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Warren Commission Report: Page 43« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER II - THE ASSASSINATION)

Field at approximately 11:35 a.m., and the Vice President and Mrs. Johnson were in the receiving line to greet President and Mrs. Kennedy.86


After a welcome from the Dallas reception committee, President and Mrs. Kennedy walked along a chain-link fence at the reception area greeting a large crowd of spectators that had gathered behind it.87 Secret Service agents formed a cordon to keep the press and photographers from impeding their passage and scanned the crowd for threatening movements.88 Dallas police stood at intervals along the fence and Dallas plain clothes men mixed in the crowd.89 Vice President and Mrs. Johnson followed along the fence, guarded by four members of the Vice-Presidential detail.90 Approximately 10 minutes after the arrival at Love Field, the President and Mrs. Kennedy went to the Presidential automobile to begin the motorcade.91

ORGANIZATION OF THE MOTORCADE

Secret Service arrangements for Presidential trips, which were followed in the Dallas motorcade, are designed to provide protection while permitting large numbers of people to see the President. Every effort is made to prevent unscheduled stops, although the President may, and in Dallas did, order stops in order to greet the public.93 Men the motorcade slows or stops, agents take positions between the President and the crowd.94 The order of vehicles in the Dallas motorcade was as follows:


Motorcycles.--Dallas police motorcycles preceded the pilot car.95'


The pilot car.--Manned by officers of the Dallas Police Department, this automobile preceded the main party by approximately quarter of a mile. Its function was to alert police along the route that the motorcade was approaching and to check for signs of trouble.96


Motorcycles.--Next came four to six motorcycle policemen whose main purpose was to keep the crowd back.


The lead car.--Described as a "rolling command car," this was an unmarked Dallas police car, driven by Chief of Police Curry and occupied by Secret Service Agents Sorrels and Lawson and by Dallas County Sheriff J. E. Decker. The occupants scanned the crowd and the buildings along the route. Their main function was to spot trouble in advance and to direct any necessary steps to meet the trouble. Following normal practice, the lead automobile stayed proximately four to five car lengths ahead of the President's limousine.98


The Presidential limousine.--The President's automobile was specially designed 1961 Lincoln convertible with two collapsible jump seats between the front and rear seats. (See Commission Exhibit No. 346, p. 44.) It was outfitted with a clear plastic bubbletop which was neither bulletproof nor bullet resistant.100 Because the skies had cleared in Dallas, Lawson directed that the top not be used for the day's activities. He acted on instructions he had received

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