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Lot 198

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Lee Harvey Oswald, Sharpshooter Marine, Original Rare Platoon Photo

A superb large glossy black and white photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald with his platoon 2060, from the U.S. Marine Corps in San Diego, 1956. 9.25" x 7.5." Mounted into a hinged mat with an overall completed size of 12.75" x 11.5." The verso of the mat is penned "Lee Harvey Oswald / Second row from the bottom / 4th man in on the left." Photo in near fine condition with adhesive stains to the verso. The mat is dingy and edgeworn, however the photo could be removed. From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

On October 26, 1956, Lee Harvey Oswald reported for duty at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, where he was assigned to the Second Recruit Training Battalion. He was 68 inches tall and weighed 135 pounds; he had no physical defects. On October 30th, he took a series of aptitude tests, on which he scored significantly above the Marine Corps average in reading and vocabulary and significantly below the average in tests in arithmetic and pattern analysis. His composite general classification score was 105, 2 points below the Corps average. He scored near the bottom of the lowest group in a radio code test.  His preference of duty was recorded as Aircraft Maintenance and Repair, the duty assignment for which he was recommended.

While he was at San Diego, Oswald was trained in the use of the M-1 rifle. His practice scores were not very good, but when his company fired for record on December 21st, he scored 212, two points above the score necessary to qualify as a "sharpshooter" on a marksman/sharpshooter/expert scale. He did not do nearly as well when he fired for record again shortly before he left the Marines. He also practiced with a riot gun and a .45-caliber pistol when he was in the Marines but no scores were recorded.

Oswald was given a 4.4 rating in both "conduct" and "proficiency" at the Recruit Depot, the highest possible rating being 5.0 and an average rating of 4.0 being required for an honorable discharge. On January 18, 1957, he reported to Camp Pendleton, California for further training and was assigned to "A" Company of the First Battalion, Second Infantry Training Regiment. He was at Pendleton for a little more than five weeks, at the end of which he was rated 4.2 in conduct and 4.0 in proficiency. Allen R. Felde, a fellow recruit who was with Oswald at San Diego and Pendleton, has stated that Oswald was generally unpopular and that his company was avoided by the other men.

One of his platoon mates, Gregg Hoegemeier, said he also remembers that Oswald seemed to know a lot about weapons, with knowledge gathered perhaps before joining the Marines. He said Oswald was the fastest when it came to taking his rifle apart and putting it back together, even while blindfolded. "Night action, firing whatever, you don't want lights on. So you have to be able to disassemble and clean your rifle and assemble it again blindfoldedly [sic]," Hoegemeier said. "And he always - out of 150 of us - did it. Seems to me, every time he came in with the least amount of time." Much has been written about what kind of a shot Oswald was, and there was no doubt Oswald had the ability to hit what he aimed at. He remembers that during rifle training Oswald was one of the best, even at 500 yards. "From 500 yards away. That's a long, long way. So I was in awe of people that could shoot that well. And he was one of them."

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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November 11, 2020, 10:30 AM EST

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