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If the CAP Fits

On June 2, 1955, Lee completed a personal history at school in which he listed his career
choices as military and undecided. Things moved fairly quickly toward the former from
then on. Less than two months later, Robert visited after being released from Active Duty in the
Marines and less than two weeks after that Lee had joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) with Ed
Voebel.
During her Warren Commission testimony, Marguerite Oswald tried to convince General
Counsel Lee Rankin that her sons brief time in the CAP was the beginning of his training as
an agent of the US government and to elucidate all the reasons she believed he did in fact
become an agent. Among the reasons she cited: he memorized Roberts now discarded Marine
Manual while simultaneously familiarizing himself with Communist philosophy under the
influence of a Marine Recruitment Officer, his determination to join at 16, his letters home from
the Soviet Union and his absence from any Watch List upon his return. As much as Marguerite
tried, she was hopelessly out of her depth against the heavyweights of the commission.
But it was not just post-assassination that she decided her son was an agent of the
government. On January 26, 1961, Marguerite chanced her hand on the new administration and
had a meeting with Gene Boster, Ed Hickey and Denman Stanfield. All three were State
Department employees and all three were familiar with the Oswald case.
i
She made it clear
during the meeting that she suspected her son was an agent of the United States.
It is not the only pre-assassination example where Marguerite had made the claim. In
1961 or 1962 when working as a practical nurse, she told her employer, Linda Rosenthal, a
similar story. Mrs. Rosenthal told the FBI that Marguerite had stated that Lee was working for
the US government in Russia. She had previously told reporter, Lonnie Hudkins, that Marguerite
had specified important anti-subversive work as the nature of the employment.
ii
According to
author AJ Weberman, Marguerite made similar comments in early November, 1963.
By 1968, Marguerite Oswald started getting very specific with an investigator she trusted
and befriended named Joe Cooper. Cooper was interviewed by Andrew Sciambra for the
Garrison investigation. According to the investigator, Marguerite claimed to be very suspicious
of Fred Korth, that Korth had arranged Lees discharge from the Marines and beyond that had
played a part in Lees life, though she did not specify what that was.
iii
This writer believes that
Marguerite had always suspected or maybe even known and approved of an interest shown in
her son which went beyond her third husband Edwin Ekdahl to include Korth.
iv
She may not
have had any inkling as to the nature of the interest however, until Lee turned up in the Soviet
Union. We will explore some of this in coming pages.

The CAP and Col. Cord Meyer, Sr.
The Civil Air Patrol was formed by Administrative Order 9 in December, 1941 to
provide civilian air support during WWII. In July, 1946, it was incorporated as a benevolent non-
profit organization and made the auxiliary of the newly created US Air Force with mission areas
set as aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services.
v

Col. Cord Meyer, Sr. was Regional Director of the CAP Northeast Region from January
1, 1952 to May 27, 1955 at which his title changed to Regional Commander. He retired from the
CAP on May 21, 1956.
vi
Meyer was born in New York City, owned a business in New York
City, had his CAP headquarters in New York City, was Commander of American Legion Air
Service Post 501 in New York City, headed a draft board in New York City and as at 1954 was
living at 116 East 66
th
St. This was only one and a half miles from the Pic apartment on East 82
nd

St.
vii


Loyalty Police
In 1948, Norman J. Griffin, Information Officer for the Pennsylvania CAP (part of what
would become Meyers regional responsibility), prematurely announced a plan being hatched at
the national level. What follows is the complete text of the story as published in the February 22,
1948 issue of The Nation.

