Testimony of Nelson Delgado

The testimony of Nelson Delgado was taken on April 16, 1964, at the U.S. Courthouse, Foley Square, New York, N.Y., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Nelson Delgado, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Mr. LIEBELER - My name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Staff members have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to the Commission Executive Order. No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137.
Under the Commission's rules for the taking of testimony, each witness is to be provided with a copy of the Executive order and of the joint resolution, and a copy of the rules that the Commission has adopted governing the taking of testimony from witnesses.
The Commission will provide you copies of those documents. I cannot do it at this point because I do not have them with me, but we will provide you with copies of the documents to which I have referred.
Under the Commission's rules for the taking of testimony, each witness is entitled to 3 days' notice, before he is required to come in and give testimony. I don't think you had 3 days' notice.
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - But each witness can waive that notice requirement if he wishes, and I assume that you would be willing to waive that notice requirement since you are here; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - We want to inquire of you this morning concerning the association that the Commission understands you had with Lee Harvey Oswald during the time that he was a member of the United States Marine Corps. The Commission has been advised that you also were a member of the United States Marine Corps and were stationed with Oswald in Santa Ana, Calif., for a period of time.
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Before we get into the details of that, would you state your full name for the record, please?
Mr. DELGADO - Nelson Delgado.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are now in the United States Army; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is your rank?
Mr. DELGADO - Specialist 4.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is your serial number?
Mr. DELGADO - RA282 53 799.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where are you stationed?
Mr. DELGADO - I am stationed at Delta Battery, 4th Missile Battalion, 71st Artillery, in Hazlet, N.J.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long have you been in the Army?
Mr. DELGADO - I joined the Army on November 1, 1960.
Mr. LIEBELER - What kind of work do you do in the Army?
Mr. DELGADO - I am a 94116, which means that I am a cook, with a linguist digit, which means I can speak and write Spanish fluently. That is what that last 6 in that digit means.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where did you go into the Army?
Mr. DELGADO - I went into the Army at Fort Ord, Calif.
Mr. LIEBELER - And would you briefly tell us the training that you received after you went into the Army and the places at which you were stationed from the time you went into the Army up to the present time?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, in 1960, November 1960, I reported at Fort Ord. Approximately 15 days after I reported there I received orders for Germany. I had no basic training because of my Marine Corps basic training took care of that.
December the 15th, 14th, around there, I left for Germany. And I arrived in Germany, and I served with Headquarters Battery, 5th Missile Battalion, 6th Artillery, APO 34, at Baumholder, Germany.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long were you stationed in Germany?
Mr. DELGADO - I was stationed there approximately 2 years and a day.
Mr. LIEBELER - Were you stationed with the same outfit all that time?
Mr. DELGADO - No. Six months of the time I was with them; then I was transferred to a line battery, C Battery, same missile battalion, same artillery, and I was for a while the old man's driver, the captain's driver; and then I was--I asked for a transfer to the messhall so I could get advanced in my rating, and I was put in the messhall, then promoted there also, and I have been a cook since then.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you stay with the C Battery until you left Germany?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Approximately when did you leave Germany?
Mr. DELGADO - December the 8th. December the 8th.
Mr. LIEBELER - 1962?
Mr. DELGADO - 1962, right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where were you stationed after that?
Mr. DELGADO - Fort Hancock, N.J.; and from there I was put in the line battery, Delta Battery.
Mr. LIEBELER - And that is where you are assigned at the present time?
Mr. DELGADO - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Are you working now as a cook?
Mr. DELGADO - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are also the mess steward of your messhall; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - No, not mess steward; first cook.
Mr. LIEBELER - First cook?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - So you are not in charge of the messhall?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I am in charge of the personnel that work the day I am working.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned that your MOS, I believe it is called, your military occupation specialty, has an indication that you are qualified to speak Spanish or another language; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you take tests while you were in the Army to establish your proficiency in the Spanish language?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes, I took the language proficiency test, and also the OCS test, the regular test they give you when you first go into the service, and I passed them all. It's in my 201 files, my military records.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you pass the Spanish proficiency test?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. In fact I was offered to be sent to Monterey language school.
Mr. LIEBELER - To continue your studies in connection with the Spanish language?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You took the Spanish proficiency test when you came into the Army at Fort Ord; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where were you born?
Mr. DELGADO - I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1939.
Mr. LIEBELER - At what address? Where?
Mr. DELGADO - I believe it was Kings County Hospital.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your parents still reside in Brooklyn?
Mr. DELGADO - 303 47th Street. That's what my address was during the Marine Corps, but right now the neighborhood is tore down, so there's no record of it now.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your parents reside in Brooklyn?
Mr. DELGADO - No. My parents are divorced. One lives in Puerto Rico, and my mother lives in California.
Mr. LIEBELER - You lived at the address in Brooklyn that you just gave me from the time you were born until the time you went into the Marine Corps; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - That's correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - Tell us briefly where you went to school.
Mr. DELGADO - That's pretty hard to keep track of, because I was like a yo-yo, back and forth from one parent to the other. But I went to school in P.S- No. 2.
Mr. LIEBELER - In Brooklyn?
Mr. DELGADO - In Brooklyn, until the third grade, and I was transferred. I went to California with my mother. I was there in the Park Avenue Grammar School from the third grade to the fifth.
Mr. LIEBELER - What city in California?
Mr. DELGADO - Wilmington, Calif. And then I went back to New York, back to P.S. No. 2 for the 5th grade to the 6th, graduated from there, went to public school, Dewey Junior High School--I don't know what P.S. it is--from the 7th grade to the 8th and then went back to California and went to Wilmington Junior High School from the 7th to the about the 11th grade, and the 11th grade I went back to Brooklyn into Manual Training High School and dropped out after the 11th grade.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have not graduated from high school?
Mr. DELGADO - No. I have my high school graduation through USAFL.
Mr. LIEBELER - That is the United States Armed Forces Institute; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - That's correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - When you dropped out of school here in Brooklyn, did you then join the Marine Corps?
Mr. DELGADO - No. I held a job for a while at Van Dyk & Reeves, on 42d Street and 2d Avenue, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mr. LIEBELER - What kind of a job was that?
Mr. DELGADO - It was just a regular laborer at an olive factory, making Maraschino cherries and olives and so forth. And it lasted about 2 1/2 months, and I joined the Marine Corps.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do both of your parents speak Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Are they both from Puerto Rico originally?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Approximately when did they come from Puerto Rico?
Mr. DELGADO - My father came when he was roughly 20 years of age. My mother came when she was about 13.
Mr. LIEBELER - Approximately hold old are your parents now?
Mr. DELGADO - My father is around 48. My mother is about 42.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where did you join the Marine Corps?
Mr. DELGADO - Down at Whitehall Street, in New York City.
Mr. LIEBELER - What training did you receive? Where were you sent?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, when we left New York I was sent to Parris Island, S.C., for basic training. Upon completion of that, I was sent to Camp Le Jeune, N.C., for intensive training. Then I received schooling in electronics school at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Fla.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you remember when you were there at Jacksonville?
Mr. DELGADO - I was there in 19--the the beginning of 1957.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is the exact title of the school that you went to? Do you remember?
Mr. DELGADO - Electronics school is all I can remember. From there, upon graduation from there, I received my choice of training, which was aircraft control and warning, and I was sent to school at Biloxi Air Force Base. Miss., and there I went to aircraft control and warning school there, and it lasted about 7 weeks. Upon completion there and graduation, I received my orders for Marine Air Control Squadron 9, Santa Ana, Calif.
Mr. LIEBELER - Approximately when did you arrive at Santa Ana?
Mr. DELGADO - The beginning of 1958.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you make the acquaintance of Lee Harvey Oswald at any time prior to the time that you arrived at Santa Aria?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't know Oswald while you were in school at Biloxi or Jacksonville?
Mr. DELGADO - No. He was past that already.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald had been to these schools?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you learn subsequently that Oswald had been in school in Jacksonville and Biloxi?
Mr. DELGADO - All of us in MOS 6741 knew that he had been there.
Mr. LIEBELER - For the benefit of the record, MOS stands for Military Occupation Specialty. Is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - And the MOS number that you have just referred to was what?
Mr. DELGADO - Airborne electronics operators is about the equivalent, I guess.
Mr. LIEBELER - Airborne electronics operator?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; our job was the surveillance of aircraft in distress, control of intercepts and approaches, and mostly air surveillance and help of aircraft running into problems.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long were you stationed at Santa Ana?
Mr. DELGADO - From 1958, I would say, until November 2, 1959, when I got discharged.
Mr. LIEBELER - So you were at Santa Ann after you completed your training, throughout your entire Marine Corps career?
Mr. DELGADO - That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Until the time you were discharged?
Mr. DELGADO - That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have access to classified information of any sort in the course of your work at Santa Aria?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; we all had access to information, classified information. I believe it was classified secret. We all had secret clearances. There was some information there as to different codes and challenges that we had to give to aircraft and challenges and so on.
Mr. LIEBELER - In other words, if I can understand correctly the nature of your work, you actually worked in a control room?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Observing radar screens?
Mr. DELGADO - That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And when the radar screen would pick up an aircraft, you would then challenge that aircraft?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And it would have to identify itself?
Mr. DELGADO - That's true.
Mr. LIEBELER - And the code or signals that you sent to the aircraft requesting it to identify itself were classified information?
Mr. DELGADO - That's right, along with the range capabilities of the radar sets and their blindspots and so forth and so on. You know, each site has blind-spots, and we know the degrees where our blindspots are and who covers us and that information. That's considered secret, what outfit covers us and things like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - And what was the latter----
Mr. DELGADO - What outfit covers us, that we can see. And as I say, the capabilities of the radars, as I said before.
