David Blackburst Archive:
David Ferrie: Civil Air Patrol File



Subject: Re: Live by the Sword
Date: 1998/12/12
Author: Blackburst

Andy wrote:
>Has the CAP issue ever been settled?

I don't know which "CAP issue" you reference, but it is a fact that Ferrie left hi position as Commander of the Lakefront Airport CAP squadron in April 1955, and went to the Moisant Airport CAP squadron as a volunteer trainer during June-August 1955, and it is a fact that Lee Harvey Oswald became a member of the Moisant squadron for "a few weeks" beginning on July 27, 1955. A cadet named John Ciravolo photographed both Ferrie and Oswald at a CAP bivouac in early August 1955.

As for a Ferrie-Oswald relationship in 1963, there are a number of people who later claimed to have seen them together, but no single witness of high credibility has yet emerged. The question of a 1963 relationship is suggestive, but unresolved.



From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Shackelford Article
Date: 22 Dec 1998 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <19981222124033.01150.00000102@ng-ca1.aol.com>

Dreitzes wrote:
>Ferrie, it would seem, was actually involved with two different CAP units
>year, one of which -- I believe the Moisant unit -- was actually based on a
>fraudulent charter.

You're confusing several things:
*Ferrie served with the Lakefront Airport squadron from 1952-April 1955, when his commander declined to renew his membership.
*Ferrie then went to the Moisant Airport squadron for the summer months of 1955 on an unofficial basis.
*In 1958, Ferrie weaseled his way back into the Lakefront squadron
*In June 1960, he was again forced out of the Lakefront squadron
*In September 1960, he formed his own group, the Metairie Falcon Cadet Squadron, which was unaffiliated with the CAP, but for which he obtained a state corporate charter.
*The Falcons folded, to all intents and purposes, after Ferrie's arrests in August 1961

>There is reason to believe that Oswald was involved with
>both groups,

There is evidence that Oswald attended a meeting of the Lakefront squadron before settling on the Moisant squadron, all in 1955.





From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: D.W. Ferrie August 1959
Date: 27 Dec 1998 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <19981227022050.00798.00002232@ng-fv1.aol.com>

jko wrote:
>Ferrie also started a group called the "Falcon Squadron composed of
>Ferrie's closest CAP associates.
>However, this is one of those areas in Ferrie's history loaded with
>gaps. Based on the footnote below, this association may have been created
>prior to or in connection with major Civil Defense projects of 1955-56.

Just for your information, the Metairie Falcon Cadet Squadron was started after Ferrie's forced departure from the Civil Air Patrol's New Orleans Cadet Squadron in June 1960. The group officially existed from October 21, 1960 until shortly after Ferrie's August 1961 arrests.

> A group within this group, the "Omnipotents," was allegedly started to
>train cadets in what to do in the event of a major attack on the United

Just prior to the establishment of the Falcons, Ferrie and a group of CAP cadets who defected with him from the CAP considered starting a group called the "Omnipotents". This was in September 1960.

>This part of the Ferrie history, is where Oswald may have entered as well
>as the "scouts" mentioned in the August 59 investigation of the gunrunning
>to Cuba.

Oswald was in the Marines at this time (August 1959). The "scouts" mentioned at this time would have been from the New Orleans Cadet Squadron of the CAP.

The dates I have mentioned are well established. The Falcons and the Omnipotents do not seem to fit into the August 1959 time frame.




From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: D.W. Ferrie August 1959
Date: 28 Dec 1998 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <19981228004429.01058.00002315@ng-cf1.aol.com>

James wrote:
>It is my belief that Ferrie was involved during the CAP years between
>1954 and 1961 under aspects of the above law.

Here is the actual chronology of Ferrie's associations with CAP and related groups:

1947-1950 - DF serves as a cadet instructor for the Fifth Cleveland Squadron of the CAP, based at Hopkins Airport. (At one point in 1949, a superior tried to drop him from the rolls, but there was a snafu in the paperwork.)

1952 - DF becomes instructor for (and later commander of) the New Orleans Cadet Squadron, based at Lakefront Airport. Submits paperwork for reappointment in December 1954, but it is held up by a superior. In April 1955, DF is told he would not be reappointed.