The intention to set up the Civil Air Patrol as a sort of Loyalty Police with
overtones of a strong-arm squad for American industry may have been scotched
because of premature release of the idea through the Pennsylvania Wing of the
CAP.
The National CAP has been a bit coy about the whole business, declaring that the
press release, issued by Norman J. Griffin, Public Information Officer of the
Pennsylvania CAP, was inaccurate and not in keeping with the national
organizations policy. The Civil Air Patrol, originally under the wartime office of
Civilian Defense, is an official auxiliary of the US Air Force.
However the national CAP admits that some sort of plan using the CAP for
espionage work to act in case of a national emergency is now in the tentative
stage, and is awaiting the approval of US Central Intelligence and FBI.
The plan released by the Pennsylvania Wing indicated the organization was
getting set to send selected CAP recruits to the Army Counter-Intelligence School
at Holabird Signal Depot, Baltimore, Md. It declared that these recruits would be
taught the Russian language, Russian military tactics, Russian politics and all
characteristics of the Russian people.
The release further stated that Col. Philip F. Neuweiler, Commander of the
Pennsylvania Wing, had asked the cooperation of the FBI and the State police in
screening candidates for this training.
According to the release Col. Neuweiler was quoted thus:
We are asking the industrialists and business men of Pennsylvania for three
things first, that they enlist one member of their firm in CAP and have them take
this course; second, report via this emlistee, all persons in the organization
known to have Communistic leanings or subversive tendencies; third, lend any
financial support they are able to so that CAP can carry out this program
Col, Neuweiler is quoted further:
This is the first opportunity the business men have had to do something about
this growing menace of Communism. We, of the CAP, are going to call a spade a
spade and do something about it.
In backgrounding the idea, Col. Neuweiler stated:
We feel that some day, and, possibly sooner than we expect, an attack may be
made against the shores of the US by some unfriendly foreign nation. Many of us
in CAP are certain that any open and violent attack against the peace of the US
will be preceded by an intensive enemy-guided softening up campaign utilizing
sabotage, espionage, propaganda, and many other underground subversive
activities. It is against activities of this type that CAP with adequate and proper
training, can help
Col. Neuwieler did not explain why such work would be done by volunteers,
rather than the regular security force of the USA, nor did he have any suggestion
as to why industrialists were to recruit candidates and pay the bills.
Industrialists in central Pennsylvania, asked for their reaction, said they had not
yet been approached. Some thought it might be a good idea, and they indicated an
understanding of what they might expect for their financial support, especially
with their own handpicked recruits doing the job.
Griffins premature release of the scheme seems to have put the quietus on it for
the time being. However, neither the national CAP nor the Pennsylvania Wing
stated that the idea has been dropped.
viii


The CAP and Col. Harold Byrd
(David) Harold Byrd was commander of the Texas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol from
December 1, 1941 through May 25, 1948, making him one of CAP's first members. He rose in
rank from Major to Colonel in 1946. At some point after that he was made Coordinator (later
retitled Regional Commander) for CAP's Southwest Region which comprised of Texas,
Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona. In 1949 Byrd became the Vice
Chairman of the National CAP Board and later rose to Chairman.
Following WWII, when there was talk of disbanding the CAP, Byrd's political influence
was instrumental in the organization's incorporation and in fact, he was one of the signatories to
that legal instrument.
ix

Byrd is widely said to have purchased the building at 411 Elm St. in Dallas at public
auction on Independence Day, 1939 from the previous owner, the Carroway-Byrd Corp. Thomas
Carroway and Harold Byrd had started up as Carroway-Byrd Engineering, but changed the name
circa 1936. The corporation was involved in air-conditioning and had purchased the building for
$400,000 to use as a manufacturing plant.
x

The whole deal was a scam. It would have taken some string-pulling to run an auction on
a 4
th
of July holiday revered at the time probably more than Christmas Day. The ostensible
reason for the sell-off was that the company had defaulted on its loan. As a result, Byrd got the
building for $35,000 less than a tenth of the price his company had paid for it.
xi


The CAP and David Ferrie
David William Ferrie was born on March 18, 1918 in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of a
police captain turned attorney. Originally studying to become a priest, he was forced to leave
Saint Mary seminary and later, St Charles seminary over what was delicately termed emotional
difficulties. In between, he had obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baldwin-Wallace
University in 1941.
Ferrie obtained a student pilot license in 1945 and two years later, as a fully-fledged pilot,
he became a CAP instructor at Hopkins Airport. According to Stephen Roy, who has spent
many years researching the life of Ferrie, a year or two after joining, he was chased out of the
CAP for some unorthodox flying activities and taking a group of underage boys to a whorehouse.
Roy goes on to say that by 1950 Ferrie had joined the US Army Reserve and wrote highly anti-
Communist letters to officials in hopes of a direct commission as a fighter pilot. This bravado
contrasts however, with his letter to St Charles seminary seeking to speed up his admission to
avoid the draft for WWII.
The HSCA bio on Ferrie quoted noted aviatrix Jean Naatz as saying that Ferrie had done
more for the [Cleveland] Civil Air Patrol than anyone else and built up the squadron to one of
the biggest squadrons in the state of Ohio.
In 1951, with the Korean War in full swing, a civilian pilot shortage saw him land a
trainee position with Eastern Air Lines and he was soon transferred to New Orleans. A year after
arriving in the Big Easy, Ferrie became an instructor, and later, a commander of the CAP
Lakefront Cadet Squadron, but in April, 1955, he was advised that he had failed to gain
reappointment. This is where it becomes muddied through lack of inquisitiveness by the WC
and HSCA and interference being run by more recent individual efforts. Ferries next CAP
activity was via an unofficial relationship commencing in June with the smaller Metairie
squadron out of Moisant Airport. This relationship apparently terminated later that same year.
From here, the official history shows that Ferrie was allowed back into the Lakefront squadron in
1958, but was booted out again in June, 1960. In September, he formed his own cadet squadron
without CAP accreditation, but oddly, was allowed to base his group called Falcon Squadron
at Metairies CAP base at Moisant.
Something doesnt add up.
Sometime very soon after the murder of Oswald, there was Ed Voebel in the media
stating that he had served in the same CAP Metairie Falcon Squadron with Oswald under the
command of Captain David W Ferrie If the official story is true, this would have been
impossible. Oswald was in the Soviet Union at the time we are led to believe was the only time
the Falcon Squadron existed, and Voebel was attending the Marion Military Institute in
Alabama.
Jack Martin, a private investigator working for Guy Banister, heard the media reports and
passed the information on to the FBI.
xii
The FBI duly caught up with Voebel on November 25
after confirming with WWL-TV that they had interviewed him. Voebel confirmed Oswald had
been in the CAP under Ferrie, but was not apparently pressed for any details.

