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Warren Commission Report: Page 683« Previous | Next »

(APPENDIX XIII - Biography of Lee Harvey Oswald)

ing; he did not play cards or work out in the gym with the others.323 He spent his weekends alone, away from the base; Powers thought he left Biloxi and perhaps went "home" to New Orleans, less than 100 miles away.324 He finished the course seventh in a class of 30 marines on June 17,325 and on June 25, was given an MOS (military occupational specialty) of Aviation Electronics Operator.326 On June 20, he went on leave,327 possibly visiting his mother.328 His ratings at Keesler were 4.2 in conduct. and 4.5 in proficiency,329 which Powers thought was "pretty good." 330

On July 9, Oswald reported at the Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro, Calif., near Santa Ana.331 He was classified as a replacement trainee and attached to the Fourth Replacement Battalion.332 Six weeks later, on August 22, he departed from San Diego for Yokosuka, Japan, on board the U.S.S. Bexar.333 Powers testified that while on board, Oswald taught him to play chess, which they played frequently, sometimes for more than 4 hours a day.334 Like most of the men on board, Oswald read a lot from the books which were available. Powers thought he read "a good type of literature," remembering in particular Whitman's "Leaves of Grass." 335

The Bexar docked at Yokosuka on September 12.336 Oswald was assigned to Marine Air Control Squadron No. 1 (MACS-1), Marine Air Group 11, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, based at Atsugi, about 20 miles west of Tokyo.337 Oswald was a radar operator in MACS-1, which had less than 100 men.338 Its function was to direct aircraft to their targets by radar, communicating with the pilots by radio.339 The squadron had also the duty of scouting for incoming foreign aircraft, such as straying Russian or Chinese planes, which would be intercepted by American planes.340

On October 27, when Oswald opened his locker to remove some gear, a derringer .22 caliber pistol fell to the floor and discharged; the bullet hit him in the left elbow.341 Paul Edward Murphy, a fellow marine who was in the next cubicle, heard the shot, rushed in, and found Oswald sitting on the locker looking at his arm; without emotion, Oswald said to Murphy, "I believe I shot myself." 342 He was in the naval hospital at Yokosuka until November 15.343

The Judge Advocate General concluded that Oswald had "displayed a certain degree of carelessness or negligence" by storing a loaded revolver in his locker, but that his injury was incurred "in the line of duty" and was not the result %f his own misconduct." 344 He was, however, charged with possession of an unregistered privately owned weapon in violation of general orders. A court-martial followed on April 11, 1958, when Oswald's unit returned from maneuvers, and on April 29 he was sentenced to be confined at hard labor for 20 days, to forfeit $25 per month for 2 months, and to be reduced to the grade of private.345 The confinement was suspended for 6 months, after which that portion of the sentence was to be remitted.346

Five days after Oswald left the hospital, MACS-1 embarked aboard the Terrell County, LST 1157, for maneuvers in the Philippine Islands

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