June-August 1955 - DF is an unofficial volunteer instructor for the Moisant Squadron of the CAP, based at Moisant Airport. It is during this time that he meets Lee Harvey Oswald, who became a cadet on July 27.

August 1955-March 1958 - DF is out of the Civil Air Patrol.

March 1958-June 1960 - DF is invited back to the New Orleans Cadet Squadron (Lakefront) as an instructor by a sympathetic former cadet who is now the commander. On November 9, 1959, DF is reinstated. In June 1960, DF is kicked out after an altercation at a bivouac.

June 1960-October 1960 - DF considers starting his own group, unaffiliated with the CAP. One idea discussed is the Omnipotents.

October 21, 1960 - DF forms his independent group, the Metairie Falcon Cadet Squadron, known as the Falcons. After his August 1961 arrests, the Falcons fall apart.

Hope this is helpful.




From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: D.W. Ferrie August 1959
Date: 29 Dec 1998 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <19981229013231.08424.00002856@ng-fu1.aol.com>

James wrote:
>It would seem that Ferrie was not connected to the CAP in Ohio during part
>of 1949. Do you agree?

Agreed, he went to Florida in late 1948 (where he allegedly had a nervous breakdown) but returned to Cleveland in April 1949, where he resumed his CAP position.

>Ferrie returned to Ohio during 1950 but did he continue to work with the CAP
>during the period between his return in 1950 and his service in the USAR?

According to a background check on DF, the HSCA report may have been in error on the 1950 date. The same report quotes his supervisor as saying that he resumed his CAP activities.

>There is some conflict here also, what paperwork do you know of that shows
>that Ferrie "did" submit to renew his CAP commander charter?

Ferrie's own words: "At the end of that year [1954] I submitted [my] 1955 renewal forms. It was not until the following April [1955] that those renewal forms were returned to me - disapproved. Actually, there was a period of five months wherein I did not know my status." (Ferrie letter to Major Robert E. Morrell, commander of the NO squadron, 10/21/58)

So apparently, the HSCA was in conflict with Ferrie's recollection.

>This group Ferrie formed within the CAP during 1959 where these the "scouts"
>he was going to take to Cuba in August?

Ferrie did not from a group within CAP at any time. In 1959, he was a member in good standing of the New Orleans Cadet Squadron of the CAP. He considered forming the Omnipotents about September 1960, and he did form his independent Metairie Falcon Cadet Squadron in October 1960.

I did not mention that a subgroup of the Falcons (and others) was formed for several months in late 1960 and lasted until mid-1961, called the Internal Mobile Security Units, or IMSUs. These were 5-man teams he was training to respond in the event of an attack on the US. An interesting story, if you want me to dig up the documents.



From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: The Truth About David Ferrie
Date: 03 Nov 1999 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <19991103175335.00955.00001271@ng-fu1.aol.com>

Jerry98 wrote:
>Please define "acquainted."

In this context, I use "acquainted" in the sense that a teacher is acquainted with his pupils.

In the late 80s, I established from Civil Air Patrol and other records that David Ferrie was a volunteer trainer with the Moisant CAP squadron during the summer months of 1955, and that Oswald joined this squadron on July 27. The 1993 Frontline special confirmed this with the John Ciravolo picture.

>What's your evidence that the FRD was "created" by the Agency?

An example is a CIA memo from the AC/WH/COG to the ADDP and the C/CI/R&A (Raymond Rocca, dated April 26, 1967:
"The FRD was created with agency assistance, guidance and financial support in May 1960."

>What does controlled "to some extent" mean?

The CIA files reflect an asserted control, but a fair degree of independence on the part of the FRD and other exile groups.




From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Ferrie FBI Interview 11/27.63
Date: 16 May 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <20000516192552.19180.00002796@ng-ci1.aol.com>

Joe Biles wrote:
>I'm a CAP cadet and I've never been trained with rifles, and
>certainly not with telescopic sights. In fact, regulations specifically
>forbid it.

I don't know what the case was in the Louisiana wing at the time, but in summer 1959, Ferrie established a link between the New Orleans Cadet Squadron (Lakefront) and the New Orleans Cadet Rifle Club.

