Monday, February 27, 2012

Carl Mather & Collins Radio

Carl Mather and Collins Radio

MATHER, CARL, AMOS – Former neighbor of J.D. Tippit; employed at Collins Radio Co., in Richardson, T; question re: his auto (1957 Plymouth license pp 4537) at El Chico, (re Wes Wise) then same car at Tippit’s home 11/22/63.


BK NOTES: Jack Morarity - Investigator for HSCA in 1978, interviewed Carl Mather and his wife, and conducted a telephone interview with James Pickford, Mather's former boss at Collins Radio. These are Morarity's reports. I have previously talked with Morarity on the phone, and while he refused to discuss his investigations because of his security oath, he was a good and honest investigator who filed detailed and accurate reports. He said that the only person who knew everything that went on at HSCA was chief counsel G. Robert Blakey.

Blakey signed an issued a subpoena for Carl Mather to testify under oath before the HSCA under penalty of perjury, Mather never testified.

Previously, in 1963 and 1964, FBI agents had visited the Mather home and questioned Mrs. Mather on two occasions, but Mather himself was not questioned by the FBI. I have the FBI reports and will post them after I scan them in.

“Postponed in Full” Box 254

Carl Amos Mather
Route 2, Box 228
Piano, Texas


Have known the J.D. Tippit family since they were neighbors in 1958 on the 1900-2000 block of Glendfield, in Dallas.

Before the Mathers moved to Garland, Texas, in 11/61, they had become good friends with the Tippits. Each family had three children and the ages were similar. Carl and Barbara would double date on occasion, usually visiting a “family-type Club” involving an inexpensive evening. Never any trouble between anyone in either family, nor were they aware of any the Tippits had with anyone else.

Their impression of J.D. was that of a hard working man determined to provide for his family in spite of the lack of potential for advancement. Knew he took various odd jobs to augment his income and seemed to spend what little free time he had with his family. Marie helped out by babysitting for 5 to 7 children on somewhat of a regular basis. On occasion, the Mather kids would be included.

Hard put to recall other Tippit friends or associates in the neighborhood; they do recall “Frank and Angie” living next door to J.D. and Marie, but can’t recall their surname.

Wes Wise, the ex-mayor, was a sports announcer at that time and it seems he had a speaking engagement at “some restaurant in Dallas a short time after the assassination.”

He (Wise) was told by “a man” who had in his employ a mechanic who was also a part-time deputy of some nature, that this employee, on the day of the assassination, had observed a suspicious “red ford car” spinning it’s wheels and throwing gravel behind a parked bus. The mechanic utilized his “deputy training” and jotted down the tag number and now “this man” was giving it to Wise.

So Wise was calling him, advising him of these developments and inviting him to dinner inasmuch as there was another person from the news media in New York, now in Dallas with Wise to do a documentary on the entire assassination and any interesting asides.

He and his wife met Wise and Dana Bartell, “from the N.Y., wire service” in the Old Warsaw Restaurant located in Oak Lawn. Dinner and discussion of these curious events didn’t seem to accomplish much, as they came away without understanding how that mechanic could have written down the tag listed to “Carl’s ’57 Plymouth.”

(Barbara was driving an old Ford station wagon, early ‘50’s, white over faded blue at the time).

Several months later saw the documentary on TV with her name listed in the credits, but no mention of the tag number episode.

Although they don’t recall the exact date of this dinner, it was so long after the incident, the new tags had since been issued and the old ones discarded. Moreover, it hadn’t impressed him as being important enough to ask someone to check for him. After all, the F.B.I. had apparently dropped the matter.

Asked to describe the F.B.I.’s efforts, Barbara said that one day an agent came to the house. This was at 4309 Colgate Lane, the Garland address they moved from 2018 Garland in 11/61, and he inquired about their tags. She pointed out her tags on the old Ford station wagon and advised Carl had the ’57 Plymouth at work.

No, they never owned a red auto of any type. Again she doesn’t recall the date, but it was when the newer tags were in effect anyway. She didn’t hear from the agent again and Carl didn’t hear at all.

What seemed like six weeks later, a second agent came to the same house and interviewed Barbara – again at home alone during the day – and he, too, was interested in the fact that a tag listed to Carl was observed on a different type of vehicle in a different part of town.

When she indicted the first agent didn’t understand it, either, he seemed surprised another agent had been ahead of him. This seemed to cause his interest in the matter to wane and he left. Like the first agent, he didn’t return, nor did he interview Carl.

Not that Carl isn’t used to being interviewed by government agents; he has a security clearance – and he has had since he started traveling with his company – he’s been with them for 21 years now. Has traveled overseas. His specific function deals with the installation of special electronics gear in aircraft. One such assignment caused him to be quartered in Brandywine, Maryland as he worked for some period of time at Andrews Air Force Base working on “Air Force Two” – Vice President Johnson’s plane at the time.

He adds he does recall the date of 11-22-63. He worked all day at Richardson, Texas, Collins Radio Shop. Although the (then) boss, J.A. Pickford, has since retired, he thinks he’s still in the area.

RIF: 180-10113-10265
BOX 256

Telephone contact

Summary: I made contact with Mr. Pickford on this date and received the following information, after I identified myself and told of our interest in developing a list of all witnesses in the JFK assassination. He recalls that he represented management with Collins Radio and had lunch inside with union representatives on 11/22/63 in view of the ongoing discussions. After lunch, word came of the assassination and was initially regarded as a course joke. Later verification brought about general dismay and all employees were excused. He stated, “It was plain to see that no one was going to do any work. It only remained to determine the pay status.” A few employees hung around, but most of them left.

With regard to Carl Mather, Pickford can’t recall where he was at the time of the assassination. He knows he didn’t have lunch with him. His job at the time concerned electro-mechanical assembly, which is the mechanical portion of working with electronic equipment. They worked in a shop atmosphere but it was not an assembly-line type function. There was more moving around then in an assembly-line production.

However, assigning people outside the complex was seldom done. This entailed union involvement and was an unusual occurrence. Pickford is certain that no such assignment existed on 11/22/63. That day is still vivid in his mind.

Asked if anyone might be assigned to the Oak Cliff area at any time, Pickford answered that they had no subsidiaries there, but prior to 1959 they did have such a location at Red Bird Airport. Oak Cliff is between Richardson and Red Bird.

Pickford was unable to say whether Mather even worked that particular day. He suggested contacting Collins personnel but doubts if records from 1963 would still be available.

Pickford says he retired from Collins Radio in 1972 and has since become associated with another firm.

Pickford’s impression of Mather is that he was the most competent, dependable man deserving of the highest trust. He considered him outstanding.

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