Mr. LIEBELER - How far out they can reach?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - And pick up an aircraft?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; and how high----
Mr. LIEBELER - And how high----
Mr. DELGADO - And how low we can catch them and where we can't catch them.
Mr. LIEBELER - And I suppose all the men who worked, with the radar sets knew these things?
Mr. DELGADO - They all knew. What do they call it now--authentication charts, which is also a secret.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is the nature of these charts?
Mr. DELGADO - Authorization chart is, if we receive an order over the phone, over the headsets--authentication. Pardon me. That's the word. Let's say this order, we can question it. What it actually amounts to, he has to authenticate it for us. Now, he should have the same table or code in front of him that I have. He gives me a code. I would look it up in my authentication chart, decipher it, and I could tell whether or not this man has the same thing I am using. And this changes from hour to hour, see. There's no chance of it--and day to day, also.
Mr. LIEBELER - So that the information, the code itself would not be of any particular value to the enemy, since it is changed?
Mr. DELGADO - It's changed from day to day; no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did there come a time when you were stationed at Santa Ana that you met Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; in the beginning of 1959. He arrived at our outfit. I didn't take no particular notice of him at the time, but later on we had--we started talking, and we got to know each other quite well. This is all before Christmas, before I took my leave.
Mr. LIEBELER - This was in 1957 or 1958?
Mr. DELGADO - 1958. And we had basic interests. He liked Spanish, and he talked to me for a while in Spanish or tried to, and since nobody bothered, you know--I was kind of a loner, myself, you know. I didn't associate with too many people.
Mr. LIEBELER - How old were you at that time?
Mr. DELGADO - I was 17--18 years of age; 17 or 18.
Mr. LIEBELER - About the same age as Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. He was the same age as I was. And nothing really developed until I went on leave oh, yes. At the time he was--he was commenting on the fight that Castro was having at Sierra Madres at the beginning, just about the turn of 1959. When I went on leave, it just so happened that my leave coincided with the first of January, when Castro took over. So when I got back, he was the first one to see me, and he said, "Well, you took a leave and went there and helped them, and they all took over." It was a big joke.
So we got along pretty well. He had trouble in one of the huts, and he got transferred to mine.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know what trouble he had in the other hut?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, the way I understand it, he wouldn't hold his own. Came time for cleanup, and general cleanliness of the barracks, he didn't want to participate, and he would be griping all the time. So the sergeant that was in charge of that hut asked to have him put out, you know. So consequently, they put him into my hut.
Mr. LIEBELER - What were these huts? Were they quonset huts?
Mr. DELGADO - Quonset huts, right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And they served as barracks, right?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - How many men----
Mr. DELGADO - Each quonset hut was divided in half. Now, in each half lived six men, two to a room. They were divided into two rooms with a bath room each side, each half of the quonset hut. I was living in one room. Oswald in the other room. And then we had our barracks, we had quite a bit of turnovers, because guys kept coming in and being transferred. Him and I seemed to be the only ones staying in there. And we would meet during working hours and talk. He was a complete believer that our way of government was not quite right, that--I don't know how to say it; it's been so long. He was for, not the Communist way of life, the Castro way of life, the way he was going to lead his people. He didn't think our Government had too much to offer.
He never said any subversive things or tried to take any classified information that I know of out or see anybody about it.
As I said to the men that interviewed me before, we went to the range at one time, and he didn't show no particular aspects of being a sharpshooter at all.
Mr. LIEBELER - He didn't seem to be particularly proficient with the rifle; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER - What kind of rifle did you use?
Mr. DELGADO - He had an M-1. We all had M-l's.
Mr. LIEBELER - Carbine or rifle?
Mr. DELGADO - The M-1 rifle.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have them in your quonset hut at all times?
Mr. DELGADO - No, sir; we had them in the armory, in the quonset hut designated as the armory. And we went there periodically to clean them up. And at the time in Santa Ana, he was with me at one time.
Mr. LIEBELER - Each man was assigned a particular rifle; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have to use the rifles to stand inspection?
Mr. DELGADO - That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember whether or not Oswald kept his rifle in good shape, clean?
Mr. DELGADO - He kept it mediocre.. He always got gigged for his rifle.
Mr. LIEBELER - He did?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; very seldom did he pass an inspection without getting gigged for one thing or another.
Mr. LIEBELER - With respect to his rifle?
Mr. DELGADO - With respect to his rifle. He didn't spend as much time as the rest of us did in the armory cleaning it up. He would, when he was told to. Otherwise, he wouldn't come out by himself to clean it. He was basically a man that complained quite frequently.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you think he complained more than the other Marines?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, yes; a little bit more. Anything, anything that they told him to do, he found a way to argue it to a point where both him and the man giving him the order both got disgusted and mad at each other, and while the rest of us were working, he's arguing with the man in charge. For him there was always another way of doing things, an easier way for him to get something done.
Mr. LIEBELER - He didn't take too well to orders that were given to him?
Mr. DELGADO - No; he didn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever notice that he responded better if he were asked to do something instead of ordered to do something?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you say that?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; well, that's what I worked with him. I never called him Lee or Harvey or Oswald. It was always Oz.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oz.
Mr. DELGADO - Ozzie. I would say, "Oz, how about taking care of the bathroom today?" Fine, he would do it. But as far as somebody from the outside saying, "All right, Oswald, I want you to take and police up that area"--"Why? Why do I have to do it? Why are you always telling me to do it?" Well, it was an order, he actually had to do it, but he didn't understand it like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long were you and Oswald stationed together at Santa Ana?
Mr. DELGADO - Basically there were 11 months, from January to the date of my discharge or the date that he took off. He got discharged before I did.
Mr. LIEBELER - August or September 1959, approximately?
Mr. DELGADO - 1959, right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And when were you discharged?
Mr. DELGADO - I was discharged November 2, 1960--1959.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald tell you that he had been overseas prior to the time he came to Santa Aria?
Mr. DELGADO - No; he didn't tell me has was overseas. I got that from the fellows who knew him overseas, Atsugi, Japan, and he was with the Marine Air Control Squadron, I believe it was, at Atsugi. There was a couple of guys stationed with him.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember their names?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I don't. I think one of them was Dijonovich. There was two of them stationed with him overseas.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever learn whether Oswald had been any place else overseas other than Atsugi?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You never heard that he was stationed in the Philippines for a while?
Mr. DELGADO - No; not that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you know whether any of these other men that had been stationed overseas with Oswald had been to the Philippines?
Mr. DELGADO - No; if they went on a problem from there and got aboard a small carrier, they probably may have taken him, say, to Hawaii or the Philippines or Guam, something like that, for maneuvers, or Okinawa.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you had no knowledge of it at the time?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You were about to tell us, before I went into this question of how long you and Oswald were together, about the rifle practice that you engaged in. Would you tell us about that in as much detail as you can remember?
Mr. DELGADO - We went out to the field, to the rifle range, and before we set out we had set up a pot. High score would get this money; second highest, and so forth down to about the fifth man that was high.
Mr. LIEBELER - How many men were there?
Mr. DELGADO - Oh, in our company there was about roughly 80 men, 80 to 100 men, and I would say about 40 of us were in the pot. All low ranking EM's, though. By that I mean corporal or below. None of the sergeants were asked to join. Nine times out of ten they weren't firing, just watching you. They mostly watched to see who was the best firer on the line.
Mr. LIEBELER - You say there were about 40 men involved in this pot?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you say that Oswald finished fifth from the highest?
Mr. DELGADO - No; he didn't even place there. He didn't get no money at all. He just barely got his score, which I think was about 170, I think it was, just barely sharpshooter.
Mr. LIEBELER - Sharpshooter is the minimum.
Mr. DELGADO - Minimum.
Mr. LIEBELER - Rank?
Mr. DELGADO - It's broken down into three categories: sharpshooters--no; pardon me, take that back; it's marksman is the lowest, sharpshooters, and experts. And then Oswald had a marksman's badge, which was just a plain, little thing here which stated "Marksman" on it.
Mr. LIEBELER - And that was the lowest one?
Mr. DELGADO - That was the lowest. Well, that was qualifying; then there was nothing, which meant you didn't qualify.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you fire with Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - Right; I was in the same line. By that I mean we were on line together, the same time, but not firing at the same position, but at the same time, and I remember seeing his. It was a pretty big joke, because he got a lot of "Maggie's drawers," you know, a lot of misses, but he didn't give a darn.
Mr. LIEBELER - Missed the target completely?
Mr. DELGADO - He just qualified, that's it. He wasn't as enthusiastic as the rest of us. We all loved--liked, you know, going to the range.
Mr. LIEBELER - My recollection of how the rifle ranges worked is that the troops divided up into two different groups, one of which operates the targets.
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And the other one fires?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - When you said before that you were in the same line as Oswald, you meant that you fired at the same time that he did?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. And then all of us went to the pits, our particular lines; then we went to the pits, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald worked the pits with you, the same time you did?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. And he was a couple of targets down. It was very comical to see, because he had the other guy pulling the target down, you know, and he will take and maybe gum it once in a while or run the disk up; but he had the other guy pulling it up and bringing it down, you know. He wasn't hardly going to exert himself.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember approximately how far away Oswald was in the line from you when you fired?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; he was just one over from me.
Mr. LIEBELER - The next one, the very next one?
Mr. DELGADO - Not the next one, but the one over from that.
Mr. LIEBELER - There was one man between you and Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you talk to him about his performance with the rifle at that time?
Mr. DELGADO - Not during that day, because I was mostly interested in my picking up the money, you know, and I wasn't worrying about what he was doing; in fact if he wasn't bringing it in, I didn't care, you know. I didn't want no competition.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you win any of the money?
Mr. DELGADO - Oh, yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - How many of the Marines won?
Mr. DELGADO - Just five of us.
Mr. LIEBELER - Just five?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And which one were you?
Mr. DELGADO - I was---I shot about 192. I came in about third.
