Saturday, March 17, 2012

Off the Ticker - Early UPI & AP Wire Service Reports


OFF THE TICKER – Early reports of the shooting, death of the President and arrest of Oswald came off the UPI & AP Wire Service bulletins sent via teletype.

Besides the key conversations that are missing from the edited Air Force One radio recordings, it is now also apparent that most of the major players learned of the assassination from the wire service tickertape reports.

The only exceptions are those who were tuned in to the “Charlie” channel used by the Secret Service and heard SS Agent Kellerman yell, “Lawson, he’s hit!.” Those who were listening to this channel included Air Force One pilot Col. Swindel, those agents at the Dallas Sheraton Hotel communications command center and any others who had access to the special motorcade “Charlie” channel. After that initial burst, the UPI & AP wire service reports became the primary source of assassination information for everyone. 1)

Although some of the wire service reports were read directly over the sideband radio, it wasn’t from the White House Situation Room that Air Force One and the Cabinet plane (86972) learned of the shooting, Kennedy’s death and Oswald’s arrest and his background, it was direct from the “wire service machine” aka “the ticker” or the UPI and AP teletype machines on board the planes.

And even if Air Force One and 86972 – the Cabinet Plane learned these details from the White House Situation Room, the Situation Room personnel probably learned those details from the wire service teletype and not from any official source in Dallas.

Reel 1 Side One –
Patch 5 (630)

- White House, Situation Room, do you read m
- White House, White House, this is Wayside, do you read me?
- This is White House. I read you loud and clear Wayside. Over.
- Can you give me the latest situation on President? Over.
- You want the Situation Room?
- Repeat that.…..
- This is Crown, This is Crown. Do you want Situation Room?
- I want the Situation Room That’s affirmative. Roger.
- Stand by Please.
- Wayside, Wayside, this is Crown. Situation Room is on. Go ahead.
- Situation Room. This is Waysdie, do you read me? Over.
- This is the Situation Room. I read you. Go ahead.
- Give me all available information on President. Over.
- All information on President follows. Ah, ….He and Governor Connally were hit in the car in which they were riding. We do not know how…..no information. Mister Bromley Smith is back here in the Situation Room now. We are getting our information over the tickers. Over.
- That is affirmative. That is affirmative.
2) Kelly Transcript

TAPE #1 – Serial Patch 6

- 26000, Andrews, I have the White House
- Okay, thank you.
- And I want to keep this frequency open
- The frequency has been taken
- …give, a copy
- Roger.
- 86972 is good and readable. I have a party on that wants to talk to you. Stand by.
- Standing by.
- Hello? What is your name again?
- Jackson.
- Mr. Jackson?
- Yes.
- Okay. Hold on line one. 86972, Andrews, I have a Mister Jackson on. Will you give him a call, please?
- Okay.
- Roger. This is Colonel Toomey. Go ahead.
- Colonel Toomey, this is Murray Jackson. The President of the United States has been shot and seriously wounded in Dallas, Texas. The President of the United States, John F. Kennedy has been shot and seriously wounded in Dallas, Texas. Governor Connally was also shot at the same time. Would you please get the message to Secretary of State Rusk, and I will stand by. Over.
- Roger, Murray. We have already received the news. We have the UPI on….
3) Kelly Transcript.

In fact, news of Oswald’s arrest was announced over the radio and wire service reports before 26000 – Air Force One even left Dallas.
4) Kelly Time Chart Chronology of Events.

We also know that the White House Situation Room, the White House Communications Center, Andrews Operations Center as well as those on Air Force One and 86972 all first learned of the assassination from the wire service reports and not from emergency communications.

Just as Manning on 86972 had heard the UPI bells that warned him of a special news bulletin, the White House Communications Switchboard learned the President had been shot from the same source.
5) Manning, Robert. Oral History.

