Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fred Reeves, USNR on ONI "119 Reports"

Final Report of the ARRB on the Reeves Report:

  1. Possible ONI post-defection investigation.
….many have wondered whether the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) conducted a post-defection "net damage assessment" investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald circa 1959 or 1960. Various former Oswald associates and military investigators have recalled separate investigations…

The Review Board became aware of an individual named Fred Reeves of California, who was reputed to have been in charge of a post-defection "net damage assessment" of Oswald by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) shortly after Oswald's defection to the U.S.S.R. The Review Board contacted Reeves, interviewed him twice by telephone, then flew him to Washington, D.C., where the Review Board staff interviewed him in person.4

In 1959, Reeves was a civilian Naval Intelligence Operations Specialist.5 (5.Reeves served in the District Intelligence Office of the San Diego, California 11th Naval District.)

Reeves told the Review Board that a week or so after Oswald defected to the U.S.S.R., two officers from ONI in Washington, D.C. called him and asked him to conduct a background investigation at the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California Oswald's last duty station before his discharge from the Marine Corps. (6 One of the officers who called Mr. Reeves was Rufus Taylor, who was Director of Naval Intelligence in 1964.)….

Reeves said that he went to El Toro, copied Oswald's enlisted personnel file, obtained the names of many of his associates, and mailed this information to ONI in Washington, D.C.

He said that ONI in Washington ran the post-defection investigation of Oswald, and that the Washington officers then directed various agents in the field. Although Reeves did not interview anyone himself, he said that later (circa late 1959 or early 1960), approximately 12 to 15 "119" reports concerning Oswald (OPNAV Forms 5520119 are ONI's equivalent of an FBI FD302 investigative report), crossed his desk. Reeves said he was aware of "119" reports from Japan and Texas, and that the primary concern of the reports he read on Oswald was to ascertain what damage had been done to national security by Oswald's defection. Reeves reported that he also saw eight to ten "119" reports on Oswald after the assassination, and that he was confident he was not confusing the two events in his mind.

In the spring of 1998, Review Board staff members met with two Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) records management officials, one of whom personally verified that he had searched for District Intelligence Office records (with negative results) from the San Diego, Dallas, and New Orleans District Intelligence Offices in 1996 with negative results. This search included "119" reports from the time period 1959-1964, during an extensive search of NCIS record group 181. The search included any records that would have been related to Oswald's defection. Thus, the Review Board ultimately located no documentary evidence to substantiate Reeves' claims.

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