Mr. LIEBELER - My recollection of the rifle range from the time I was in the is that sometimes the scores that were reported---
Mr. DELGADO - Were erroneous.
Mr. LIEBELER - Were erroneous. Has that been your experience also?
Mr. DELGADO - Oh, yes; if there is not close supervision. By this, that you have your buddy in back of you, he could be penciling in your score; if you get a 4, he will put a 5 in there. It doesn't work that way if you go to fire for record, like we did, because they have an NCO line and they got a pit NCO. Now they have a man at that target down there keeping score, and they also have a man back here keeping score, and when both those score cards are turned into the line officer, they both better correspond, and you have no way of communicating with the man down the pit.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was that the way it was handled when you fired this time?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - So there was very little, if any, chance that Oswald's score could have been fixed up; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - The only time you could fix up the score, when you go down for just straight firing, what they call battery column firing, and there is nobody to supervise, you pencil yourself. The Marines is pretty strict about that when you go for line firing. They want both scorecards to correspond with each other.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is this the only time that you fired----
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - With Oswald during the time that you were stationed at Santa Ana?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned before in your testimony that you had been interviewed prior to this time?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - By whom?
Mr. DELGADO - FBI agents.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember their names?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I don't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember approximately when they talked to you?
Mr. DELGADO - They talked to me about five times.
Mr. LIEBELER - About five times?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Could it have been three times?
Mr. DELGADO - One is at home, twice in the battery--no, four times, because they visited me once at home, twice at the battery. the same fellow; then he brought another man in. Yes; four times. Two different fellows. And one time one was a Spanish--I don't know, I guess he was a Spanish interpreter.
Mr. LIEBELER - He spoke Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - He spoke Castilian Spanish.
Mr. LIEBELER - Castilian Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - That is a different kind of Spanish from the kind you speak?
Mr. DELGADO - All right. He could go out here in New York City and go down in Spanish Harlem and he would be lost. I mean it would be all right if 90 percent of the Spanish people down there were college graduates, they could understand him. They don't speak that type of Spanish there, nor do they speak it in a lot of other Spanish countries. It's like speaking the English as spoken in England, you know. You can't expect a man from Georgia to try and understand a man from England the way he speaks pure English.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have difficulty in understanding this agent when he spoke to you in Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - No. See, I took it in high school. But he had difficulty in interpreting my Spanish.
Mr. LIEBELER - So you think he was likely to have gotten the opinion that you weren't very proficient in Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. But I would be willing to challenge him if he and I go down to Spanish Harlem and see who gets across faster.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you form an impression of these FBI agents when they talked to you? Were they----
Mr. DELGADO - The one fellow, the older one, white-haired fellow, he was a nice guy. And the two other ones, I never seen them before, two different fellows.
Mr. LIEBELER - How many agents talked to you altogether?
Mr. DELGADO - I don't know if this Spanish guy was an agent or not. He never introduced himself. But there was this white-hatred fellow, and then two different men; three men altogether, not including this Spanish guy.
Mr. LIEBELER - So there would have been four men altogether?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are quite sure about that?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you tell me approximately when these people talked to you?
Mr. DELGADO - The first time I came in contact was, let's see, about January was the first time I was contacted by the white-haired fellow.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was he the fellow who spoke Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - No; he was the man from the Red Bank office, I believe he said he was, Red Bank, N.J. And then 2 weeks later he came to the battery to see me, about a month later he came back with this Spanish fellow, and about another month these other two fellows came in. They were all FBI agents though. They showed me their book.
Mr. LIEBELER - The first time that the white-haired agent talked to you was when?
Mr. DELGADO - About January, about a month or a month and a half after Kennedy's assassination.
Mr. LIEBELER - Could it have been in the middle of December?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I don't think it was that close. Let's see, November 22---I think it was more to the last part of December, not to the middle.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did this FBI agent talk to you about this rifle practice that you have just told us about?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; he did.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember what you told him?
Mr. DELGADO - Basically the same thing I told you, except he didn't ask for it like you did, about the possibility of forging the score, and I didn't explain to him about the NCOs in the lines and in the pits, also keeping the score.
Mr. LIEBELER - You told the FBI that in your opinion Oswald was not a good rifle shot; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - And that he did not show any unusual interest in his rifle, and in fact appeared less interested in weapons than the average marine?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. He was mostly a thinker, a reader. He read quite a bit.
Mr. LIEBELER - You told us just a few minutes ago that you took third in the pool; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did the FBI agent ask you about that?
Mr. DELGADO - No. He asked me how I placed. I told him I placed pretty high; that's about all.
Mr. LIEBELER - In the report that I have in front of me of an interview that Special Agents Richard B. Murdoch and James A. Marley, Jr., took of you on January 15, 1964, at Holmdel, N.J., which would have been at the base---is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - It appears from the record here, from the report that I have, that the Spanish-speaking agent was Mr. Murdoch.
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - So that this would have been the time that the Spanish-speaking man was there?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. That was the third visit I had from him.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you discuss at that time the rifle practice, do you remember?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes: I did. I discussed the rifle practice all the time they came up.
Mr. LIEBELER - They asked you the same questions?
Mr. DELGADO - Right; same thing over and over again.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, the report that I have says that Oswald, like most marines, took an interest in the pool--they call it a pool instead of a pot, but that is the same thing?
Mr. DELGADO - Arm. Yes; pool.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald took an interest in the pool, which was started for the marine getting the highest score. It says, however, "Delgado said neither he nor Oswald came close to winning."
Mr. DELGADO - No, no; that is erroneous, because I won. He didn't win at all.
Mr. LIEBELER - You never told these FBI agents that you yourself did not come close to winning?
Mr. DELGADO - No; because I was--I was one of the highest ones there, I always had an expert badge on me.
Mr. LIEBELER - You were a good rifle shot?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; just like I got one now [indicating].
Mr. LIEBELER - That is an expert?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. This is a sharpshooter.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have both a sharpshooter and an expert badge; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. One for the M-1 rifle and the other for the carbine rather, this is the M-14, the new one.
Mr. LIEBELER - The scores that you got on that practice would be reflected in your military records, would they not?
Mr. DELGADO - Right; in all our--well, I think they call them 201 flies also in the Marines Corps--I can't remember what they are now, but they are all there, especially that one particular day, because that goes into your records. That's why they are so strict.
Mr. LIEBELER - And there is no chance in connection with that qualification firing that you can pencil in your score?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You did not tell the FBI that in your opinion Oswald had penciled in his qualifying score, did you? Or did you tell them that?
Mr. DELGADO - He may have done, you know; but if you got away with it you were more than lucky.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you talk to the FBI about that possibility?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes, I told him he ,nay have, to qualify, because there was a lot of "Maggie's drawers" on his side. Now, he may have had some way of knowing who was pulling, that is another thing. Yon don't know who is out there in the pits, pulling it, see; and it could be a buddy of yours or somebody you know, and they will help you out. you know, get together, like before we all go and separate, you know, and I will say to my buddy, "Well, look, I want to try and get on line 22, you get on target 22 and I will try to be the first one on line"; so help each other like that. And when they 7.o to the pits, they have their choice of getting on the lines, you know, so I will try to work it out with the fellow out there. But sometimes it doesn't work out that way. You just have to take your chances.
Mr. LIEBELER - You told us that in this particular rifle practice, or firing, that the scores were kept by NCOs.
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was it a common practice for the privates to make deals like this with the noncommissioned officers in connection with a thing like this?
Mr. DELGADO - They are making a deal with the other guys pulling the targets. See, the guy back there is also keeping a score.
Now, your NCO, particularly your NCO, may want to push you or make you qualify, because he doesn't want to spend another day out there on the rifle range, see; so it's not all that strict. Like if I was line NCO and I had five men in my section, and four of them qualified, that means that some other day, maybe on my day off, I will have to come in with this other fellow, so I will help him along and push each other along.
You don't try to mess nobody up, but you can't take a man that is shooting poorly and give him a 190 score, see; you could just give him the bare minimum, 170 or 171, to make it look good.
Mr. LIEBELER - Just to qualify him?
Mr. DELGADO - Just to qualify him.
Mr. LIEBELER - So it is a possibility that that might have happened even in this?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - You said that you came in about third in this pool?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember who the marines were that won it and took second place?
Mr. DELGADO - No. These men were mostly transients. Like I said, I didn't have too many close friends in the Marine Corps. I went to school with quite a few of them that were stationed with us, but I never got real close to any of them.
Mr. LIEBELER - This statement in this FBI report indicates that you said that neither you nor Oswald came close to winning the pool and that just must be a mistake; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes, Correct. I think in the first statement, too I said that I have won too, I believe, the first one he took. I won, but he didn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - The first report indicates that you said that Oswald was a poor shot and didn't do well, but it doesn't say anything about how you did. Do you remember discussing how you did with the FBI in the first interview that you had?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes, the first one was at home. We had more time to talk, and I was at ease there.
Mr. LIEBELER - And where would that have been?
Mr. DELGADO - The address?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes.
Mr. DELGADO - 31 Oakwood Road---30 Oakwood Road, Leonardo, N.J.
Mr. LIEBELER - You say that this incident where you had to go out and qualify was some time in the spring of 1959?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you remember any closer than that?
Mr. DELGADO - No. I just knew it was the spring because that is the time everyone goes out to fire. It's either going to be warm or it's going to be very cold when they go out there; it's never in between. I could have said that, but that was the day I was upset, because this guy kept on badgering me.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are talking now about the interview when the Spanish-speaking agent was present?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Which one of them kept badgering you?
Mr. DELGADO - The Spanish agent.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was he badgering you about?