Reel 1 Side One – Patch 5 (630)

- White House, Situation Room, do you read m
- White House, White House, this is Wayside, do you read me?
- This is White House. I read you loud and clear Wayside. Over.
- Can you give me the latest situation on President? Over.
- You want the Situation Room?
- Repeat that.…..
- This is Crown, This is Crown. Do you want Situation Room?
- I want the Situation Room That’s affirmative. Roger.
- Stand by Please.
- Wayside, Wayside, this is Crown. Situation Room is on. Go ahead.
- Situation Room. This is Waysdie, do you read me? Over.
- This is the Situation Room. I read you. Go ahead.
- Give me all available information on President. Over.
- All information on President follows. Ah,….He and Governor Connally were hit in the car in which they were riding. We do not know how…..no information. Mister Bromley Smith is back here in the Situation Room now. We are getting our information over the tickers. Over.
6) Kelly, Wm. Transcript.

The “tickers” are the AP – Associated Press and UPI – United Press International wire service teletypes that went out to ever newspaper, radio and television newsroom in the United States and most of the world.

TEN BELLS

In his White House Communications Agency (WHCA) after-action report, Communications Specialist 4th Class Witte reported: “I was wandering about the Comm Center as usual picking up little bits of information about how the place worked when I was attracted by a series of 5 bells on UPI. I looked over PFC Russell’s shoulder to see what was about to appear.”
6) Witte, SP4. WHCA Report of 11/22/63.

When I worked on a story with Bill Vidka at WMMR radio news office in Philadelphia, a series of bells alerted him to turn on a tape machine, and he explained that it was the UPI wire service alert for a special news bulletins. Bob Chockrum notes that, “Ten bells are for a news flash, five for a bulletin, four for urgent and three for advisory.”
7) Cockrum, Robert. Re: First UPI teletype as portrayed in Bishop, Jim. The Day Kennedy Was Shot.

Just as the wire service bells has alerted Robert Manning aboard the cabinet plane, the wire service bells got the attention of CS4 Witte in the White House Communcations Room.

“There was nothing for what seemed like a long time,” Witte later reported, “but was probably less than ten seconds, and then, on a line, in a shaky hand came UPI’s bulletin heading ‘….Dallas, with Kennedy….’ The text consisted of five words on line, gabled, misspelled and unsteady, ‘Kennedy, Connelly shot, possibly fatally.’ And then nothing.”

Witte: “Russell jumped and said ‘hey you guys, look at this!’, The guys were Sgts Dreyllinger and Bodensteinger who were standing by the TWX. Dreylinger and Bodensteiner laughed slightly, as one would at a bad joke (which, it turned out, is what they thought it was). I went around to check the patch board to make sure someone hadn’t plugged UPI onto a different machine and put a piece of our gear at the other end of the monitor I had been watching in order to see what kind of action they could get out of duping a couple of new bodies in the Comm Center (It had been a slow afternoon). For a full minute people just walked around in circles, Russell and I affirming that we had actually seen the bulletin come in on the monitor (although admitting the possibility that someone at UPI might be wanting to lose his job in a hurry), and the rest of the Comm Center personnel becoming more and more convinced that the bulletin was real. AP came in with a confirming bulletin in about 70 seconds after UPI. Someone called the Duty Officer.”
8) Witte.

SGT Bodensteiner: “I was working on a circuit near our UPI and AP news monitors when one of the other operators, who had been reading the news, told me that the President had been shot. My first reaction was that I thought he was only joking. He then told me to come and read it on the UPI monitor myself. This still didn’t convince me that it was true, thinking that he could have easily typed it on the machine himself as a joke. I no sooner had told him that wasn’t a very nice rumor to start when I saw a more detailed item come over our AP monitor. We then told the other operators and the D.O. was notified.”
9) Bodensteiner. WHCA Report

Specialist First Class Chief Operator Carriger: “Someone handed me a bulletin from UPI stating that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Tex. I immediately called Sgt. Tucker and passed info to her. Her immediate reaction was “Oh, you’re kidding me”, repeated several times. After I had somewhat convinced her that info received over UPI news ckt., she said she would pass to Major Patterson.”
10) Carriger. WHCA Report.

