Tuesday, November 23, 2010

LBJ Residence - The Elms


LBJ's Residence - The Elms, 4040 52nd Street, Washington, D.C. - Spring Valley
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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND CODE NAMES (The Kennedy Detail, G.Blaine, p. 406)

Crown - White House –
Valley - Vice President's Residence

Volunteer - Vice President
Victoria - Mrs. Johnson
Velvet - Lynda Johnson
Venus - Lucy Johnson

Duplex - Special Agent In Charge (SAIC) (Jerry) Behn (at the White House)

Dagger - Assistant SAIC Rufus Youngblood (aboard AF1)

Air Force One Radio Transmissions – 11/22/63 Transcript
Reel 2 Side One - Patch 3

- Air Force Once, this is Crown, come in.
- This is Dagger on Air Force One, to Crown.
- Roger. Roger. I have Freedom …I have Witness standing by for a patch.
- We’ll have Witness in one minute. Could we go ahead with traffic for -
- Roger. You have someone calling Behn. Is that a Roger?
- This is Dagger calling Behn.
- Stand by.
- Dagger.
- Duplex is on, go ahead.
- Dagger to Duplex
- This is from Volunteer and Victoria relative to activities tonight.
- Go ahead Dagger, this is Duplex.
- You are aware that we will go to Crown for meeting?
- That is affirmative.
- Go ahead.
- Volunteer will reside at Valley for an indefinite time. I repeat Volunteer will reside at Valley for an indefinite time. Victoria requests…. to go to Valley with agents.
- Will you say again? Will you say again? Venus will go to Valley with agents?
- That is a Roger. Venus will go to Valley with agents.
- Victoria will go to Valley after first going to Crown. Over.
- Victoria will go to Valley after first going to Crown. Okay.
- That’s affirmative.
- Do you also understand that for residential purposes Volunteer will reside at Valley?
- That is affirmative. That is affirmative.
- Alright. That is all the traffic I have. ….you will get.
- Okay, okay.

Reel 2, Side One - Patch 5

- ...land.
- Air Force One. Air Force One, this is Crown, come in.
- Request Victoria … repeat … cance l … for commercial telephones. That is Volunteer and Victoria’s commercial telephones at Valley should be temporarily discontinued and security lines should be put in ,… get ……land…. personnel on that…..do you understand? Over.
- That’s a Roger, Roger, cancel commercial lines at Valley, at Valley, and install blocker circuits, blocker circuits. Is that a Roger?
- That’s a Roger.
- Roger. Will do.


From: The Kennedy Detail – (Gerald Blaine, Lisa McCubbin, Gallery, S&S, 2010) 256-262


Lyndon B. Johnson was now the President of the United States, but the White House was still the residence of the Kennedy family. Johnson would meet with his staff there as soon as he arrived, but he couldn’t stay the night in the mansion. It wouldn’t be right. Johnson had decided he would stay at his home the Elms until Mrs. Kennedy had time to move out, but this created yet another urgent and unprecedented situation for the Secret Service.

The Elms was located in an upscale neighborhood called Spring Valley, in northwest Washington, D.C., and due to the unusual circumstances, it required an immediate upgrade in security.

Lee Harvey Oswald was in custody in Dallas, but even if he was the man who’d killed President Kennedy, there was still the very real possibility that he was part of a bigger conspiracy to eliminate other government leaders.

Paul Rundle, the agent who’d come from the Denver office prior to Blaine and Hill, was put in charge of securing Johnson’s residence. There would be three perimeters of security. The first, outer layer would be manned by the D.C. metropolitan police, the second perimeter would be manned by the National Guard, and the third and final layer of protection would be the Secret Service agents from the presidential and vice presidential details, supplemented by agents from nearby field offices...

...At 9:25 P.M. the afternoon shift traveled with President Johnson to the Elms at 4040fifty-second Street, just five minutes from the White House, where Agent Paul Rundle was waiting to brief them on the new security.

“Listen,” Rundle said, “There are rumors flying all over the place but the truth is, nobody knows who might have been behind the assassination. They’ve got this guy Oswald in custody in Dallas, and while he could just be a deranged sociopath, there’s still the chance that he as part of a bigger conspiracy. Could be Cuban, Mafia, or some Soviet-backed plan to overthrow the government. It’s just too early to know, but the orders we’ve been given are to be excessive in our protective measures.”

None of these Kennedy Detail agents had ever been to Johnson’s residence before, so Rundle gave them a quick tour. Every half hour the agents would rotate posts in a counter-clockwise direction, just as they did at the White House – with one major difference. Tonight, along with the .38 caliber revolver each agent always carried, every security post would be armed with a Thompson submachine gun...


NOVEMBER 23, 1963

2:15 A.M.

Standing outside in the pitch-black darkness, Agent Jerry Blaine tried desperately not to yawn. He was on post at the rear corner of President Johnson’s large two-story French chateau-style house close to the back door, and with the exception of the forty-five minute nap in Austin and some catnaps on flights, it had now been nearly sixty hours since he’d had any sleep. Blaine was almost to the point where he was hallucinating.

When he’s taken over from Any Berger just before midnight, the two simply looked at each other without saying anything. What could be said?

Blaine had been at this particular post for about fifteen minutes when he suddenly heard the sound of someone approaching from the clockwise direction. It wasn’t rotation time, and he knew a Kennedy Detail agent would never approach from that direction.

Instinctively Blaine picked up the Thompson submachine gun and activated the bolt on top. The unmistakable sound was similar to racking a shotgun. He firmly pushed the stock into his shoulder, ready to fire. He’d expected the footsteps to retreat with the loud sound of the gun activated on the trigger. Let me see your face, you bastard.

The next instant, there was a face to go with the footsteps.

The new President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had just rounded the corner. In the blackness of the night, Johnson’s face went completely white.

A split second later, Blaine would have pulled the trigger.

President Johnson looked at Blaine, said nothing, and turned around and went back in the house.

Jesus Christ! I almost shot the new president. What the hell was he coming around the wrong way for?

With all these new security measures put into place that night, in the chaos nobody had thought to inform President Johnson about the standard counterclockwise movement protocol.

Blaine struggled to regain his composure as the reality of what had just happened washed over him. Fourteen hours after losing a president, the nation had come chilling close to losing another one.

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