The 54 Year Old Secret JFK Files

Posted October 23rd, 2017 by Iron Mike

I was a young paratrooper in the 101st at Fort Campbell that fateful November Friday.

The word came in first on the radio,  then on one of our few TV sets….the President was shot in Dallas,….taken to a hospital….

We knew what to do – and we sprang into action!

We were DRF1 – Division Ready Force 1 the nation’s 911 force worldwide.  We assumed America was under attack – that the shooting was a decapitation attack.

Just 13 months earlier we had loaded out – been issued all kinds of nifty “war-only” stuff – as we’d prepared to jump into Cuba.  It had been a couple of tense weeks.

Now as we packed our kits and cleaned our rifles – thinking that we’d soon be jumping on Moscow – word came that Kennedy was dead,…and we groaned – because none of us liked the Texas political polecat about to be our new CinC.

We paratroopers were hardly alone in prepping for war.  Crews in Norfolk and San Diego put their ships in motion,  sailing out into open water to avoid being nuked in the harbor.  At SAC bases kids were loading B-47s and B-52 with nuclear bombs,  – without orders or instructions, – just assuming the worst and following unit SOPs.

18 years later – March 30th 1981, when Ronald Reagan was shot,  Al Haig stepped to a microphone and assured the Nation that he had things under control. 

He was widely criticized by Democrats and the media for being presumptive,  – but he was trying to prevent our military forces going to DEFCON-1 again,  – and his steady hand and calming tone worked!

As November 1963 turned into December – there was no news about who Lee Harvey Oswald was – or why he wanted to kill Kennedy.

It was exactly the same THEN as waiting for an explanation out of Las Vegas NOW,  – and trying to understand who Stephen Paddock was and why he wanted to be a mass murderer.

When it became clear that the Russians weren’t starting WWIII, – we relaxed a bit – put our rifles back in the Arms Room,  and got on with the business of being America’s best and baddest paratroopers. 

In December 1967,  the 506th went to Vietnam.

Now 54 years later – those young Paratroopers are either old like me, – or dead.   I’m still in contact with a few of them,  still proud and humbled by their enduring friendship, – and amazed that we made it through  ~ almost ~ unscathed.   We all remember those who didn’t.

President Trump is about to release the sealed Kennedy records.

I for one don’t believe they’ll shed much light on Oswald, Ruby,  – or any potential plots, – or any 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll.  Too many witnesses and casual observers to that terrible day began dying soon after – all under mysterious circumstances.

People who should have been waterboarded for the truth were either found dead,  – or allowed to grow old and die natural deaths.

It was the failed investigation of the Kennedy assassination which began to erode my youthful belief in the FBI and in Government in general. 

It seemed even in 1963 and 1964 that those who weren’t inept – were corrupt.

We’re already seeing the same pattern with Vegas survivors and witnesses.  Once again “Law Enforcement” seems unable to give the public a coherent timeline or a complete background on the shooter,….and we’re left wondering how he could possibly have acted alone.

BUT,…you’re supposed to focus on the escapades of Harvey Weinstein…

4 Responses to “The 54 Year Old Secret JFK Files”

  1. John Pagel

    I was across post taking my secret clearance test for SF when the word came down. Didn’t know it had happened until I walked back across post to the unit and everyone was going nuts. I still think Lady Bird hired the hit.

  2. Panther 6

    Mike; OMG yes, do those 506 pics ever bring back memories. My first First Sergeant in the Army was Bull Gergen, back when I was there as a NAP,,,NON AIRBORNE PERSON. When I got my first company the First Sergeant was John Moore and a great advisor and friend. The memories are flooding back Mike. I was a student at the Chemical-Biological-Nuclear School when Kennedy was shot. You are right, we all thought we were going to jump on Moscow and yes I also did not like Mr. LBJ

    Thanks for the memories Iron Mike. You were sure one STRAC trooper.

  3. Catherine

    The uproar surrounding the Kennedy assassination is one of my first clear memories. Fall of ’63 I had just turned five and was in kindergarten.

  4. Hawk1776

    I was in the tenth grade. My high school made no announcement about the assignation. All we heard were rumors.