According to Salinger, the Cabinet plane (86972) only had UPI but the Communications Room at the White House had had both.

As David Lifton points out both AP and UPI “wires are primary sources — as important as the 26 volumes, but this statement only applies to the first few hours, and to the pursuit of any hypothesis in which a dynamic or fast breaking situation is being tracked or analyzed for unexpected developments. One thing I can say: once one starts to go down this path, it becomes an entire research project, because much of the major network broadcast material becomes irrelevant… But I can assure you that both are critical to understanding the event.”

“Understanding the chronology of both of these wire services is critical to understanding how the media was ‘played’ on November 22, 1963,” says Lifton. “ Of course, there were probably certain other ‘media assets’ that were utilized that day, but I have focused on the two wire services because of the major role they played in determining the radio and TV ‘network coverage’ that emanated from New York UPI.”
11) Lifton, David.

The first news of the shooting to come out of Dallas was the report by Merriman Smith, which was sent out on the UPI teletype wire five minutes after the shooting and was read in newsrooms around the world as well as by Manning aboard 86972, and was considered a bad joke in the White House Communications Center.
12) WHCA Reports.

The first report from Merriman Smith came from the front seat of the Press Pool car in the motorcade, which had a radio-telephone that Smith used to immediately call the Dallas UPI office to report “three shots had been fired at the President as he rode in a motorcade in downtown Dallas,” adding “no casualties,” and while AP reporter Jack Bell in the backseat tried to get the phone from Smith, Smith asked the Dallas UPI to read back his report. By the time Bell got the phone it had gone dead, giving UPI the initial scoop on the story of the century.

First UPI "A" wire transmission read: Dallas, Nov. 22 (UPI) – THREE SHOTS WERE FIRED AT PRESIDENT KENNEDY’S MOTORCADE TODAY IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS. JT1234PCS –


(NOTE: "1234 PCS" means "12:34 Central Standard time. The initials on the typed line specifying the time of transmission are those of the teletype operator.)

David Lifton: “The first transmission was the result of Merriman Smith excitedly talking to (Wilborn Hampton) at the UPI Dallas office, which means it went from his lips to UPI's Wilborn Hampton, who took the call; then to staff editor Don Smith, who actually wrote the copy (along with Hampton); and then it was handed to teletype operator Jim Tolbert, who actually punched out the words onto perforated paper, and fed the punched paper-tape into the teletype machine, pressing ‘send’ at 12:34 PM CST.”

The ‘JT’ before the time of 1234 are the initials of Jim Tolbert, the UPI teletype operator in Dallas.

Then came another, five minutes later, and that reads as follows: 12:39 PM CST UPI A8N DA URGENT 1st Add Shots, Dallas (A7N) XXX DOWNTOWN DALLAS. NO CASUALTIES WERE REPORTED. THE INCIDENT OCCURRED NEAR THE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE ON MAIN STREET, JUST EAST OF AN UNDERPASS LEADING TOWARDS THE TRADE MART WHERE THE PRESIENT WAS TO MA FLASH FLASH KENNEDY FLASH
KENNEDY SERIOSTY WOUNDED PESTSSSSSSS HS 138/
SSSSSSSSSSS MAKE THAT PERHAPS PERHAPS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED
HSQEOPEST SSSSSSSSSSSSSS
GJ OWHL W WOUND HQ139PESTXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
SERIOUSLY WOUNDED PERHAPS SERIOUSLY PERHAPS FATALLY BY ASSASSINS BULLET HS139PESTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS JT 1239PCS
13) Lifton, David