Mr. DELGADO - He kept on sitting--he'd been talking, he'd been looking at me, doing this [indicating], you know, and he was sitting just about where this gentleman is now, and I'd been looking out of the corner of my eye, because I couldn't concentrate on what he was saying because he kept staring at me, and he was giving me a case of jitters, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have the impression that he didn't believe you?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. But I told him, it's all right in the textbooks, that's fine, you know, but my theory, my way is you are not going to get anything--I mean the majority of the stuff out of books, you have got to apply yourself on the outside; and he may have gotten an A in Spanish, and may write in--be able to decipher anything in Spanish into English, which is fine, as long as he stays in the lower court, you know, where they are going to speak high Spanish, but when you go to mingle with the people and speak their language, you know, don't go in there with a college Spanish, because, to begin with, they are going to tell right off, you know, well, this guy is a highfalutin fellow, you know, They are not going to have anything to do with him.
You know, common Spanish is quite often overlooked, and that is where we make our mistake When we go---I think when we go abroad, because we try to speak Spanish the way El Camino Real tells you to speak Spanish, and that is not going to do.
If you come, a fellow comes and tries to be friends with you, and he is giving you all these thees and thous, first of all you are not going to hit it off right. Speak like they do. If they say damn; say damn, you know, get with them.
Mr. LIEBELER - You and this agent did not strike it off too well?
Mr. DELGADO - No, I am afraid not. We just spent hours arguing back and forth.
Mr. LIEBELER - Off the record.

(Discussion off the record.)

Mr. LIEBELER - We just referred to the El Camino Real that you mentioned, and you mentioned that that was a Spanish textbook; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - One in which the Castilian Spanish is taught?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you tell us some more about your discussions with Oswald concerning the Castro movement or the situation in Cuba?
Mr. DELGADO - We had quite many discussions regarding Castro. At the time I was in favor of Castro, I wholeheartedly supported him, and made it known that I thought he was a pretty good fellow, and that was one of the main things Oswald and I always hit off so well, we were along the same lines of thought. Castro at the time showed all possibilities of being a freedom-loving man, a democratic sort of person, that was going to do away with all tyranny and finally give the Cuban people a break. But then he turned around and started to purge the Russian purge, started executing all these pro-Batistas or anybody associated with a pro-Batista, just word of mouth. I would say he is a Batista, and right away they would grab him, give him a kangaroo court and shoot him. He and I had discussed about that, and right and wrong way that he should have gone about doing it.

Castro at the time, his brother Raoul was the only known Communist, and I mentioned the fact that he was a Communist, but that although Castro was the leader, I doubt if he would follow the Communist line of life, you know. At the time I don't remember Che Guevra being there. He came in after that. And we talked how we would like to go to Cuba and----
Mr. LIEBELER - You and Oswald did?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. We were going to become officers, you know, enlisted men. We are dreaming now, right? So we were going to become officers. So we had a head start, you see. We were getting honorable discharges, while Morgan--there was a fellow in Cuba at the time, he got a dishonorable discharge from, the Army, and he went to Castro and fought with Castro in the Escambres.
Mr. LIEBELER - A fellow named Morgan?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; Henry Morgan--not Henry, but it was Morgan, though; and at the end of the revolution he came out with the rank of major, you know.
So we were all thinking, well, honorable discharge, and I speak Spanish and he's got his ideas of how a government should be run, you know, the same line as Castro did at that time.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. So we could go over there and become officers and lead an expedition to some of these other islands and free them too, you know, from--this was really weird, you know, but----
Mr. LIEBELER - That is what you and Oswald talked about?
Mr. DELGADO - Right, things like that; and how we would go to take over, to make a republic, you know, because that was another form of Batista, American-supported government, you know. And one of his main, pet peeves was that he thought that Batista was being supported by the United States, and that is why we were so against him in the beginning of Castro.
Mr. LIEBELER - So against Castro?
Mr. DELGADO - Right, because of the fact that we had lost so much and were about to lose so much money in Cuba, because now that our man was out. And we would talk about how we would do away with Trujillo, and things like that, but never got no farther than the speaking stage. But then when he started, you know, going along with this, he started actually making plans, he wanted to know, you know, how to get to Cuba and things like that. I was shying away from him. He kept on asking me questions like "how can a person in his category, an English person, get with a Cuban, you know, people, be part of that revolution movement?"
I told him, to begin with, you have got to be trusted--right--in any country you go to you have got to be trusted, so the best way to be trusted is to know their language, know their customs, you know; so he started applying himself to Spanish, he started studying. He bought himself a dictionary, a Spanish-American dictionary. He would come to me and we would speak in Spanish. You know, not great sentences but enough. After a while he got to talk to me, you know, in Spanish.
Mr. LIEBELER - How much of a fluency did Oswald develop in Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - He didn't acquire too much. He could, speak a common Spanish, like "How are you? I am doing fine. Where are you going? Which way is this? Common stuff, you know, everyday stuff.
As far as getting in involved political argument, say, or like debate of some sort, he couldn't hold his own.
Mr. LIEBELER - He couldn't speak Spanish well enough to do something like that?
Mr. DELGADO - No. But as far as meeting the people out in public and asking for things and telling them something.
And, let's see, what else? Oh, yes, then he kept on asking me about how about--how he could go about helping the Castro government. I didn't know what to tell him, so I told him the best thing that I know was to get in touch with a Cuban Embassy, you know. But at that time that I told him this we were on friendly terms with Cuba, you know, so this wasn't no subversive or malintent, you know. I didn't know what to answer him. I told him go see them.
After a while he told me he was in contact with them.
Mr. LIEBELER - With the Cuban Embassy?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. And I took it to be just a---one of his, you know, lies, you know, saying he was in contact with them, until one time I had the opportunity to go into his room, I was looking for--I was going out for the weekend, I needed a tie, he lent me the tie, and I seen this envelope in his footlocker, wall-locker, and it was addressed to him, and they had an official seal on it, and as far as I could recollect that was mail from Los Angeles, and he was telling me there was a Cuban Consul. And just after he started receiving these letters--you see, he would never go out, he'd stay near the post all the time. He always had money. That's why.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you just say?
Mr. DELGADO - He always had money, you know, he never spent it. He was pretty tight.
So then one particular instance, I was in the train station in Santa Aria, Calif., and Oswald comes in, on a Friday night. I usually make it every Friday night to Los Angeles and spend the weekend. And he is on the same platform, so we talked, and he told me he had to see some people in Los Angeles. didn't bother questioning him.
We rode into Los Angeles, nothing eventful happened, just small chatter, and once we got to Los Angeles I went my way and he went his.
I came to find out later on he had come back Saturday. He didn't stay like we did, you know, come back Sunday night, the last train.
Very seldom did he go out. At one time he went with us down to Tijuana, Mexico.
Mr. LIEBELER - Before we get into that, tell me all that you can remember about Oswald's contact with the Cuban Consulate.
Mr. DELGADO - Well, like I stated to these FBI men, he had one visitor; after he started receiving letters be had one visitor. It was a man, because I got the call from the MP guard shack, and they gave me a call that Oswald had a visitor at the front gate. This man had to be a civilian, otherwise they would have let him in. So I had to find somebody to relieve Oswald, who was on guard, to go down there to visit with this fellow, and they spent about an hour and a half, 2 hours talking, I guess, and he came back. I don't know who the man was or what they talked about, but he looked nonchalant about the whole thing when he came back. He never mentioned who he was, nothing.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long did he talk to him, do you remember?
Mr. DELGADO - About an hour and a half, 2 hours.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was he supposed to be on duty that time?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. And he had the guy relieve him, calling me about every 15 minutes, where is his, the relief, where is the relief, you know, because he had already pulled his tour of duty and Oswald was posted to walk 4 hours and he only walked about an hour and a half before he received this visitor, you know, which was an odd time to visit, because it was after 6, and it must have been close to 10 o'clock when he had that visitor, because anybody, civilian or otherwise, could get on post up to 9 o'clock at night.. After 9 o'clock, if you are not military you can't get on that post. So it was after 9 o'clock at night that he had the visitor, it was late at night.
I don't think it could be his brother or father because I never knew that he had one, you know; in fact the only one I knew was a sick mother, and then later on, towards the end of our friendship there, he was telling me he was trying to get a hardship discharge because his mother was sick.
Mr. LIEBELER - You never asked Oswald who this fellow was that he talked to?
Mr. DELGADO - No, no.
Mr. LIEBELER - What time did the shifts of duty run? This was a guard duty that he was on; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - How did those shifts run?
Mr. DELGADO - They ran, let's see, from 12 to 4, 4 to 8, 8 to 12, 12 to 4, 4 to 8, like that; and he was roughly on 8-to-10 shift, you know. Must have been about 9 o'clock when the guy called.
Mr. LIEBELER - The 8-to-12 shift?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; and I had to relieve another guard and put him on.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you connect this visit that Oswald had at that time with the Cuban Consulate?
Mr. DELGADO - Personally; I did; because I thought it funny for him to be receiving a caller at such a late date time. Also, up to this time he hardly ever received mail; in fact he very seldom received mail from home, because I made it a policy, I used to pick up the mail for our hut and distribute it to the guys in there, and very seldom did I see one for him. But every so often, after he started to get in contact with these Cuban people, he started getting little pamphlets and newspapers, and he always got a Russian paper, and I asked him if it was, you know, a Commie paper--they let you get away with this in the Marine Corps in a site like this--and he said, "No, it's not Communist; it's a White Russian. To me that was Greek, you know, White Russian, so I guess he is not a Communist; but he was steady getting that periodical. It was a newspaper.
Mr. LIEBELER - In the Russian language?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And he received that prior to the time he contacted the Cuban consulate; did he not?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. And he also started receiving letters, you know, and no books, maybe pamphlets, you know, little like church, things we get from church, you know, but it wasn't a church.
Mr. LIEBELER - Were they written in Spanish, any of them, do you know?
Mr. DELGADO - Not that I can recall; no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have any reason to believe that these things came to Oswald from the Cuban consulate?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, I took it for granted that they did after I seen the envelope, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was on this envelope that made you think that?
