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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VI - Page 163« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Tom C. Dillard)

Mr. Ball.
Mr. DILLARD. Well, yes; of course, the first years, when I was started at the age of 15, I was a copy boy and did various reporting and whatever we could do on the paper. I was 15 when I started.
Mr. BALL. On November 22, you were in the motorcade who followed President Kennedy, weren't you?
Mr. Dillard.
That is correct. I understand our car was about number six in the line.
Mr. Ball.
Did you meet the President at Love Field?
Mr. Dillard.
That's right.
Mr. Ball.
And then you rode in the motorcade from Love Field into Dallas?
Mr. Dillard.
Mr. Ball.
Who was in your car?

Mr. DILLARD. I remember Jim Underwood, he's an announcer for KRLD-TV and cameraman, acting as a cameraman that day; and Bob Jackson of the Times-Herald, cameraman; and Couch with our TV station, Channel 8, and did you have information his name is Couch?
Mr. Ball.
That's right; and the man that drove---
Mr. Dillard.
Channel 5--Darnell, I think his name is, and the driver of the car which I don't believe I remember his name. It was a Chevrolet convertible.
Mr. Ball.
Your car was about sixth, was it?
Mr..DILLARD. I believe.
Mr. Ball.
From the President's car?

Mr. DILLARD. From the President's car. We lost our position out at the airport. I understood we were supposed to have been quite a bit closer. We were assigned as the prime photographic car which, as you probably know, normally a truck precedes the President on these things and certain representatives of the photographic press ride with the truck. In this case, as you know, we didn't have any and this car that I was in was to take any photographs which was of spot-news nature.
Mr. BALL. As you turned from Main Street onto Houston, was the President's car in sight at that time?
Mr. DILLARD. No; and the whole parade, the whole trip to town, I could only distinguish the President's car on very few occasions in high rises in the ground, when we got on hills. It was difficult because the people in the cars ahead of me were sitting on the backs of cars which pretty well covered the President's car for me. We had a very, very poor view of the President's car at any time from the time the parade started.
Mr. Ball.
Can you tell me whether or not the President's car had made the
turn off Houston Street when your car turned north on Houston?
Mr. Dillard.
It had. Mr. BALL. It had?
Mr. Dillard.
No; I won't say it had. I think it had because, like I say, I could never see the car very well. I believe it had.
Mr. Ball.
Where were you sitting in the car?
Mr. Dillard.
I was sitting in the right front.
Mr. Ball.
Who was in the front seat with you?
Mr. Dillard.
Oh, I don't remember; I think Jackson was sitting beside me no; I believe Jackson was sitting in the back. I don't remember what our locations were.
Mr. Ball.
. But you know you were in the right front?
Mr. Dillard.
Mr. BALL. Did you hear something unusual as you were driving north on Houston?
Mr. DILLARD. Yes; I heard an explosion which I made the comment that I believe, in my memory, I believe I said, "My God, they've thrown a torpedo" and why I said "torpedo", I don't know. If you wish, I'll go ahead----
Mr. Ball.
Go ahead with your story.
Mr. DILLARD. Well, then I later estimated, immediately later, estimated, oh, 4, about 3 or 4 seconds, another explosion and my comment was, "No, It's heavy rifle fire," and I remember very distinctly I said, "It's very heavy rifle fire."
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