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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VIII - Page 298« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of John E. Donovan)

Mr. Donovan.
He had the access to the location of all bases in the west coast area, all

radio frequencies for all squadrons, all tactical call signs, and the relative strength of all squadrons, number and type of aircraft in a squadron, who was the commanding officer, the authentication code of entering and exiting the ADIZ, which stands for Air Defense Identification Zone. He knew the range of our radar. He knew the range of our radio. And he knew the range of the surrounding units' radio and radar.
If you had asked me a month after I left that area, I could not have told you any but our own. Had I wanted to record them, I certainly could have secretly, and taken them with me. Unless he intentionally with malice aforethought wrote them down, I doubt if he wonts have been able to recall them a month later, either.
Mr. Ely.
You recall that various codes were changed. Now, at what level were these changed? Was this an action of your specific unit, or a fairly widespread action?
Mr. Donovan.
Well, I did not witness the changing in any other squadrons, but it would have to be, because the code is obviously between two or more units. Therefore, the other units had to change it. These codes are a grid, and two lines correspond.
And he gives the grid that you want, and he reads back "AB," or whatever the reply is supposed to be, the authentication is supposed to be.
Mr. Ely.
Are authentication codes changed from time to time as a matter of course?
Mr. Donovan.
They are changed from time to time, that is right.
Mr. Ely.
Are they changed even if there is no specific incident which elicits the change?
Mr. Donovan.
They are methodically changed anyway. There are some things which he knew on which he received instruction that there is no way of changing, such as the MPS 16 height-finder radar gear. That had recently been integrated into the Marine Corps system. It had a height-finding range far in excess of our previous equipment, and it has certain limitations. He had been schooled on those limitations.
It cannot operate above a given altitude in setting--in other words, you cannot place the thing above a given terrain height.
He had also been schooled on a piece of machinery called a TPX-1, which is used to transfer radio---radar and radio signals over a great distance. Radar is very susceptible to homing missiles, and this piece of equipment is used to put your radar antenna several miles away, and relay the information back to your site which you hope is relatively safe. He had been schooled on this. And that kind of stuff you cannot change.
Mr. Ely.
Did Oswald have any kind of clearance?
Mr. Donovan.
He must have had secret clearance to work in the radar center, because that was a minimum requirement for all of us.
Mr. Ely.
Was the spot at which he worked such that in order to gain admittance one would have to show some sort of credentials?
Mr. Donovan.
Yes; they checked your card data. Within the center, which is called a counter-air operations center, he rotated through all positions of an enlisted man. At times, as I told you, he served as plotter, sometimes surveillance, sometimes expert as crew chief.
Mr. Ely.
Were you the one who picked the crew chief?
Mr. Donovan.
I was in a rather favorable position, since I was the training officer and assistant operations officer, that I had first choice of crew chiefs. I always picked one of two men either Sgt. Cornelius Brown or Sgt. Eugene Holmburg. I have already told you where Sergeant Brown is.
Sergeant Holmburg is now a commissioned warrant officer and still on active duty in the Marine Corps.
Mr. Ely.
Did you ever pick Oswald to act as crew chief?
Mr. Donovan.
There was occasion when Oswald acted as crew chief. If one of these sergeants had another duty somewhere else, and Oswald was senior man present, he was crew chief. And I had no complaint about his work.
Mr. Ely.
Did he show any special ability in this direction?
Mr. Donovan.
Yes; I think he was competent, very competent. And I think
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