In response to Jim Bishop (in The Day Kennedy Was Shot) 2008 former UPI editor Bob Cockrum wrote: “I was reading the page on which you have UPI copy from the Kennedy assassination. You have – ‘It was a teletype bulletin but the operator who sent it must have been confused or upset:’ And then you have the garbled transmission of a story from Hanover, Germany, and Dallas. It looks like what that actually is, is a wire fight within the New York office before they actually let Dallas start sending direct. But on the sending teletype there is a ‘break’ key which can be held down and interrupt anything that is going out on the same wire in the same bureau or another one. I imagine there was plenty of confusion; it appears the teletype operator ‘HS’ broke into the story for the bulletin. But then the Germany story is restarted and HS breaks in again, ‘moring’ off the story. He is either extremely nervous or maybe the Germany story is not totally broken off ... or his keyboard/transmitter is not working properly. All the S's you see would actually have been ringing the teletype bell - the bell is made to ring by going to the upper rail (upper case) on the all caps teletype keyboard, but it didn't shift like it was supposed to, so it came out a bunch of S's. In some cases there are fewer S's than standard (10 bells for a flash, five for a bulletin, four for an urgent, three for an advisory) but then you have that long string after the last entry. The HSQETPEST after the "bulletin precede" translates to the operator's initials (who may have been a reporter/editor and not a regular teletype operator) then it should have shifted to the upper rail for numbers 1:35 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.”
14) Cockrum, Robert.

A detailed account of the goings-on at the UPI office were published in a book a few years back--"Kennedy Assassinated" by Wilborn Hampton, who was actually on the phone with Merriman Smith.
15) Hampton, Wilborn. Kennedy Assassinated.

Sixth Floor Oral History profile: Wilborn Hampton - The youngest United Press International (UPI) reporter at the Dallas bureau, Hampton took the call from Merriman Smith in the motorcade with word of the president's shooting. Hampton spent time that weekend at Parkland Memorial Hospital and Dallas City Hall, where he attended Oswald's midnight press conference. Years later, while serving as a longtime editor at The New York Times, Hampton wrote a series of young adult history books, including Kennedy Assassinated! The World Mourns: A Reporter's Story (1997). Recorded November 23, 2009.
16) Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas, Texas.

Hampton: Certainly I will never forget where I was that day. I was standing by the news desk in the Dallas office of United Press International, mostly trying to stay out of the way. I had been working at U.P.I. for only two months. News agencies like U.P.I. and the Associated Press, U.P.I.’s chief rival, provide news stories to newspapers and television and radio stations. It was my first job after finishing the University of Texas in Austin that summer, and I was still learning the ropes.

It had been very hectic in the office for the previous two days. President John F. Kennedy was making a highly publicized trip to Texas, going to five cities and making a major speech in Dallas. The Presidential visit was what was called in those days a fence-mending trip. The Texas governor, John B. Connally, and the state’s senior senator, Ralph Yarborough, were involved in a political feud that even Kennedy’s vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson, who was also from Texas, couldn’t patch up. So Kennedy himself was coming to the state to try to reconcile them. Connally, Yarborough, and Johnson were all traveling with the President in a public display of unity.

Everybody in the Dallas office had been busy on the story. Everybody, that is, except me. Since I was the most inexperienced reporter on the staff, I did not have a lot to do with covering Kennedy’s trip. As a result, I had felt like a fifth wheel around the office since the President had arrived in Texas.

The only part I had played so far in covering the President’s visit was to take some dictation over the telephone the previous day from Merriman Smith, who was U.P.I.’s chief White House reporter. But that was about to change in the next couple of minutes. In fact, my whole life was about to change.

Merriman Smith was known to everyone by his nickname, Smitty, and he had been covering Presidents since Roosevelt. Since he was the senior White House reporter, Smitty always traveled with the President and always rode in the press car in Presidential motorcades, right next to the car phone, which was still a rare enough item to be considered modern technology. After taking the dictation from him, I gave Smitty’s notes to Preston McGraw, who was known as Mac, to turn into a news story.

Everyone else had worked late the previous night. But when I had asked Jack Fallon, the U.P.I. division news manager, if he wanted me to stay and help out too, he told me no, I could go on home. It was a disappointment to me.