Mr. DELGADO - Something like a Mexican eagle, with a big, impressive seal, you know. They had different colors on it, red and white; almost looked like our colors, you know. But I can't recall the seal. I just knew it was in Latin, United, something like that. I couldn't understand. It was Latin.
Mr. LIEBELER - You don't know for sure whether it was from the Cuban consulate?
Mr. DELGADO - No. But he had told me prior, just before I found that envelope in his wall locker, that he was receiving mail from them, and one time he offered to show it to me, but I wasn't much interested because at the time we had work to do, and I never did ask to see that paper again, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you what his correspondence with the Cuban consulate was about?
Mr. DELGADO - No; he didn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever indicate to you that it had to do with the conversation that you had about going over to Cuba?
Mr. DELGADO - No. The only thing he told me was that right after he had this conversation with the Cuban people was that he was going to---once he got out of the service he was going to Switzerland, he was going to a school, and this school in Switzerland was supposed to teach him in 2 years--in 6 months what it had taken him to learn in psychology over here in 2 years, something like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you the name of the school?
Mr. DELGADO - No; but he applied for it while in the service, and as far as I knew, that's where he was going once he got discharged.
Mr. LIEBELER - This conversation that you and Oswald had about going over in Cuba and helping Castro was just barracks talk?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't seriously consider----
Mr. DELGADO - No; but that's when I started getting scared. He started actually making plans, and how we would go about going to Cuba, you know, and where we would apply to go to Cuba and the people to contact if we wanted to go, you know, but----
Mr. LIEBELER - So you got the impression that he started to get serious about going to Cuba?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. And about this time Castro started changing colors, so I wasn't too keen on that idea, myself.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you talk to Oswald about this change in Castro's attitude and his approach?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. He said that was all due to mal--bad newspaper reporting, that we were distorting the true facts, and for the same reason I told you that, because we were mad, because now we wasn't getting the money from Cuba that we were before.
Mr. LIEBELER - So Oswald basically took the position that you were getting a distorted view of Cuba?
Mr. DELGADO - Right; and we weren't getting the true facts of what was happening in Cuba. We were getting the distorted facts.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have no definite way of knowing how much correspondence Oswald received from the Cuban consulate, do you?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - He told you that he had received some correspondence?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - You don't know whether the Russian newspaper that he got came from the Cuban consulate?
Mr. DELGADO - No. He was getting that way before he even started corresponding with them.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know whether Oswald ever received any books or pamphlets or materials in any language other than Russian---aside from English, of course?
Mr. DELGADO - No. He had one book that was English, Das Kapital. I think it was Russian, a book, like I said. I go-by Russian when it's big block letters.
And he had one book like that. He spoke Russian pretty good, so I understand.
Mr. LIEBELER - How do you understand that?
Mr. DELGADO - He tried to teach me some Russian. He would put out a whole phrase, you know. In return for my teaching him Spanish, he would try to teach me Russian. But it's a tongue twister.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't have any understanding of the Russian language?
Mr. DELGADO - No. Basically I wasn't interested in it. In order to learn a language, I think you have to be motivated. You have to have a desire to use this language, you know, and I had no need to learn Russian. And just the reverse of him. He wanted to learn Spanish. He had some idea of using Spanish later on. I'm sure if this hadn't happened, he probably would be over there now, if he hadn't been already.
Mr. LIEBELER - In Cuba, you mean?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have any reason to believe that he has been in Cuba?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, a guy like him would find--would have no difficulty in getting into Cuba. They would accept him real fast. The fact that he was in Russia. Now, all these years in Russia, he could have come over to Cuba and learned some doctrine. That's where he got his ideas to start this Fair Play for Cuba Committee down in Louisiana. That must have been supported by Castro.
Mr. LIEBELER - How do you know that he was involved in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in Louisiana?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, this was brought out in the newscast at the time of his arrest.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have no direct knowledge of that, though?
Mr. DELGADO - No. In one of the news pictures I seen him distributing pamphlets out in the street.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever see Oswald after----
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - After you were discharged from the Marine Corps?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You said before that you were in Germany until approximately the end of 1962; is that correct? December of 1962?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You never met Oswald at any time while you were in Germany?
Mr. DELGADO - No. I wanted to---I knew that he was over there going to school, and I can't for the life of me recall where I got the scoop that I thought he was going to some school in Berlin, and I was thinking of going over there, to see if I could find him, but I never did follow through. There was too much redtape.
Mr. LIEBELER - You say that you thought he was in Berlin going to school?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. For some reason or other. I can't say right now why, but it just seemed to me that I thought he was going to school there.
Mr. LIEBELER - After you were discharged from the Marine Corps, you learned that Oswald had gone to the Soviet Union, did you not?
Mr. DELGADO - I knew he had gone to the Soviet Union before I got discharged.
Mr. LIEBELER - When were you discharged?
Mr. DELGADO - In November. As--when I got back, I saw the pictures all over the papers as him having defected. and then we had the investigation there.
Mr. LIEBELER - But even though you had heard before you had gotten out of the Marine Corps that Oswald had gone to the Soviet Union, while you were the Army in Germany you gained the impression that somehow that he was in Berlin, going to school?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; in the university there.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you don't have any recollection of where you got this idea?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You were under the impression, then, that he had left the Soviet Union?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. I couldn't--Oswald loved to travel, right, but if he couldn't take military life, where everything was told to him, I'm sure he couldn't take no life in Russia, where he was subjected to strict, you know, watching. I couldn't picture him living over there. I thought he had gone to, you know, like I said, the university in Berlin, to study there. He wanted to study psychology.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you think that he was perhaps at the same university that you spoke of before, that he had applied for when he was in the Marines?
Mr. DELGADO - No; because I--the way I understand it, it's--there's two big psychologists institutes in Europe. One is in Switzerland. If he was a devout Communist or pro-Russian, as they say he was---one was in East Berlin, and one was in Switzerland--he couldn't have gone to Switzerland. I knew he applied for Switzerland.
Mr. LIEBELER - So you figured that because he had this interest in psychology, and .since he was interested in communism, he probably wouldn't have gone to the university in Switzerland, but he might very well have gone to the one in Berlin?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, actually it was on their own level. They would train him their way.

(Short recess.)

Mr. LIEBELER - Did you think that Oswald was an agent of the Soviet Union or was acting as an agent for the Soviet Union at that time?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Whom did you mean to refer to when you said that they would train him their way?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, after he was defecting, I assumed he would take the Communist way of life, and I would imagine that they would put him to use to the best of their advantage. But this was later brought out to be false, because they came out and said that all he did was work in a factory. Whether or not that's so, I can't say. That's what they said.
Mr. LIEBELER - But at the time you were in Europe, you were speculating to yourself that he might have been in the Berlin school?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You received no particular information? You just figured this out for yourself?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Just how well do you think Oswald learned to speak Spanish during the time that he was associated with you in the Marine Corps?
Mr. DELGADO - He could meet the average people from the streets and hold a conversation with them. He could make himself understood and be understood. That's not too clear, is it?
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you think Oswald was an intelligent person?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; I did. More intelligent than I am, and I have a 117, supposedly, IQ, and he could comprehend things faster and was interested in things that I wasn't interested in: politics, music, things like that, so much so like an intellectual. He didn't read poetry or anything like that, but as far as books and concert music and things like that, he was a great fan.
Mr. LIEBELER - You said before that Oswald was not sufficiently proficient in Spanish so that he could carry on a political argument or anything like that.
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, did you talk to the FBI about this question of how well Oswald could speak Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; I did.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember what you told him?
Mr. DELGADO - I told him basically the same thing I told you, only then this fellow came out, this other agent came out with this test he gave me.
Mr. LIEBELER - He gave you a test?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - In Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Just in speaking to you, you mean?
Mr. DELGADO - No; a written thing.
Mr. LIEBELER - He gave you a written test?
Mr. DELGADO - I told him off the bat, I can't--my spelling is bad, you know. I told him right then. But outside of the spelling, I could read it and write it, you know. So he gave me a test, and he didn't tell me what the outcome was, but I gathered it wasn't too favorable.
Mr. LIEBELER - What made you gather that?
Mr. DELGADO - The sarcasm in his voice when he said, "What makes you think you speak Spanish so good?"--after he gave me the test, you know. Well, I told him, "Your Spanish is all right in its place, you know, college or something like that, but people have a hard time understanding you," which is true. If you have any Spanish-speaking fellows working here, let's say, a clerk or something, well, ask him what the word "peloloso" means, and I would bet you 9 out of 10 times he would not know. That's the Castilian word for "lazy". We got words for "lazy," three or four of them, "bago," "lento," things like that. That's one of the things I brought up to him. But he just laughed it off.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you tell the FBI that Oswald was so proficient in Spanish that he would discuss his ideas on socialism in Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't tell them that?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are absolutely sure of that?
Mr. DELGADO - No; he wouldn't argue with me. All those arguments on socialism and communism and our way of life and their way of life were held in English. He talked, but he couldn't hold his own. He would speak three or four words and then ,bring it out in English. But as far as basic conversation and debate; no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you tell the FBI agent that Oswald would speak about socialism and things like that in Spanish and that it seemed to give him a feeling of superiority to talk about things like that in Spanish in front of the officers so that the officers couldn't understand him?
Mr. DELGADO - We were speaking Spanish. That gave him a sense of superiority, because they didn't know what we were talking about. In fact, more than once we were reprimanded for speaking Spanish, because we were not supposed to do it, and they didn't forbid us to speak Spanish--now, no political discussions were talked about. This was small talk when we were talking Spanish.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, the FBI report that I have of an interview with you on December 10, according to this report, 1963, at Leonardo----
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; that's my home.
