FROM : SA Warren W. Taylor -- Vice Presidential Detail
SUBJECT: Statement regarding events in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, November 22, 1963.
On Friday, November 22, 1963, I was working as a Special Agent with the Vice Presidential Detail, US Secret Service, on a special assignment with Mrs. Johnson in Dallas, Texas, for the President's visit there.
At 11:35 am CST, I arrived at Love Field, Dallas, Texas, aboard AF-2 with Vice President and Mrs. Johnson. Vice President and Mrs. Johnson disembarked from the plane and I remained in close proximity to Mrs. Johnson while she and the Vice President went over to a crowd awaiting the President's arrival behind a fence surrounding the field. Vice President and Mrs. Johnson were at the foot of the ramp upon which the President and Mrs. Kennedy disembarked from AF-I at 11:38 am CST. Again, I was in close proximity to Mrs. Johnson. President and Mrs. Kennedy and Vice President and Mrs. Johnson all went back to the area of the general public and again shook hands for a short period of time. At 11:50 am CST, the Presidential and Vice Presidential motorcades departed Love Field, and at that time I was working the Vice Presidential follow-up car.
The automobile in which I was riding was a late model Ford 4-door sedan driven by an unknown man whom I was later told is an officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Special Agent Kivett was riding in the front right seat, and ATSAIC Johns was in the right rear seat. Mr. Cliff Carter, a member of the Vice President's staff, was riding in the middle front seat, and I was in the rear left seat.
On the way to the Trade Mart where the President was to speak, large crowds of people were along the side of the road, and as we entered the downtown area, I observed extremely large crowds along the streets and in all of the windows of large buildings on the route.
Our automobile had just turned a corner (the names of the streets are unknown to me) when I heard a bang which sounded to me like a possible firecracker -- the sound coming from my right rear. Out of the corner of my eye and off slightly to the right rear of our car, I noticed what now seems to me might have been a short piece of streamer flying in the air close to the ground, but due to the confusion of the moment, I thought that it was a firecracker going off.
As a matter of course, I opened the door and prepared to get out of the car. In the instant that my left foot touched the ground, I heard two more bangs and realized that they must be gun shots. Also at that instant, the car paused slightly and I heard something over the radio to the effect that something or someone had been shot. At that moment, the car picked up speed and I pulled myself back into the car. During the aforementioned I also noticed that ATSAIC Johns had completely jumped out of our car, and as we sped away, I believe he was knocked to the ground and left in the street. I recall hearing SA Kivett telling the driver to "go, go, stay right behind the car." During all of the aforementioned, I could see ASAIC Youngblood, in the Vice President's car immediately in front of us, jump to the back seat and cover the Vice President.
I was not looking at the President's car at the time and did not notice his car until we were well on our way to Parkland Hospital. When I did point my attention to the President's car, I could only notice SA Hill, White House Detail, Iying across the trunk lid of the President's car. At no time subsequent to the first shot did I ever see the President or what had happened to him.
In approximately three minutes from the time of the last shot, we arrived at Parkland Hospital, Dallas. When we arrived at the hospital, I jumped out of the follow-up car, grabbed Mrs. Johnson from her car, and took her as quickly as possible into the hospital, following the Vice President. We went immediately to what I believe was a room in the emergency section of the hospital -- a large room divided into sections by curtains hanging from the ceiling to the floor.
Vice President and Mrs. Johnson, accompanied by ASAIC Youngblood and SA Kivett, went immediately to one corner of the room, and I proceeded to move a secretary and an unknown negro male, whom I believe was a patient, out into the hall. I drew all the blinds and checked the entrances to the room. Finding SA Glen Bennett, Protective Research Section, who was temporarily assigned to the White House Detail, stationed at the doors to the above-mentioned room, I stood by inside the room awaiting instructions. During our short stay in the hospital, SA Kivett and myself accompanied Mrs. Johnson to and from a third floor room where she spoke briefly to Mrs. John Connally, wife of the Governor of Texas. Also during our brief stay at the hospital, I was told by ATSAIC Roberts, White House Detail, to call the Dallas White House switchboard and have them notify AF-1 to prepare for an immediate takeoff. I complied with his order and approximately one-half hour later the Vice President and Mrs. Johnson departed the hospital.
SA Kivett and myself stayed with Mrs. Johnson as we left the hospital and we jumped into an unmarked police car which happened to be standing by. The Vice President, accompanied by ASAIC Youngblood, jumped into another car, and we proceeded to the Dallas airport and AF-1. Also riding in the car with Mrs. Johnson SA Kivett and myself were SA Glen Bennett and Congressman Jack Brooks. An unknown police Officer was driving our car.
An escort of two motorcycles accompanied the above two vehicles to Love Field without incident. When we arrived at Love Field, we immediately boarded AF-I and I maintained a checkpoint in the forward compartment of the aircraft until the aircraft was airborne at approximately 2:50 p.m., CST. Between the time we boarded AF-I and the time of takeoff, the Vice President was sworn in as President in his cabin. There were no unusual incidents during that period of time.
/s/ Warren W. Taylor
Back to JFK Reports and Documents
Back to JFK menu
Dave Reitzes home page