50 on Tuesday, as shown on page 22 of his record book. On Wednesday, he got a score of 38, improved four points. Do you want to compute these?
Mr. ELY - I don't see any point in doing this page by page.
I just wonder, after having looked through the whole scorebook, if we could fairly say that all that it proves is that at this stage of his career he was not a particularly outstanding shot.
Colonel FOLSOM - No, no, he was not. His scorebook indicates--as a matter of fact--that he did well at one or two ranges in order to achieve the two points over the minimum score for sharpshooter.
Mr. ELY - In other words, he had a good day the day he fired for qualification?
Colonel FOLSOM - I would say so.
Mr. ELY - Well, Colonel, as far as I can see, that is all the testimony that we need from you with regard to these records. No doubt there are ambiguities in the records which I have not caught. I have asked you about the ones that seemed most confusing to me.
Can you think of anything else that you would like to add for the record?
Colonel FOLSOM - No; I believe that the record is rather complete. There are no missing documents from this official record. The photostatic copy contains everything that is in the original record.
And I do not believe that there are any discrepancies, other than those clerical errors which have been noted on such items as the summary court-martial records.
Mr. ELY - But you cannot think of any errors which we did not mention during your testimony today?
Colonel FOLSOM - No; I do not.
Mr. ELY - All right.
In that case, Colonel, on behalf of the Commission, I want to thank you very much for giving your testimony. It has been very helpful.