Mr. LIEBELER - This FBI agent says that you told him that Oswald became so proficient in Spanish that Oswald would discuss his ideas on socialism in Spanish.
Mr. DELGADO - He would discuss his ideas, but not anything against our Government or--nothing Socialist, mind you.
Mr. LIEBELER - In Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - He would speak to me in Spanish in front of the people, in front of the officers in the ward, what we call the wardroom. Basically the fact that they could be standing over us and we would be talking, and they wouldn't understand what we were saying. But no ideas were exchanged, political ideas were exchanged during those times. Whenever we talked about the Communist or Socialist way of life, we would do it either in our hut or, you know, in low whispers doing the wardroom----
Mr. LIEBELER - That was in in English?
Mr. DELGADO - In English.
Mr. LIEBELER - He never spoke of these things in Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - No; he couldn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - He didn't know Spanish that well?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned one time that you and Oswald and a couple of other fellows went to Tijuana.
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Had Oswald learned the Spanish language at that time?
Mr. DELGADO - He knew the Spanish language at that time, because when we went to the bar, the girls would come along, and I was Spanish---they knew that right off the bat, and they would tell me something in Spanish that was funny, and him and I would laugh, and he would laugh understandingly, and he would be talking small talk with the girls, you know, which was in my--you know, I had taught him just what he knew, and he was very fast learning. Just like I told the FBI agent that there's a couple of fellows in my outfit now that wanted to learn, you know, Spanish, and would walk up to me, and I tried to teach them the best I can. One of them wanted to learn it, because he was going to Juarez for a problem we had down there, and he used it down there, what he learned. He learned off of books and also because he asked me for help for some phrases, and when he went down there he had no trouble. And the same thing with Oswald.
Mr. LIEBELER - This is a fellow that you just referred to now, in your outfit?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - In Jersey?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is his name?
Mr. DELGADO - Jones.
Mr. LIEBELER - Jones?
Mr. DELGADO - Willie Jones.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is his rating?
Mr. DELGADO - Specialist 4.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is he in C Battery?
Mr. DELGADO - No. Delta Battery.
Mr. LIEBELER - What does he do?
Mr. DELGADO - He's a radar operator also. And there's another fellow, George Bradford, specialist 5. He's asked for it, and I've reached--taught him to speak Spanish. In fact, I'll ask him for some money, you know, and he'll come out and say, "I'm broke right now. I haven't got it with me." Or, "Have you got a cigarette, George?" in Spanish, you know. "No, but I'll get you one," or things like that. Now, I met this fellow in Germany, and there I started teaching him a little bit. Not an awful lot, but smalltalk.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you say that Bradford and Jones knew about the same amount of Spanish as Oswald knew?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Not as much?
Mr. DELGADO - They don't know as much as Oswald. Oswald knew more than they did," because he applied himself more. These guys would pick up a book once or twice a week and learn a phrase here and there. But Oswald was continuously trying to learn something, and more often as not he would come in to me any time we were off, and he would be asking me for this phrase. Spanish is very tricky. There's some sentences you can use, and if you use them, let's see how can I--well, the pants and present, you know, past and present tense of a sentence. He would get a misinterpretation and say, "I can't say this in a conversation?", and I would say "No. You don't say this this particular time. You use it some place else." Like, "Yo voy al teatro"-"I'm going to the theatre"--you know. And there's a correct way of saying that and there's a wrong way of saying it. The best way--let me see if I can get you a good phrase. I can't fight offhand think of a phrase that would fit. But some of these things when he picked up the language, som e things he couldn't put into a sentence right away, and he would want to know why. That's the type of guy he was. "Why can't these things be used? Why is it that you use it now and not later?" Things like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - He would learn some of the words and then he would try to put them in a sentence logically?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And the language just wasn't constructed that way?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And he had difficulty in understanding that?
Mr. DELGADO - You see, in English you say things straight out; right? In Spanish, 9 times out of 10 it is just the reverse. I am going to the show. But if I was to translate it into Spanish, it would come, out the show I will go, or to the show I will go. So you have got to turn it around, you know, for him. That is what I was trying to explain.
Mr. LIEBELER - He tried to construct Spanish sentences in pretty much the same way English sentences would be constructed after he learned the Spanish words?
Mr. DELGADO - Right; and that is where he got his help from me, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - But as far as ordinary, simple ideas, you think that Oswald could make himself understood in Spanish.
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you wouldn't, would you, say that he was highly proficient in the Spanish language, but at least he knew some Spanish phrases and he could speak some sentences and make his basic ideas known?
Mr. DELGADO - If there is a word, you know, like semiproficient, he wasn't necessarily low, or was he as high Spanish like I speak, you know; he was right in the middle. Of course, there would be words, if you taught him, he may not understand, but basically he understood and made himself understood.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember what kind of Spanish dictionary he had?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I don't. It was just regular pocketbook edition, the kind you buy out there for about $2.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you know whether Oswald spoke any other language. You mentioned before he spoke Russian.
Mr. DELGADO - Russian.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you think that he was proficient in Russian at that time or highly proficient?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; I imagine he would be, because he was reading the paper, and basically if he can read it, you know, I imagine he could speak it also.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you hear him speak Russian?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, like I say, he tried to teach me Russian, but then another time I had some thought that what he was speaking to me was German; but according to the agent, he messed me all up, and I couldn't figure whether it was Hebrew or German. I tried to tell him that some of the words he had mentioned to me at the time I didn't recognize them, but when I came back from Germany some of those words I do remember, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - It seemed to you like it was German?
Mr. DELGADO - Like German; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you only came to that conclusion after you had been to Germany?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. At the time it could have been Yiddish or German, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Could it have been Russian?
Mr. DELGADO - No; different gutteral sounds altogether.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you did not know whether Oswald spoke this other language to any extent; he just used a few words?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I just remember his particular language, which I am in doubt about, had a "ch" gutteral sound to it [indicating], you know; and I could only assume it was Jewish or German, and later on when I was in Germany, I think, I am pretty sure it was German that he was speaking.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he speak it well or did he just use a few words?
Mr. DELGADO - He speaks it like I speak it now, you know, like, just phrases, you know. Where he picked them up, I don't know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you teach anybody else Spanish while you were in the Marines?
Mr. DELGADO - Just one fellow, but he denied that I taught him any Spanish.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who was that?
Mr. DELGADO - Don Murray. He took Spanish in college, and we were stationed in Biloxi, Miss., together, and he would ask me for the same thing. He tried to construct a sentence in Spanish like you do in English, and it came out all backwards, and I tried to explain it to him.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was he stationed with you at Santa Ana too?
Mr. DELGADO - That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER - What makes you say he denied that you taught him any Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - That is what the agent interviewing me told me.
Mr. LIEBELER - The FBI agent told you that?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you say then?
Mr. DELGADO - I told him that was his prerogative, but I had taught him--I mean I had talked to him in Spanish, and he had asked for my help. I assumed that he wanted to know my association with this thing that is happening now.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you get the impression that the agent was trying to get you to change your story?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - He was trying to get you to back away from the proposition that Oswald understood Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, am I allowed to say what I want to say?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes; I want you to say exactly what you want to say.
Mr. DELGADO - I had the impression now, wholeheartedly, I want to believe that Oswald did what he was supposed to have done, but I had the impression they weren't satisfied with my testimony of him not being an expert shot. His Spanish wasn't proficient where he would be at a tie with the Cuban government.
Mr. LIEBELER - First of all, you say you got the impression that the FBI agents that talked to you didn't like the statement that you made about Oswald's inability to use the rifle well; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - What about this Spanish thing, what impression did you get about the agents?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, they tried to make me out that I didn't have no authority to consider myself so fluent in Spanish where I could teach somebody else. That is there opinion and they can have it as far as I am concerned.
If a man comes up to me without knowing a bit of Spanish, if within 6 months--and I told these FBI men--he could hold a conversation with me, I consider myself as being some sort of an authority on teaching, my ability to teach somebody to speak Spanish, which I told him I could take any man with a sincere desire to learn Spanish and I could teach him my Spanish, the Spanish the people speak, you know, I could teach him in, I could have him hold a conversation, I would say, in 3 months' time he could hold a conversation.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, the FBI tried to indicate to you that you yourself were not good at Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - And did you have any feeling about the FBI agents' attitude toward Oswald's ability with the Spanish language?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; they didn't think he was too well versed, you know, he didn't know too much Spanish, as much as I wanted them to think he did, you know. In other words, they felt he could say "I have a dog. My dog is black." And "I have an automobile," and things like that, you know, basic Spanish, but I don't teach--I mean I am not a teacher. I don't go with that, you know. If a guy wants to learn Spanish, I don't tell him, "Well, let's start off with 'I have a dog,' "you know. That is no practical use for him, you know.
I tell him, "How do I get to such-and-such a street?" You go to a Spanish fellow-you are in Juarez---and be prepared to receive an answer from him, and he is going to shoot it to you fast, see, so that's what I teach these guys, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - And Oswald was able to ask questions like this and understand them; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. Now, we had Mexican fellows in our outfit, and Oswald could understand their Spanish, and made it known to me that he could understand their Spanish, but in return those Mexicans could not understand my Spanish because the Puerto Ricans, Cubans, the Dominican Republics, they all speak real fast. Your Mexican is your Southern equivalent to your Southern drawl, you know, "You all," and real slow. Well, that is the Mexicans, you know. And when we speak Spanish to them, Puerto Rican, rather, or Spanish, they have a hard time understanding you. But he could understand what was going on, and sometimes he would tell me, "Well, these guys here are planning a beer bust tonight," he said. "Are you going?" He'd overhear and tell me, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did the FBI agents tell you that Murray had denied that you had taught him Spanish? Was that when the Spanish-speaking agent was there?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - The Spanish-speaking agent only talked to you once; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you find that you have to mix English words with your Spanish to express yourself completely?
