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35179: Lee Harvey Oswald Marine Corps Rifle Score Book.

Lot 35179 View Catalog


Lee Harvey Oswald Marine Corps Rifle Score Book. Eighty pages, 6" x 3.25", issued on December 3, 1956. Contains various notes and scores written by Oswald, including his firing positions ("sitting kneeling", "sitting", "prone"). Oswald enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 1956, a week after his seventeenth birthday. He received extensive training and instruction in aiming and sighting firearms. In December, he was tested using the standard issued Caliber .30, M1 and scored 212, two points above the minimum qualification for sharpshooter. In the Warren Commission Report, Maj. Sgt. James A. Zahm said of Oswald's marksmanship abilities: "I would say in the Marine Corps he is a good shot, slightly above average and as compared to the average male. . . he is an excellent shot." Contains stains on both front and rear covers. Front cover has two yellowed tape remnants. Rear cover has three areas in different corners that have a small amount of surface paper loss. Inside rear cover has yellowed tape remnants. Pages inside the book that have been filled-out or written on by Oswald exhibit stains.

This lot also includes an interesting correspondence between Oswald's mother, Marguerite of Fort Worth, Texas, and John Lattimer. Four letters were written from Mrs. Oswald (three TLSs and one ALS) and dated March 15, 1969; April 10; April 10; and April 17, 1969. In these letters, Mrs. Oswald tells of her interest in selling her son's items: "Yes; I am very much in favor of selling everything in my possession. Please make an offer on the rifle score book." Concerning the Marine Corps rifle score book: "My late son's Marine score book is in the same condition as when he left it with me. How sad that one must part with personal belongins [sic] in order to exist." Concerning her son's innocence: "Someday soon it will be proven that a conspiracy did exist and that my son was indeed the 'Patsy'"-a reference to Oswald's comment to reporters, "I didn't shoot anyone. . . . They're taking me in because I lived in the Soviet Union. I'm just a 'patsy'!"

One ALS included here was written by John Lattimer to Mrs. Oswald on March 18, 1969. In part: "I would be happy to purchase the score book and any other items of your late son's, which you might be willing to sell me. I am a historian, interested in factual material." Lattimer conducted extensive research and performed ballistic tests. His results supported the controversial Warren Commission and validated that Oswald was the likely sniper who shot the president. His book, Kennedy and Lincoln: Medical and Ballistic Comparisons of Their Assassination (Harcourt, 1980) details his findings and conclusions. For Lattimer, Oswald's Marine Corps rifle score book played an important role by showing that Oswald was capable of firing the deadly shots. All letters are very fine. From the John K. Lattimer Collection.

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Estimate $30,000 – $50,000
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