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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XI - Page 304« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Maj. Eugene D. Anderson)

Mr. Specter.
What do you mean by live firing, sir?
Major ANDERSON. By live firing I mean any time a live round of ammunition is actually placed in the gun and it is fired.
Mr. Specter.
Is that distinguished from some other type of firing, or heavy firing?
Major ANDERSON. Yes; it is distinguished from what we call dry firing in that no ammunition is used whatsoever. A man just simulates that he is firing the gun.
Mr. Specter.
Does that letter set forth the marksmanship practice which Mr. Oswald had in the Marine Corps?
Major ANDERSON. It does; yes. It shows that he had the course A firing and followed by "fam" firing in the B course.
Mr. Specter.
By "fam" firing, what does that mean?
Major ANDERSON. This is sharp terminology for familiarization firing and it is used to familiarize a man with the weapon prior to his being armed with said weapon.
Mr. Specter.
And on what date was the A course registered?
Major ANDERSON. 21 December 1956.
Mr. Specter.
And what weapon was used?
Major ANDERSON. The M-1 rifle.
Mr. Specter.
And what was his final qualification there?
Major ANDERSON. 212.
Mr. Specter.
And what rating is that equivalent to, or within what range of rating is that score?
Major ANDERSON. That should have been a sharpshooter.
Mr. Specter.
And what was the authorized ammunition allowance?
Major ANDERSON. 400 rounds for recruit firing.
Mr. Specter.
And during what period was that?
Major ANDERSON. That was to be fired within a 2-week period.
Mr. Specter.
Did he have exposure on another course for M-1 firing at a later date?
Major ANDERSON. The record shows that 6 May 1959 he fired the B course.
Mr. Specter.
And what weapon was used at that time?
Major ANDERSON. The M-1 rifle.
Mr. Specter.
And what score was obtained on that occasion?
Major ANDERSON. 191 for marksman.
Mr. Specter.
And what was the authorized ammunition allowance?
Major ANDERSON. 200 rounds.
Mr. Specter.
Would there be any reason why the scores might differ from 212 to 191, based on the layout of the courses or any of the conditions surrounding those tests, Major Anderson?
Major ANDERSON. Yes; the day the 212 was fired appears to be according to the record book to have been an ideal day under firing conditions.
Mr. Specter.
When you say the record book you meant Commission Exhibit No. 239 that you referred to?
Major ANDERSON. Yes; when he fired that he had just completed a very intensive preliminary training period. He had the services of an experienced highly trained coach. He had high motivation. He had presumably a good to excellent rifle and good ammunition. We have nothing here to show under what conditions the B course was fired. It might well have been a bad day for firing the rifle windy, rainy, dark. There is little probability that he had a good, expert coach, and he probably didn't have as high a motivation because he was no longer in recruit training and under the care of the drill instructor. There is some possibility that the rifle he was firing might not have been as good a rifle as the rifle that he was firing in his A course firing, because may well have carried this rifle for quite some time, and it got banged around in normal usage.
Mr. Specter.
What are the differences between the A and B courses, Major Anderson?
Major ANDERSON. The A course is fired at 200, 300, and 500 yards. The B course is exactly the same course as far as targets, number of rounds and positions are concerned, but it is fired entirely at 200 yards.
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