>Ferrie did run an
>"unchartered squadron" (I don't remember which one Oswald was a part of
>though) at one time

Here's the verified breakdown of Ferrie's various CAP units:
1947-1949(?): Fifth Cleveland Squadron, Hopkins Airport
1952-April 1955: New Orleans Cadet Squadron, Lakefront Airport (commander) Kicked out.
June-August 1955: unofficial advisor to Moisant Cadet Squadron, Moisant Airport. This is the unit Oswald joined. The unit was legit. Ferrie's connection to it was unofficial and brief. Kicked out.
March 1958-September 1959: unofficial advisor to New Orleans Cadet Squadron (Lakefront).
September 1959-June 1960: executive officer of New Orleans Cadet Sqaudron (Lakefront). Ferrie quits in a huff.
October 1960-fall 1961: Metairie Falcon Cadet Squadron (Moisant Airport). This was a completely unofficial group. It folded after Ferrie's morals arrests.

David Blackburst



From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Why Ferrie Didn't Know LHO in the CAP
Date: 07 Jun 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <20000607151249.11446.00004372@ng-ch1.aol.com>

Just a minor disagreement, Jerry:
The HSCA report presents some confusing information about Ferrie's and Oswald's tenures in the Civil Air Patrol. I've spent a lot of time sorting it out.

Ferrie started with the Lakefront Squadron in 1952 and eventually became it's commander, and Paradis was his Executive Officer. In December, 1954, Ferrie routinely re-submitted his certification papers to Wing Commander Joe Ehrlicher, who, owing to concerns about Ferrie, held up the recertification. In April, 1955, Ehrlicher formally told Ferrie he was declining to re-certify him.

In June, 1955, Ferrie approached the much smaller (15 cadets) Moisant Squadron and volunteered to lecture the cadets, doing so for the three summer months of June, July and August, 1955, until he was asked to leave this unit, as well.

Fred O'Sullivan invited Oswald, Voebel and another boy to attend meetings of the Lakefront Squadron, but Oswald ended up going to the Moisant Squdron, joining on July 27, 1955, during Ferrie's three-month tenure there. Indeed, John Ciravolo's photo shows them both at an August bivouac.

1) Paradis was not affiliated with the Moisant unit. His recollection contradicts both records and the recollections of others in some ways. He may be recalling Oswald's visit to the unit with O'Sullivan and Voebel.

2) While Ferrie commanded the Lakefront Squadron, he did indeed lecture the cadets at the Moisant Squadron.

Whether or not Oswald had any association with Ferrie in 1955 beyond listening to his lectures and being photographed in the same group, has not been established.

Ferrie often had CAP cadets to his home for parties, and Voebel at one time thought Oswald might have attended one of the parties. (I think it is for this reason that Ferrie, when he heard Martin's allegation that Oswald posessed his library card, wondered if Oswald might have attended such a party and walked off with a library card.)

I hope I have been able to clarify this subject, which has never really been presented clearly and accurately in any books.

David Blackburst



From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Why Ferrie Didn't Know LHO in the CAP
Date: 08 Jun 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <20000608185842.11493.00001296@ng-fw1.aol.com>

Jerry98 wrote:
>Let me ask, tho. David Ferrie himself - in his longer interview -
>stated that he did not instruct new recruits and thus would not have
>instructed Oswald.
>Why do you think Ferrie did instruct new recruits?

This is from an FBI letterhead memorandum dated September 22, 1961, probably written by SA Ernest C. Wall, Jr., about a 1955 incident:

"Mrs. G.H. (Ruby) Nichols...stated she is a member of the Seniors of the Moisant Squadron of the CAP...She said during the previous summer [1955] she heard Ferrie lecture twice a week for a period of three months...She advised Ferrie...[was] a good leader with a strong following among the Boy Cadets."

Remember that Ferrie had lost his position as Commander of the Lakefront Squadron the previous April, and was volunteering to "assist" the Moisant Squadron, but not as a commander. Nichols specifically said Ferrie lectured the cadets, and he is seen interacting with the cadets in the Ciravolo photo. There were only about 15-20 cadets in the Moisant Squadron, compared to 80-90 in the Lakefront Squadron.

In Ferrie's earlier FBI interviews, he referred only to his time as commander of the Lakefront Squadron. On November 28, 1963, Ferrie phoned SA John W. McCarthy to amend his earlier interviews: "He had been reminded by Ed Voebel...that Lee Oswald had been a member of the Moisant Squadron...He stated that at that time he (Ferrie) was not active with the Civil Air Patrol...but that he had agreed to assist this squadron for a brief time. Ferrie stated that Voebel had told him that a recruit graduating class had been over to his (Ferrie's) house and that Lee Oswald may have been with this group."