So, there I was, standing by the news desk, while there was a lull in the Dallas office. President Kennedy had arrived at Love Field, the Dallas airport, on a five-minute flight from Fort Worth, and he was at that moment driving through downtown Dallas in a motorcade on his way to the Trade Mart, where he was to make his speech. Governor Connally was riding with him.

There had been a flurry of activity in the office with the President’s takeoff from Fort Worth, where he had spent the previous night, and his arrival in Dallas. Although Dallas was considered hostile political territory to Kennedy, a large crowd turned out to greet him at Love Field. Jackie Kennedy was given a bouquet of roses and both the President and the First Lady went over to shake hands with some of the people at the airport.

And all along the motorcade route through downtown Dallas, thousands of people lined the sidewalks along Main Street to see the President as he drove by. Smitty had even called in from the telephone in the press car to dictate a paragraph to Jack Fallon about how surprisingly large the crowds were.

But the office was quiet now, everyone relaxing for a few minutes until the President arrived at the Trade Mart, and the frenzy of covering an American President would resume.

So I was alone as I stood by the news desk that day. I was wondering whether I should offer to get sandwiches for the rest of the office from the diner across the street, and whether I would get to stay and help out that night when the President flew on to Austin, the last stop on his trip.

Suddenly the telephone rang. I picked up the receiver and answered, "U.P.I."

I immediately recognized Smitty’s voice from the day before. But this time Smitty was shouting.

"Bulletin precede!" Smitty yelled. "Three shots were fired at the motorcade!"
17) Hampton, Wilborn.


UPI Teletype input device, similar to the one used by the Dallas UPI office on 11/22/63

Overview KENNEDY ASSASSINATED!
The astonishing story of a cub reporter who was there on the day that the President died.
On November 22, 1963, the phone rang in the Dallas U.P.I. office. Wilborn Hampton, a cub reporter, answered and heard these words: "Three shots fired!" It was the voice of the U.P.I. White House reporter. The gunshots had been fired at President Kennedy—and young Hampton was the first to receive the news. This is his story, a riveting account of a young man swept into the white-hot core of a tragedy that would shake the world. It is also a minute-by-minute chronicle of how reporters collected the facts of the major news story of the twentieth century. KENNEDY ASSASSINATED! will leave readers with an unforgettable sense of the shock, grief, and enduring loss that every American experienced that day.

ARTHUR W. BALES, JR. CWO USA, Trip Officer (WHCA) wrote in his report at the end of the day: “The motorcade then departed for the trip through downtown Dallas and to the Trade Mart. In the WHCA Communications Car were: A telco driver; the undersigned WHCA Advance Officer; the WHCA Courier, Mr. Gearheart; and the Telco special representative (or ‘Shadow’), Mr. Herb Smith. We were approximately six cars and two (Press and Staff) buses behind the President. The motorcade had just passed the last buildings on the route before entering the freeway to the Trade Mart. The WHCA Communications Car was around two corners from and not in sight of the President’s car. Three explosions were heard, and I thought that they were backfires from vehicles up ahead. Herb Smith remarked that firecrackers were inappropriate for the occasion. Then the USSS Agent riding with the President announced on the FM “Charlie” radio,’Lawson, he’s hit’. The motorcade came to an abrupt halt with one bus and the WHCA car still around two corners from the President. Realizing that emergency communications facilities may be required on the spot, I instructed the driver to get Mr. Gearhart immediately to the vicinity of the President and to keep him there regardless of my own location. I, with the Telco representative, Mr. Smith, then started running toward the scene of the shooting. As we rounded the first corner the motorcade suddenly raced away. I commandeered a police car and instructed the driver to take us immediately to the Parkland Hospital. We arrived short minutes after the President.”

