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  » Chapter 5
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  » Chapter 7
  » Chapter 8
  » Appendix I
  » Appendix II
  » Appendix III
  » Appendix IV
  » Appendix V
  » Appendix VI
  » Appendix VII
  » Appendix VIII
  » Appendix IX
  » Appendix X
  » Appendix XI
  » Appendix XII
  » Appendix XIII
  » Appendix XIV
  » Appendix XV
  » Appendix XVI
  » Appendix XVII
  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 58« Previous | Next »


Secret Service agents stationed at later stops on the President's itinerary of November 22 were redeployed. Men at the Trade Mart were driven to Parkland Hospital in Dallas police cars.252 The Secret Service group awaiting the President in Austin were instructed to return to Washington.253 Meanwhile, the Secret Service agents in charge of security at Love Field started to make arrangements for departure. As soon as one of the agents learned of the shooting, he asked the officer in charge of the police detail at the airport to institute strict security measures for the Presidential aircraft, the airport terminal, and the surrounding area. The police were cautioned to prevent picture taking. Secret Service agents working with police cleared the areas adjacent to the aircraft, including warehouses, other terminal buildings and the neighboring parking lots, of all people.254 The agents decided not to shift the Presidential aircraft to the far side of the airport because the original landing area was secure and a move would require new measures.255

When security arrangements at the airport were complete, the Secret Service made the necessary arrangements for the Vice President to leave the hospital. Unmarked police cars took the Vice President and Mrs. Johnson from Parkland Hospital to Love Field. Chief Curry drove one automobile occupied by Vice President Johnson, U.S. Representatives Thomas and Thornberry, and Special Agent Youngblood. In another car Mrs. Johnson was driven to the airport ac companied by Secret Service agents and Representative Brooks. Motorcade policemen who escorted the automobiles were requested by the Vice President and Agent Youngblood not to use sirens. During the drive Vice President Johnson, at Youngblood's instruction, kept below window level.256

Removal of the President's Body

While the team of doctors at Parkland Hospital tried desperately to save the life of President Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy alternated between watching them and waiting outside.257 After the President was pronounced dead, O'Donnell tried to persuade Mrs. Kennedy to leave the area, but she refused. She said that she intended to stay with her husband.258 A casket was obtained and the President's body was prepared for removal.259 Before the body could be taken from the hospital, two Dallas officials informed members of the President's start that the body could not be removed from the city until an autopsy was performed. Despite the protests of these officials, the casket was wheeled out of the hospital, placed in an ambulance, and transported to the airport shortly after 2 p.m.260 At approximately 2:15 p.m. the casket was loaded, with some difficulty because of the narrow airplane door, onto the rear of the Presidential plane where seats had been removed to make room.261 Concerned that the local officials might try to prevent the plane's departure, O'Donnell asked that the pilot take off immediately. He was informed that takeoff would be delayed until Vice President Johnson was sworn in.262
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