On the 27
th

however, Voebel was interviewed by Sergeant Horace Austin of the New Orleans Police
Department and was explicitly asked if he had heard of the Falcon Squadron. Voebel flat out
denied ever hearing of it.
xiii

On the same day that the police were interviewing Voebel, the FBI interviewed Joseph
Ehrlicker, Commander of the Louisiana Wing CAP. He located records showing that Oswald
was enrolled as a CAP cadet at Moisant on July 27, 1955 with Serial Number 084965. There was
no termination date listed. Regarding Ferrie, Ehrlicker stated he had been able to determine that
Ferries first period as Squadron Commander was terminated on December 31, 1954 and that
Ferrie was working at Moisant Airport at this time. The Wing Commander added that it was later
found that Ferrie, subsequent to this date, was working with the squadron at Moisant without
official connection with the CAP and that as of late 1955, he was no longer with the squadron.
Ehrlicker added that Ferrie was again connected with the CAP in late 1958 and was terminated
on December 31, 1960 and that afterward Ferrie had set up a spurious CAP squadron - that
being described as one with no connection with, or recognition by, the CAP.
xiv

In researching Ferries Falcon squadron it was noted that some of the literature references
an elite inner-circle known as the Omnipotents while other sources refer to an elite group
called the Internal Mobile Security Unit (IMSU). One might be forgiven for thinking that these
were just different names for the same group, or that two separate elite groups existed within the
Falcon Squadron simultaneously but no source and none of the literature has ever suggested
either possibility. The closest we get to any explanation that actually might work is from Ferrie
researcher Stephen Roy, writing under his internet pseudonym of David Blackburst. Roy
claimed in an online discussion group that Ferrie had merely considered forming the
Omnipotents and that this was around September, 1960. Instead, he went on to form the IMSU
from his squadron the following month. According to Roy, the purpose of the IMSU was to
respond in the event of an attack on the US. According to the HSCA, based on testimony
provided at Ferries FFA fitness hearings (conducted following a morals arrest and a number of
other complaints), it was the Omnipotents who were formed to respond to any attack upon the
US. In its footnote however, the committee clarified (or muddied further, perhaps) by saying that
despite would-be members being approached to join, Ferrie associate and former FBI SAC
(Special Agent in Charge) in Chicago, Guy Banister, had testified that there never was any group
by that name. Not even the footnote accurately reflects the record though. What it actually shows
is that Mrs. John F. Barrett had complained that her 14 year old son had been influenced to join
an organization called Omnipotent and that her son had to swear allegiance and obedience to a
19 or 20 year male. Mrs. Barretts son had told her that a Dr. Ferrie was behind the organization.
That information speaks of an existing group not one merely being contemplated.
Whatever the truth, it shows Ferrie had a propensity for organizing kids with Civil
Defense and counterintelligence operations in mind. It also reinforces the possibility of Oswald
being utilized in similar fashion in NYC as contemplated in volume one. Clearly, kids were not
off limits in Cold War operations.
IMSUs actually did exist in other states. The idea was not the brainchild of Ferrie, but of
unknown individuals in Chatauqua County in New York who formed the first one in August,
1956. In 1959, after three years of operating in the shadows, it partnered up with the local Civil
Defense authority.
xv


Marguerite Oswald & the Recruiting Officer
Young Oswald commenced 10
th
Grade at Warren Easton High on September 8, 1955.
Barely a month into the term Lee (or a third party) forged a letter in his mothers name stating
that he had to leave school due to a looming relocation to San Diego. He dropped out a few days
later, not quite having attained the age of 16.
During Marguerites second session before the Warren Commission, the following
colloquy occurred:
Mr. DOYLE. Tell them about the defection.