“The Parkland Hospital: The very limited telephone facilities at the hospital were tired up by the members of the Press Pool. I immediately seized all but one line (leaving Merriman Smith on the one most remote from the Emergency Rooms) and established direct circuits to the Signal Board in Washington; the Dallas White House Bd; and to the Signal board via the Dallas and Fort Worth White House Boards. I assigned police officers to guard these phones and instructed the individual Signal Operators in Washington who were on these circuits to handle no other calls, but to guard these lines exclusively.
17) Bales, Arthur W., Jr. CWO USA, WHCA Report of 11/22/63

Merriman Smith was at Parkland, on the phone to UPI New York, and Bales worked around him, and noted Smith’s presence on the phone at Parkland in his report.


Merriman Smith and JFK

In an unofficial history of UPI it is noted: “The press car followed the limousine as it raced to Parkland Hospital. As (Merriman) Smith ran up to the limousine parked at the emergency entrance, he saw Kennedy face down on the back seat, with Jacqueline Kennedy cradling her arms around the president's head. Smith saw a secret service agent he knew and asked him about Kennedy. The agent, Clint Hill, responded: "He's dead." Smith went inside, found a phone and reached Fallon, who dictated the flash: "Kennedy seriously wounded, perhaps seriously, perhaps fatally by assassins bullet." When White House deputy press secretary Malcolm Kilduff gave official word at the hospital that Kennedy was dead, Hampton, Joe Carter and Preston McGraw set up a three-man relay between a pay phone and the news conference -- one at the conference, one running between and a third dictating to the bureau. That was backed up by Virginia Payette on a second phone and Smith, who had found a third line. Smith then went back to Air Force One, and witnessed the swearing-in of Lyndon Johnson as president. Smith's account of the assassination won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.”
18) Illustrated History of UPI.

While the early reports Smith filed from the radio phone in the Press Pool Car in the motorcade and from Parkland Hospital went through the Dallas UPI office, he later began reporting directly to the New York UPI office.

After Smith filed his first emergency bulletin from the Press Pool Car radiophone, keeping the phone from the AP pool reporter in the back seat, AP photographer Alkins, who took a photo of the President’s car in front of the TSBD, immediately called his office and the AP wire reported the attack on the president a few minutes after the UPI report.

The AP wire starts with its very first transmission at 12:40 CST (from AP photographer James W. Altgens who said he saw blood on the President’s head. Altgens said he heard two shots but thought someone was shooting fireworks until he saw the blood on the President. Altgents said he saw no one with a gun.

BULLETIN Dallas. Nov. 22 (AP) PRESIDENT KENNEDY WAS SHOT TODAY JUST AS HIS MOTORCADE LEFT DOWNTOWN DALLAS. MRS. KENNEDY JUMPED UP AND GRABBED MR. KENNEDY. SHE CRIED, “OH, NO!” THE MOTORCADE SPED ON D 1240 PCS NM
19) Lifton, David. Re: AP Wire Report.

While UPI scooped AP on the first story, AP was the first to report Oswald’s arrest.

2:35 PM CST - First AP Story Naming Oswald
3:22 PM CST- Second AP Story Naming Oswald
(with more definite link between LHO & JFK slaying)

3:46 PM CST - First UPI mention of Oswald
(now portrayed as JFK's assassin, and linked to FPCC)

2:35 PM CST – First AP Story naming Oswald
(but not yet making definitive connection with JFK assn)

2:35 AP Dallas, Tex., Nov. 22 (AP) -- The Dallas Police Department today arrested a 24 year-old man, Lee H. Oswald, in connection with the slaying of a Dallas policeman shortly after President Kennedy was assassinated. He was also being interrogated to see if he had any connection with the slaying of the President. Oswald was pulled screaming and yelling from the Texas Theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas.