Mr. DELGADO - No; what I meant to tell the fellow there--I think is what that sentence you have in front of you is--that, say-- how can I say it?--you speak to me in English, and I could say it in Spanish just about as fast as you could tell me in English, you know, like he is working there, you know, all coming to his fingertips, like the other fellow was telling me. I could translate that fast, you know, and deciphering is the only proper way of saying it, you know. And I made another statement at home, you know, my family was speaking, and the majority of the words being Spanish, and English just come out, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you speak Spanish around the home?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is your wife Puerto Rican?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Does she speak Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was your wife born in Puerto Rico?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did she come to the United States?
Mr. DELGADO - About 1944, 1945.
Mr. LIEBELER - How old was she then?
Mr. DELGADO - She was about 13.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned that Oswald used to go into Los Angeles with you from time to time. Can you tell me approximately how many times Oswald went to Los Angeles?
Mr. DELGADO - Once he went with me.
Mr. LIEBELER - Just once?
Mr. DELGADO - Just once. That was, you know, he just stayed a night, as far as I can remember.
Mr. LIEBELER - So that Oswald only went into Los Angeles with you on one occasion?
Mr. DELGADO - That I know; yes. Right after he corresponded with these people.
Mr. LIEBELER - With the Cuban Consulate?
Mr. DELGADO - I assumed he was going there to see somebody. I never asked him. It wasn't my business, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he later tell you that he had been to the Cuban Consulate?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; but I thought it was just his, you know, bragging of some sort.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't really believe that he had?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, no; I didn't have no interest in it, whether or not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you learn that Oswald had gone into Los Angeles on weekends at other times?
Mr. DELGADO - No; not that I knew of.
Mr. LIEBELER - The only thing that you know----
Mr. DELGADO - That I am sure of was that one particular incident, one particular time, it struck me as being odd that he had gone out, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - So that Oswald only went into Los Angeles with you on one occasion that you can remember; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; that I can recall.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did the FBI agent ask you about this?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; he asked me that, and I believe I gave him the same answer I have given you now, because the other time they had two men, that other fellow was asking me questions too, you know, this is back and forth, trying to answer you, and he is asking me something else, you know. I was sitting in the old man's office, the commanding officer's office, you know, and I wasn't too at ease there either.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald did not go with you to Los Angeles on every other week or anything like that?
Mr. DELGADO - No, no. I went every week to Los Angeles.
Mr. LIEBELER - Every week?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; every weekend that I was off, you know, roughly three weekends a month.
Mr. LIEBELER - But Oswald only accompanied you on one occasion?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You don't know of your own knowledge of any other times that he went into Los Angeles?
Mr. DELGADO - No. The only outstanding thing I can remember was that Oswald was a casual dresser. By that I mean he would go with a sport shirt, something like that, and this particular instance he was suited up; white shirt, dark suit, dark tie.
Mr. LIEBELER - You told the FBI that Oswald enjoyed classical music; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - And that he would often talk at length about the opera; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. I tried to be a listener, but I wasn't too interested.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald seem to be interested in girls?
Mr. DELGADO - No; not to my knowledge. He didn't have a girl friend write him, I know that for a fact; he didn't have no girl writing; never went to a dance down at the service club; always by himself. And when we had no duty, him and I used to go to the show, you know, 9 times out of 10 I ended up paying for it.
Mr. LIEBELER - How about sports, did he eve,- show any interest in sports?
Mr. DELGADO - No. That is something I would like to bring up.
Mr. LIEBELER - Go ahead.
Mr. DELGADO - May I go on the record, because there was a statement I read in Life Magazine?
Mr. LIEBELER - Go ahead.
Mr. DELGADO - And it's erroneous.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did it say?
Mr. DELGADO - It is quoting a Lieutenant Cupenack, and he made a statement there in Life, last month, I believe it was. He made a statement saying he was Oswald's commanding officer, Oswald was on the football team. He was on the football team, that is the only true fact in the whole statement that he made. Also that he had a run-in with a captain that was on the football team, and because of this argument he went off the team.
To begin with, our company commander was a light colonel, lieutenant colonel. Lieutenant Cupenack was a supply officer. He seldom came in contact with Oswald, and when he did, it was only when Oswald was on details or when Lieutenant Cupenack had duty that particular night in the war room when Oswald was on. And as far as a captain being on the football team, the only captain we had was in the S-3 section where we worked, and he was too old to play football.
Lieutenant Cupenack played football. He was good. He was tackle. I remember I played against him plenty of times myself. And why Oswald left, I don't know. I don't think he went out, he just bugged out, it's what he wanted, and he had it for a while, and he just quit.
Mr. LIEBELER - He did come out for football though?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you tell the FBI agents about this?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did they ask about it?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I didn't tell them. I just couldn't see why a big agency like Life would not check into the story and let something like this, you know, get out. I mean it's all well, you know, to go along and believe what the fellow did, but bring out the truth.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember which article in Life Magazine this was? Was this the issue----
Mr. DELGADO - The big writeup on him, the latest one, where he had the picture of him in the Philippines, and things like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - The one that they had Oswald's picture on the cover, holding the rifle?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. And right now he is an instructor of philosophy or psychology in Columbia University, I think it is, something like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - This lieutenant?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. I just thought it funny, him saying that he was commanding officer over Oswald; that he had a lot of trouble with Oswald. And you have been m the Army, a supply officer hardly ever comes in contact with the troops, and to say that a lieutenant is going to override a lieutenant colonel is ridiculous.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you tell the FBI that Oswald did not show any interest in sports?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; I told them he didn't show any interest in sports.
Mr. LIEBELER - In spite of the fact that he had actually gone on the football team?
Mr. DELGADO - That is just one example, the football. But he never went out for basketball, baseball, or handball, like the rest of us did, you know. And myself, I didn't go out for sports either, just football and handball; and that was it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was Oswald a good football player?
Mr. DELGADO - Mediocre, he was so-so.
Mr. LIEBELER - What position did he play?
Mr. DELGADO - He played tackle or end, you know, never fullback, quarterback or anything like that, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - What kind of football teams were these?
Mr. DELGADO - Flag. Flag football.
Mr. LIEBELER - That is, the different companies or batteries?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, when Oswald went out for the team, it was in the battery, getting the lines set up, but he quit before we went for competition.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was this regular football or just touch football.
Mr. DELGADO - Flag football.
Mr. LIEBELER - Touch football?
Mr. DELGADO - Touch football.
Mr. LIEBELER - Go back and tell us all that you can remember about this trip to Tijuana?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, it happened on one of our weekends off.
Mr. LIEBELER - When was it, approximately?
Mr. DELGADO - Oh, you got me there. I would say about May, something like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - In 1959.
Mr. DELGADO - 1959; right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you remember whether your trip to Tijuana was before the rifle qualification or after?
Mr. DELGADO - After.
Mr. LIEBELER - How much after?
Mr. DELGADO - Oh, about 3 to 4 weeks. Within the same month period, because we were about just gotten paid, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Go ahead.
Mr. DELGADO - And these two colored fellows we had in our outfit, I can't remember their names, like I told the agents, I don't know why because they worked in a different department than I did there, never had no trouble with them, they wanted to go down to Tijuana; so I had the car, and they asked me if I would take them down there. So I told them yeah, they are going to pay for the gas, so why not, I will go for a free trip. So in the process of getting ready I asked Oswald if he wanted to go there, you know, and I have asked him to go to L.A. with me plenty of times and he never bothered going--I said, "Oswald, let's go to Tijuana."
He said, "Okay, fine." Like a casual dresser, he went like the rest of us were, in casual clothes.
We went down to Tijuana, hit the local spots, drinking and so on, and all of a sudden he says, "Let's go to the Flamingo." So it didn't register, and I didn't bother to ask him, "Where is this Flamingo? How did you know about this place?" I assumed he had been there before, because when we got on the highway he told me which turns to take to get to this place, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - To the Flamingo?
Mr. DELGADO - Flamingo, right. And as far as I know it's still there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is this outside of Tijuana?
Mr. DELGADO - It's outside of Tijuana. Have you been over there?
Mr. LIEBELER - No.
Mr. DELGADO - No. Well, it's the street before the bullring. You have got to make a right-hand turn and you go out for about 1 mile, 2 miles out into the boondocks, the country. It's out in the country, about 2 miles away from the center of the town.
When we arrived in there, the way the agents tried to ask me if he had known anybody, I told them no; the way it looked, he just had been there before, but nobody recognized him. The only things I can remember, like I told these agents, were the two contrasting bartenders, you know, a real good-looking woman, amazon; she must have been at least 6-foot tall; and then there was this fragile-looking fellow behind the bar, one of those funny men, you know, and outside of being a very nice and exclusive club, you know--it wasn't one of these clip joints they had downtown, it was far different from that; it was really nice, a nice place.
Mr. LIEBELER - The bartender was a homosexual?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was that apparent to you?
Mr. DELGADO - Oh, yes; it was apparent to us sitting on the bar stool, he looked like a little kitten; and the other bartender was this big girl. She was a good-looking doll. And that's about all.
Nothing eventful happened there. There is where the girls were telling stories, you know. They got these girls, you pick them up there, you know, and they started telling us stories, and he'd laugh just about the same time I laughed, and he understood what they were saying.
Mr. LIEBELER - They spoke Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, did anything else happen at the Flamingo that you can remember?
Mr. DELGADO - No; during the night though I had lost my wallet. That was when I went to the provost marshal--not the provost marshal--the M.P. gate, and reported it, but that is neither here nor there. I had to put in for a new I.D. card and what have you.
Mr. LIEBELER - This was in Tijuana?
Mr. DELGADO - In Tijuana.
Mr. LIEBELER - The shore patrol had an office across----
Mr. DELGADO - Right at the border.
Mr. LIEBELER - Right at the border?
Mr. DELGADO - Right at the border they have an M.P. shack, right in the customs office, but they couldn't do nothing, what money I had was gone.