>Ferrie insisted he brought in instructors in marksmanship. What can you
>say to that point?

Cadets recall Ferrie as not very "into" guns, but a few years later, after he weaseled his way back into the Lakefront Squadron (1958-1960) he did form a New Orleans Cadet Rifle Club. And he told the FBI that the guns in his home were used for that purpose.

>Lastly, you call the even usually described as a picnic a "bivouac".
>What exactly are you saying with that word choice?

The Moisant Squadron meetings were usually held on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons at the EAL terminal. Once in a while, they would go into the field for what they called a bivouac. CAP documents and former cadets used this word.

>PS: Ferrie could have had no doubt whatsoever about his library card --
>it was in his wallet.

As noted, Voebel told Ferrie that Oswald may have attended a party at his house in 1955, 8 years earlier. While we know the origin of the library card story (Martin), Ferrie was still trying desperately to determine the origin of the allegations against him. He knew Martin was the source of some of the allegations, but the library card perplexed him. He told friends he thought Oswald may have made off with an old card in 1955.

David Blackburst



From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Why Ferrie Didn't Know LHO in the CAP
Date: 10 Jun 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <20000609235832.07596.00001223@ng-ci1.aol.com>

I guess the reason I can accept that (presuming for argument that they were not close acquaintences) Ferrie did not recall Oswald is that, by my rough count, he served with close to 1000 cadets between 1947 and 1960 (a few hundred less if we exclude his years with the CAP in Ohio). And by all accounts, Oswald was very inconspicuous at this time. Also, Ferrie's time with the Moisant CAP Squadron was comparatively brief, and unofficial.

But others may disagree.  


From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Ferrie's Houston Trip I
Date: 28 Jun 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <20000628012917.03594.00000133@ng-fh1.aol.com>

Stugrad98 wrote:
>Is Voebel on record as saying he told Ferrie that Oswald was in CAP with em?

Both of Voebel's 1963 FBI interviews were before his discussion with Ferrie. I'll double check, but I don't believe Voebel mentioned this in his 1967 NODA interview, either. Voebel died in 1969, I believe.

However, Ferrie said it explicitly:
11/28/63 FBI report by SA John W. McCarthy:
"[Ferrie] stated he had been reminded by Ed Voebel...that Lee Oswald had been a member of the Moisant Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol in 1955. [Ferrie] stated that at that time he... was not active in the Civil Air Patrol...but that he had agreed to assist this squadron for a brief time.

Ferrie stated that Voebel told him that a recruit graduating class had been over to his (Ferrie's) house and that Lee Oswald may have been with this group."




From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Garner's Account of Ferrie Visit
Date: 11 Jul 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <20000711185738.27513.00000208@ng-ct1.aol.com>

One quick tidbit on Ferrie conducting an "investigation" of the charges made against him in 1963 (by Jack Martin):

John Ernest Irion was a friend of Ferrie's from about 1958-1965. He quit the Civil Air Patrol in 1960 in a dispute with Ferrie, but later mended fences and became a charter member of Ferrie's unofficial Falcon Squadron. In August 1963, Irion traveled to Miami to testify in Ferrie's behalf in the Eastern Air Lines hearing. Late on the afternoon of the assassination, Irion went to Ferrie's apartment to join him in watching the news accounts of the assassination.

When Martin's charges emerged a few days later, Ferrie was frantically trying to determine how his name had been linked to Oswald. He spoke with old CAP members like Irion, Layton Martens, Roy McCoy and Eddie Voebel and found that he had served in the Moisant CAP squadron at the same time as Oswald, and that Oswald may have attended one of his parties. After being told of the library card allegation (but not it's source) by FBI SA Regis Kennedy, Ferrie made his own inquiries into the matter. Irion said that "Dave claimed that he was working with the FBI on the investigation", but Irion was not sure if Ferrie may have been exaggerating.




From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Did Ferrie Lie To The FBI?
Date: 31 Jul 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <20000731111450.20949.00001938@ng-ch1.aol.com>

Bishopm wrote:
>Good, because THIS post omits the valuable information supplied by
>Voebel, Paradis, Marguerite O., et al. They all spoke about a CAP-era
>convergence of the Oswald-Ferrie orbits.