3:22 PM CST – Second AP Story naming Oswald
(With more definite link between LHO & JFK slaying)

3:22 AP ((Called by AP "first lead arrest"; this is 1st AP mention of LHO))

Dallas, Nov. 22 (AP) -- A 24-year-old man who said two years ago he wanted Russian citizenship was questioned today to see whether he had any connection with the assassination of President Kennedy. He was identified as Lee Harvey Oswald of Forth Worth. He was pulled screaming and yelling from the Texas Theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas shortly after a Dallas policeman was shot to death. On Nov. 1, 1959, Oswald told the U.S. Embassy in Moscow he had applied for Soviet citizenship. He said he had been a tourist in Russia since October 13, that year. Oswald was reported to have a Russian wife. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram confirmed that the man held in Dallas was the same Oswald and said his mother was being taken to Dallas Police headquarters to see him.

First UPI mention of LHO (3:46 PM CST) now portrayed as JFK’s assassin, and linked to FPCC.

Dallas, Nov. 22 (UPI)--Police today seized Lee H. Oswald, identified as chairman of a "Fair Play for Cuba Committee," as the prime suspect in the assassination of President Kennedy. Police said Oswald, 24, was accused in the slaying of a Dallas policeman shortly after the shooting of the President. Police Capt. Pat Gannaway said the suspect was an employee in the building where a rifle was found. Gannaway said the suspect had visited Russia and was married to a Russian. This was not immediately confirmed.
20) Lifton, David; Mack, Gary.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion it is apparent that there were a number of significant conversations between those aboard Air Force One and other locations that were intentionally edited out of the existing tape recordings released to the public.

From the existing recordings and later reports it is also clear that other than those who heard the initial “Charlie” channel radio report from Kellerman, most every major player learned of the shooting, the death of the president and the arrest of Oswald from the AP and UPI wire service reports and not from any other source.

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS AND REPORTS

Love Field, Dallas – 86972 – 26000 – AF1 – Andrews – Chronology

12:30 PM – CST – President Kennedy is shot while riding through Dealey Plaza.

12:30.30 PM – CST – SA Kellerman, in the front seat of the President’s car calls in over “Charlie” channel “Lawson, he’s hit.”

12:30.30 PM – CST – UPI reporter in the White House Pool Car in the motorcade calls UPI Dallas office and reports “Three shots fired….”

12:34 PM – CST First UPI "A" wire transmission: Dallas, Nov. 22 (UPI) – THREE SHOTS WERE FIRED AT PRESIDENT KENNEDY’S MOTORCADE TODAY IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS. JT1234PCS - 1234PCS means 12:34 Central Standard time.

12:39 PM CST UPI A8N DA URGENT 1st Add Shots, Dallas (A7N) XXX DOWNTOWN DALLAS. NO CASUALTIES WERE REPORTED. THE INCIDENT OCCURRED NEAR THE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE ON MAIN STREET, JUST EAST OF AN UNDERPASS LEADING TOWARDS THE TRADE MART WHERE THE PRESIENT WAS TO MA FLASH FLASH KENNEDY FLASH…

