THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT
JOHN F. KENNEDY
ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, AT DALLAS, TEXAS
The President with Mrs. Kennedy and official party arrived at Love Field, Dallas,
Texas, aboard AF #1 (USAF 26000) at 11:40 a.m. (cst). After receiving members of
the official reception party, the President and Mrs. Kennedy walked over to a fenced
area and shook hands with many of the people who had gathered there to view their arrival.
At the conclusion of greeting the gathering, the President, Mrs. Kennedy, Governor
and Mrs. Connally entered the presidential limousine (special car: bubble-top, 1961
Lincoln Continental, seven-passenger, four-door convertible sedan). The President sat on
the right rear seat with Mrs. Kennedy to the left of him. Governor Connally sat on
the right jump seat and Mrs. Connally sat on the left jump seat. I rode in the front
(right side) and William Greer drove the vehicle.
In the Secret Service follow-up car, 1956 Cadillac touring sedan (top down), driven
by SA Samuel Kinney, ATSAIC Emory Roberts rode in the right front seat SA John Ready
stood on the right front running board, SA Paul Landis on right rear running board,
SA Clinton J. Hill on left front running board and William McIntyre on left rear running
board. SA Glen Bennett rode in the right rear seat and SA George Hickey on the left
rear seat. Mr. Kenneth O'Donnell and Mr. David Powers (White House staff) rode the
left and right jump seats respectively.
Behind the follow-up car was the Vice President's car with Vice President and Mrs.
Johnson and Senator Yarborough in the rear seat. SA Rufus Youngblood rode in the
right front seat and a police Officer drove the car. The following vehicles were
four cars of congressional members, press cars, VIP bus and then press busses.
We departed Love Field at 11:55 a.m., along the planned motorcade route, enroute
to a luncheon at the Trade Mart, given by the Democratic Citizens Council, scheduled
for 12:30 p.m. cst. As the motorcade completed the main thoroughfare through Dallas,
we made a sharp right turn, for about a 1/2 block, then a curved left turn into a slight
downhill grade entering an area with little or no spectators. We were still traveling
at the normal rate of speed of from 12 to 15 miles per hour when I heard a noise,
similar to a firecracker, exploding in the area to the rear of the car, about 12:30
Immediately I heard what I firmly believe was the President's voice, "My God, I'm
hit!" I turned around to find out what happened when two additional shots rang out,
and the President slumped into Mrs. Kennedy's lap and Governor Connally fell_to Mrs.
Connally's lap. I heard Mrs. Kennedy shout, "What are they doing to you?"
I yelled at William Greer (the driver) to "Step on it, we're hit!" and grabbed the
mike from the car radio, called to SA Lawson in the police lead car that we were
hit and to get us to a hospital.
With SA Lawson riding in the police car they quickly formed the accompanying escort
for the motorcade around our limousines and sped us through the streets to the emergency
entrance of Parkland Memorial Hospital. Sometime during the ride to the hospital
while looking back into the car I noticed SA Hill hanging on to the back of the car,
laying across the trunk. When we got to the hospital I called to the agents to get
two stretchers. The special agents of the follow-up car with the police ran into
the hospital, obtained two stretchers on wheels. We placed the Governor on the first one
at which time I noticed he was conscious and I spoke to him saying, "Governor, everything
is going to be all right." His eyes were wide open and he nodded his head in agreement. Just before we removed the President, SA Hill took off his coat, placed it over
the President's head and chest and we placed him on the stretcher. Both were taken
into separate emergency rooms. The hospital staff appeared quickly and went immediately
to work. I accompanied the President to the emergency room. His eyes were closed but
I could see no visible damage to his face. The room was crowded with the medical
people so I immediately walked out into a doctor's room, asked SA Lawson for the
phone number of the White House switchboard in Dallas. SA Hill dialed the number to the White
House operator in Washington and I talked with Gerald A. Behn, Special Agent in Charge,
White House Detail. I informed him that we had an incident in Dallas, the President
and Governor Connally had been shot and both were in emergency rooms at the Parkland
Memorial Hospital. This I believe was about 12:38 p.m. cst. This direct telephone
line from Dallas to SAIC Behn at Washington was kept open from this time until the
plane departed. SAIC Behn was kept informed of all proceedings, plans or desires of both
Mrs. Kennedy and President Johnson.