Mrs. OSWALD. Would you please consider that I can't go any more today? It is 4
o'clock. The defection is a very long and important story that leads into a story
where a recruiting officer at age 16 tried to get Lee to enlist into the Marines. And
it is a very important story, gentlemen. And I think you would be quite interested
in it for the record.

The CHAIRMAN. We will recess now until tomorrow. Mr. Doyle, I understand
in the morning you have a court appearance that you must make. But you will be
available at 2 o'clock.

Mr. DOYLE. Two o'clock, Your Honor.

The CHAIRMAN. Very well, we will recess now until 2 o'clock tomorrow
afternoon.

Mrs. OSWALD. I appreciate it, because I was up until late last night trying to get
the papers for you. It wouldn't do you any good if I break down.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, we don't want to overdo the situation in any way. So we
will adjourn until 2 o'clock tomorrow.
Marguerite had handed the commissioners a key to understanding the path her son had taken, but
she would prove abysmal during future appearances, at laying out the details. This was possibly
due in part to withholding self-implicating information, given the past roles played by her 3
rd

husband, Edwin Ekdahl, and eldest son, John Pic in the real Lee Harvey Oswald story. This
failure made it easy to marginalize her testimony and to paint her in the most unflattering light.

Oswald & Ferry, 1955: Conclusions
It is this writers contention that a modified version of the CAP Loyalty Police plan
was in fact implemented, and that Lee Oswald was selected for it by David Ferrie. The plan
would entail using the Armed Services to conceal training for the CIA and FBI and using
corporate funding for off the book operations using these recruits. Furthermore, there would
seem to be little need to teach the recruits the Russian language and characteristics of the Russian
people unless the intent was to find one or more suitable to send to the Soviet Union.
xvi
As we
now know, Lee learned the Russian language.
xvii

This contention is further supported by Marguerite Oswalds testimony regarding her son
studying the Marine manual in 1955 concurrently with studying communism under the direction
of a recruiting officer who attended her home. There can be little doubt that this was Ferrie,
and that he and Lee had just come from a CAP meeting.
xviii


i
Oswald 201 File, Vol 3, Folder 8, p83
ii
Oswald 201 File, Vol 25 Part 2 of 2, pp127-130
iii
Memo from Andrew J Sciambra, New Orleans ADA to Jim Garrison, New Orleans DA dated October 14, 1968
iv
Recall from Volume One that Fort Worth School records appear to show that Lee was in the sole custody of
Edwin Ekdahl during periods where he and Marguerite had separated. We also showed that his office in Fort Worth
was opposite that of the office of Fred Korth on W. Seventh Street.
v
http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/about history of Civil Air Patrol
vi
Northeast Region CAP website, history page
vii
earlyaviators.com, Cord Meyer, Sr. page
viii
The York Gazette and Daily of January 19, 1948 referred to the plan in its editorial column as Fascism wrapped
in the American flag and a gestapo whereby the CAP would be turned into an organization of stool pigeons
recruited and financed by industrialists who would in turn also provide the victims. This editorial also gave the
additional information that the plan included the provision of classes in military intelligence and internal security by
the state units. It is no doubt this type of adverse publicity which delayed the program. Secrecy would be forced
upon it for the same reason, but more so by the very nature of any off the books operations it might undertake.
ix
Information obtained in 2005 by Duke Lane via telephone interview with Col. Len Blascovich, CAP National
Historian.
x
Refrigeration Engineering 1937 volumes 33-34, p328
xi
The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas School Book Depository entry
xii
Admin Folder L9: HSCA Administrative Folder, LHO Incoming Communications, volume III, p81
xiii
Warren Commission Document 365, p37
xiv
Oswald 201 File, volume 3, Commission Document 75, Part 3, p23
xv
The Rifleman in Civil Defense, Gun Magazine, p42, Apr 1959
xvi
The editorial in the York Gazette and Daily of January 19, 1948, suggests that the army was the driving force of
the CAP loyalty police program since the army was to provide the bulk of the training. However, as noted in the
Nation story, approval for the program was being sought from the CIA and FBI.
xvii
We will see later how and when Oswald was likely provided essential details of Russian character.
xviii
Marguerite at one stage in her testimony stated now, a recruiting officer from the Marine Reserve in New
Orleans, La., was in my home the next day when I arrived from work, with Lee, in uniform The only uniform
which Lee owned was the CAP uniform, and the fact that he was wearing it strongly suggests he had just come from
a CAP meeting. Ferrie also no doubt owned some type of CAP uniform and he is known to have encouraged certain
squadron members to join the Marines. It is hard to believe that any bona fide USMC recruiting officer would
encourage the breaking of the law in order to sign up an underage boy as this particular officer was said to have
done. Ferrie, on the other hand, would have no such qualms.