12:41 PM CST BULLETIN MATTER Dallas-FIRST ADD KENNEDY SHOT X X X SPED ON. MM 12:41 PCS A NM

Dallas CST Andrews EST – Military Time – Andrews Log

1:00 PM CST (2:00 PM EST) –1400 - Col. Hornbuckle Puts Andrews Wing on Alert
1:20 PM CST (2:20 PM EST) - 1420 Andrews ordered to pick up LeMay at Toronto
1:35 PM CST (2:35 PM EST) – UPI FLASH PRESIDENT KENNEDY DEAD
1:46 PM CST (2:46 PM EST) - 1446 LeMay’s C-140 Departs Andrews for Toronto
1:46 PM CST (2:46 PM EST) – 1446 Cabinet Plane 86972 Turns Around
1:50 PM CST (2:50 PM EST) P/U for LeMay changed from Toronto to Wairton, CA.
2:00 PM CST (3:00 PM EST) - 1500 Flight Plan filed for AF1.
2:35 PM CST (3:35 PM EST) - FIRST AP Story naming Oswald. (but not yet making definitive connection with JFK assn)
2:35 CST AP Dallas, Tex., Nov. 22 (AP) -- The Dallas Police Department today arrested a 24 year-old man, Lee H. Oswald, in connection with the slaying of a Dallas policeman shortly after President Kennedy was assassinated. He was also being interrogated to see if he had any connection with the slaying of the President. Oswald was pulled screaming and yelling from the Texas Theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas.
2:43 CST - WFAA and WBAP radio named Oswald. WBAP's David Daniel interrupts for word from Dallas Police of the arrest of "a 24-year-old man, Lee H. Oswald" in connection with the shooting of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit. He's being questioned to see if he has any connection with JFK assassination. "Oswald was pulled screaming and yelling" from the Texas Theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. After a pistol is taken from him during a scuffle, he's quoted as saying, "It's all over now."
2:47 PM CST (3:47 PM EST) 1545 26000 departs Dallas as AF1 ETA Andrews 6:05
3:09 PM CST (4:09 PM EST) 1609 – 86972 Departs Hickam ETA Andrews 12:24
3:22 PM CST Second AP story w/ more definite link between LHO & JFK slaying.
3:22 AP CST - 1st AP mention of LHO
3:08 PM CST UPI’s completely false version of the theater arrest.
3:22 PM CST Second AP Story Naming Oswald with link between LHO & JFK slaying.
3:23 PM CST - NBC television network coverage mentioned Oswald's name
3:25 PM CST (4:25 PM EST) 1625 – LeMay dep Wairton ETA Andrews 5:15 EST
3:46 PM CST First UPI mention of LHO portrayed as JFK’s assassin, linked to FPCC.
3:50 PM CST (4:50 PM EST) 1650 26000 AF1 requests Steps, Lift Truck.
4:00 PM CST (5:00 PM EST) 1700 – LeMay destination DCA not ADW/Andrews
4:00 PM CST (5:00 PM EST) 1700 – AF1 Requests Ramps & Press Fence
4:12 PM CST (5:12 PM EST) 1712 – LeMay lands at DCA
4::41 PM CST (5: 41 PM EST) 1740 – AF1 4 A.P. Cars, Ramp Confirmed.
5:04 PM CST (6:04 P.M. EST) 1800 – AF1 Lands at Andrews 2300 – 2304 Zulu (GMT)
5:30 PM CST (6:30 PM EST) 1830 – AF2 (LBJ’s Plane) Lands at Andrews
11:37 PM CST (12:37 AM EST) 0937 – Andrews Log: 86972 Cabinet Arrives Andrews

[BK Notes: Many thanks to David Lifton and Gary Mack for supplying accurate times of the UPI and AP wire service reports, and their analysis]

Off the Ticker Notes

1) The WHCA After-Action Report of AF1 radio operator John Trimble indicates that when Trimble learned of the assassination and informed Col. Swindel, Swindel already knew “from other sources.” From The Flying White House, we learn that other source was “Charlie” channel, the Secret Service and motorcade radio frequency.
2) Kelly, Wm. Transcript
3) Kellly, Wm. Transcript
4) Kelly Time Chart Chronology of Events
5) Manning, Robert. Oral History of Kennedy Administration
6) Witte, SP4. WHCA Report of 11/22/63
7) Bishop, Jim. The Day Kennedy Was Shot; Cockrum, Robert, response.
8) Witte.
9) Bodensteiner. WHCA Report
10) Carriger. WHCA Report
11) Lifton, David. Email exchange.
12) WHCA Reports
13) Lifton, David.
14) Bishop, Jim. The Day Kennedy Was Shot; Cockrum, Robert. UPI
15) Hampton, Wilborn. Kennedy Assassinated.
16) Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas, Texas.
17) Bales, Arthur W. Jr. CWO USA, WHCA Report of 11/22/63
18) Illustrated History of UPI.
19) Lifton, David. Re: AP Wire Report.
20) Lifton, David; Mack, Gary.

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