We immediately secured the corridors and the emergency room area, furnished the
blood type of the President to the medical staff upon their request. It should be
noted that Vice President and Mrs. Johnson were placed in a separate room away from
the emergency room. Some time later SA Warren Taylor came to me and said the Vice President
wanted to see me. Mr. Johnson asked me the condition of the President and the Governor.
I advised him that the Governor was taken up to surgery, that the doctors were still working on the President. He asked me to keep him informed of his condition. SA Kinney
entered the emergency room area when I returned there and asked if it would be all
right to drive the President's car and the follow-up car back to the airport, load
them aboard the plane. I said "Yes'' and told him to return the cars to Washington,
The 4 to 12 shift (ATSAIC Stout, etc.) joined us at the emergency room and the 8
to 4 shift (ATSAIC Roberts, etc.) immediately joined the Vice President and Mrs.
Through Dr. Burkley, President's physician, we were advised officially of the death
of the President which was registered on the death certificate as I p.m. cst. Between
I p.m., and our departure from the hospital at 2:04 p.m. cst., a casket was obtained and with Mrs. Kennedy, SA Hill and Dr. Burkley riding in the hearse with the casket,
SA Berger (Stout and Kellerman in front seat) drove the hearse with police escort
to Love Field.
The Vice President and Mrs. Johnson had preceded us with Roberts shift to the airport
and when we had arrived, the field had been secured and we rushed to AF 26000. All
available special agents carried the casket from the ambulance up the rear steps
and placed it in the rear section of the plane. When we boarded the plane, Vice President
Johnson and his party were aboard the plane. The services of Federal Judge Sarah
T. Hughes was obtained, she was brought into the plane, and Vice President Johnson
was administered the oath of office and sworn in as President at 2:38 p.m.
At 2:47 p.m., USAF 26000 was airborne for Washington, D.C., arriving at Andrews Air
Force Base at 5:58 p.m., est.
While airborne, arrangements were made for a Naval ambulance from the New Naval
Medical Center at Bethesda to be available at the airport. Upon landing we removed
the casket, placed it into the ambulance. At the airport, Chief Rowley advised me
that two FBI agents, Francis O'Neill, Jr., and James Siebert, had been assigned to this case
and to allow them into the morgue at the U.S. Naval Hospital. I told Chief Rowley
the cars would arrive at Andrews at about 8 p.m., and suggested he assign field agents
to them to completely go over them for any evidence that might be found.
Mrs. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and General McHugh sat in the rear of the ambulance-
SAs Greer, Landis and myself with Dr. Burkley rode in the front to Bethesda, with
a police escort. The body was immediately taken to the morgue and the family was
assigned rooms in the Towers of the Center. Hill and Landis remained with Mrs. Kennedy in her
quarters and William Greer and I remained in the morgue and viewed the autopsy examinations
which were performed by Vice Admiral Gallway, Commanding Officer, NNMC, Chief Pathologist Cdr. James Humes, Lt. Col. Pierre A. Finck who is Chief, Military Environmental
Pathology Division and Chief of Wound Ballistics, Pathology Branch, and J. Thornton
Boswell, Cdr. Medical Corps, USN, together with the Naval Medical Staff. SA O'Leary was also in the morgue briefly. Agents O'Neill and Siebert were present.
During the night Joseph Cawlers Sons, Inc., funeral directors, were notified by
Robert Kennedy and Sargent Shriver and a new coffin was obtained. After the completion
of the autopsy and before the embalming I summoned SA Hill down to the morgue to
view the body and to witness the damage of the gunshot wounds. The embalming was performed
after the autopsy by the staff of Joseph Gawlers.
Prior to our departure from the Naval Hospital I received all film, x-rays, that
were used during this autopsy, and upon arrival at the White House I turned them
over to SAIC Bouck.
We left the hospital at 3:56 a.m. in the Navy ambulance and with police escort motored
to the White House. Mrs. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy rode in the hearse, SA Greer
drove, Kellerman in the front seat, SAs Hill and Landis with members of the family
rode in cars following the ambulance. We arrived at the White House at 4:24 a.m. The
body was placed in the East Room.
On Wednesday, November 27, 1963, FBI Agents O'Neill and Siebert were given an oral
statement along the lines of this report.
Roy H. Kellerman
Assistant Special Agent in Charge