The point I was making in that short paragraph is that Ferrie did not categorically deny recollecting Oswald, and as the days passed and he talked to others in the CAP, he came to concede that he had been in that CAP squadron at the same time. And the Ciravolo picture now confirms that for us. (Voebel was one of Ferrie's sources: Paradis seems to recall Oswald in the Lakefront Squadron, which Oswald never joined, only visited. Marguerite makes no refernce to Ferrie.)

>Latter-day witnesses claiming
>a similar circa '63 convergence of orbits aren't easily dismissed

True, and I've always conceded that. But SOME of those claiming a 1963 relationship are not credible at all. We have on one side of the equation, a convining denial by Ferrie that he knew Oswald in 1963, and on the other hand, a few witnesses who claim that the two were acquainted in 1963. The evidence is not conclusive.

>The claims of Mrs. Garner and her next-door neighbour also
>tend to impeach Ferrie's denials. If there weren't SOME chance that
>Oswald had Ferrie's library card, what would have so spooked Ferrie
>that he made a bee-line straight over there?

I have addressed this before: Presume for purposes of argument that Ferrie was truthful, that he did not recall Oswald. What did Ferrie know, and when did he know it? (Keep in mind that we know much more about the matter now, than Ferrie did then.)

Ferrie is investigated and detained by police on allegations that he had something to do with Oswald. He is told that there are allegations that his library card was found among Oswald's posessions. Ferrie does not know the source of the story (Jack Martin), nor does he know when or where the card is supposed to have been found. In one of Oswald's apartments? (Ferrie also would not have known WHERE Oswald lived and WHEN.) He is released from custody and tries to track down the CAP allegation, and is told by Voebel that Oswald had been in his CAP unit, and may have attended a party at Ferrie's home. He hears on the news that Oswald lived in aparment rented by Garner and Eames. He goes to them to inquire if investigators had found the alleged card there. It is possible to view this act as a ruse, but it is also possible to view this act as the frantic effort of an innocent man, who does not know all the detail we now know, to try to track down the allegation.

>All of this presupposes that Ferrie was so stung by his excommunication
>that he ceased to care about both the people and their cause

Ferrie was ostracised by nearly everybody after his arrests on morals charges. But he did tell the FBI he occasionally saw Arcacha after being kicked out the FRD/CRC.

>that he
>was so removed he no longer gossiped about either the people or their
>cause while drinking coffee at Mancuso's; that Gill, Banister, Gatlin,
>et al, failed to mention any further CRC/FRD/Archaca developments

Ferrie didn't work in or near the building during that 5-month period, and may not have gone to Mancuso's. Gill had almost nothing to do with Arcacha. Banister and Ferrie did not become close until February 6, by Banister's account. There is no evidence that Ferrie ever associated with Gatlin.

>Even if, arguendo, Ferrie no longer played any personal role
>in the anti-Castro cause, how likely is it that he suddenly went blank
>or brain-dead on the subject?

You are assuming that during a period when he was not associated with that building, he MUST have spoken to somebody about it. The specific topic, that Arcacha had an office in that building for less than 5-months, may not have come up.

I am not saying that Ferrie absolutely did know of the address. But the simple chronology of his dealings with Arcacha and Banister suggests that it is possible that he was truthful that he did not associate that address with Arcacha.



From: blackburst@aol.com (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Did Clay Shaw know David Ferrie?
Date: 06 Sep 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <20000905200728.15324.00001895@ng-mf1.aol.com>

Just FYI:
Ferrie's last tenure as a member of the Lakefront Airport Civil Air Patrol began with ad hoc service from March 1958 to September 1959, and official service as Executive Officer from September 1959 to June 1960. In that month, Ferrie ran afoul of commanding officers at a CAP encampment, and walked out rather than being forced out.

In October, 1960, Ferrie and a group of about a dozen former cadets formed a completely unofficial squadron, called the Metairie Falcon Cadet Squadron, or just the Falcons. The group held regular meetings on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons at the Eastern Air Lines terminal at Moisant Airport, but hung around together almost continually.

About a month after Ferrie's April 1961 arrests on morals charges, the Falcons dissolved.

David Blackburst


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