Like I said, these two Negro fellows, they paid for the way back, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - You did have to put in for a new I.D. card; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you stay in Tijuana itself or did you stay across the border?
Mr. DELGADO - No; we stayed in downtown Tijuana.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember where?
Mr. DELGADO - Right across the street from the jai-alai games, there are some hotels, these houses, you know; and as far as I knew, Oswald had a girl. I wasn't paying too much attention, you know, but it seemed to me like he had one.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he show any interest in the jai-alai games?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You stayed over only one night; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Saturday night?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - On Sunday you drove back to the base?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald say anything about his trip down there, his experiences, that you can remember?
Mr. DELGADO - No; it was--nothing extraordinary was said. The way of life down there was so poor, you know. They shouldn't allow a town like that to exist, things like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald said that?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you mention to the FBI the fact that Oswald had a copy of Das Kapital?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned that in your testimony previously too?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald have any other books that you can remember?
Mr. DELGADO - He had Mein Kampf, Hitler's bible, but that was circulating throughout the battery, everybody got a hold of that one time or another, you know, and he asked me, how did I know he was reading Das Kapital. I said, well, the man had the book, and he said that doesn't necessarily mean that he was reading it.
So I told him in one instance I walked into the room and he was laying the book down, you know, as he got up to greet me, you know.
He says that still doesn't prove that he was reading it.
Well, if you are sitting, reading a book, and somebody walks into the room, you are not going to keep on reading the book; you are going to put it down and greet whoever it is; and then I assume he is going to assume you have been reading the book, if it is open. It's the only logical explanation.
They didn't want to go for that; they wanted to know did I actually see him reading the book, which I couldn't unless I sneaked up on the guy, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - This is the FBI agent you are talking about?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you do remember that when you would walk into the room Oswald would be sitting there with this book and it would be open?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; and then he had this other book. I am still trying to find out what it is. It's about a farm, and about how all the animals take over and make the farmer work for them. It's really a weird book, the way he was explaining it to me, and that struck me kind of funny. But he told me that the farmer represented the imperialistic world, and the animals were the workers, symbolizing that they are the socialist people, you know, and that eventually it will come about that the socialists will have the imperialists working for them, and things like that, like these animals, these pigs took over and they were running the whole farm and the farmer was working for them.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is that what Oswald explained to you?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you tell the FBI about this?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did they know the name of the book?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - The FBI did not know the name of the book?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you want to know the name of the book?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - It is called the Animal Farm. It is by George Orwell.
Mr. DELGADO - He didn't tell me. I asked him for the thing, but he wouldn't tell me. I guess he didn't know. The Animal Farm. Did you read it?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes.
Mr. DELGADO - Is it really like that?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes; there is only one thing that Oswald did not mention apparently and that is that the pigs took over the farm, and then they got to be just like the capitalists were before, they got fighting among themselves, and there was one big pig who did just the same thing that the capitalist had done before. Didn't Oswald tell you about that?
Mr. DELGADO - No; just that the pigs and animals had revolted and made the farmer work for them. The Animal Farm. Is that a socialist book?
Mr. LIEBELER - No.
Mr. DELGADO - That is just the way you interpret it; right?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes; I think so. It is actually supposed to be quite an anti-Communist book.
Mr. DELGADO - Is it really?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes. You and Oswald finally began to cool off toward each other a little bit; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - How did that come about?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, like I said, his ideas about Castro kept on persisting in the same way as at the beginning, when evidence was being shown that Castro was reverting to a Communist way of government, you know, and secret state, secret police state, and the turning point came about when there was this one corporal Batista had in his army, very thin, small fellow, and he had no significant job whatsoever, he was just a corporal in the army, and because of the fact that a lady stepped forward at the tribunal and said that this corporal was in charge of mass murdering all these people, that Batista was supposed to have done away with, they executed him on the pure fact of one lady's statement with no proof whatsoever.
So I brought that to his attention and he said, "Well, in all new governments some errors have to occur, but you can be sure that something like this was investigated prior to his execution but you will never know about it because they won't publicize that hearing," you know.
I couldn't see that, what was happening over there then, when they started executing these people on just mere word of mouth.
Batista executed them when he had them, a regular blood bath going on there. But that's when I started cooling off, and he started getting more reverent toward Castro, he started thinking higher----
Mr. LIEBELER - More highly?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; more highly of Castro than I did, and about a month later I was on leave, and when I came back he was gone. And it must have been a fast processing, because I wasn't gone over 15 days; when I come back he was already gone.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you and Oswald stay in the same hut together until he actually got out of the Marines?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever put in for a transfer to another hut to get away from Oswald before you went on leave?
Mr. DELGADO - I did, but it never went through. I was the hut NCO, and all the other huts had NCO's, and if I went into another hut I would be under another guy.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you didn't want to do that?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I had my rank.
Mr. LIEBELER - So you stayed there and remained NCO in charge of the hut?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; but he never got into arguments with me. He liked to talk politics with one fellow particularly, Call, and he would argue with him, and Oswald would get to a point where he would get utterly distrusted with the discussion and got out of the room. Whenever it got to the point where anger was going to show, he would stop cold and walk out and leave the conversation in the air.
Mr. LIEBELER - He never got mad at anybody?
Mr. DELGADO - Not physically mad, no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever know him to get into a fight with anybody at Santa Ana?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You say you did put in for a transfer to another hut; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was that permission granted?
Mr. DELGADO - I was waiting for it to be granted. I turned it in to the section sergeant, and I never knew what the outcome was. I never found out. They never notified me as to why I wanted to get transferred to the other huts.
Mr. LIEBELER - You never did move from your hut to another hut?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You actually were discharged, from the Marines before this question of your transfer ever came up?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you go into the Marines? You told us before. Let us review that for a moment.
Mr. DELGADO - I went into the Marines November 1, 1956.
Mr. LIEBELER - You were discharged 1 November, approximately----
Mr. DELGADO - 1959.
Mr. LIEBELER - 1959; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you go on leave prior to your discharge?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; I did.
Mr. LIEBELER - Terminal leave?
Mr. DELGADO - What?
Mr. LIEBELER - Was it a terminal leave, and you just took your leave and left, or did you go on leave and then come back?
Mr. DELGADO - No. I went on leave and then came back.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where did you go on leave?
Mr. DELGADO - About in August, I think--September to October, something like that. A 15-day leave, to go to California. August or September. I think it was in the latter part of the summer. I always take that part to come into New York, but when I came back, Oz was gone.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where did you go on leave: to California, or did you come back to New York?
Mr. DELGADO - To New York.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you talk to the FBI just about this series of events?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember what you told them?
Mr. DELGADO - I told them that I had gone on leave, and when I came back Oswald had been discharged and that then they came out with the story that he defected, I think, then, and that we all had gone under investigation.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you tell the FBI agents when you went on leave?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. I gave them a specific date. I think I told them about August.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't tell them June or July?
Mr. DELGADO - No. I don't believe so.
Mr. LIEBELER - Could you have told them it was June or July?
Mr. DELGADO - I may have told them June or July. I'm not too sure. I know it was the midsummer; because I came into New York in the good weather.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you tell the FBI agents that you had actually transferred to another hut?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't tell them that?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are positive of that?
Mr. DELGADO - No; but I told them that Oswald was transferred. The only transfer that occurred was Oswald to my hut, and that I put in for a transfer, and transfer was waiting to be approved for an NCO to be bumped into my hut, but it never got approved. I guess things came up, and about 2 or 3 weeks later I went on leave.
Mr. LIEBELER - When you came back from leave, Oswald was gone?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes Prior to my leaving I knew he was putting in for a hardship discharge because he had gone to see the old man and so forth and so on, but, like I say, it usually took so long time to get a hardship discharge, too.
Mr. LIEBELER - So you and Oswald were actually quartered in the same quonset hut up to the time Oswald Was discharged?
Mr. DELGADO - Up to the time I went on leave.
Mr. LIEBELER - And when you came back Oswald was gone?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - You never saw him after that?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald say anything to you while you were in the Marines together about going to Russia?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - He never did?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I couldn't understand where he got the money to go.
Mr. LIEBELER - You said before he didn't spend very much money.
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; but I imagine the way it costs now, it costs at least $800 to a $1,000 to travel across Europe, plus the red tape you have to go through.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you see this official-looking envelope that you mentioned before with the seal on it? Do you remember when that was?
Mr. DELGADO - Outside of being prior to one of my departures for Los Angeles--the month, you want?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes; if you can remember it. I mean, was it----
Mr. DELGADO - It's hard to say, because we were together so long. It was one of the weekends I was going into Los Angeles.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember whether it was before or after your rifle practice?
Mr. DELGADO - No; It was after, because prior to our rifle practice I don't think we had any political discussions at all.
Mr. LIEBELER - Most of those were after the rifle qualifications?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; you see, this all happened,, oh, between when I say, May to September or May to August, of going on leave, all these incidents, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember how long you were back at Santa Ana after your leave before you were discharged?
Mr. DELGADO - About 2 months, I guess.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did the FBI agents ask you about that?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned this fellow by the name of Call.
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Richard Call?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was he in your quonset hut?
Mr. DELGADO - No; he was in our company. He was in a different quonset hut.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was he a friend of Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - Semifriendly. I know personally that he used to call Oswald Oswaldovich or Comrade. We all called him Comrade, which is German for friend. We didn't put no communistic influence whatsoever. But then he made the statement saying, no, he never called Oswald "Comrade," or anything like that, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who said that?
Mr. DELGADO - Call.
Mr. LIEBELER - How do you know?
Mr. DELGADO - The FBI agent told me.
Mr. LIEBELER - The FBI agent told you that?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You just mentioned the term "Oswaldovich"; is that right?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; he asked me if anyone had called him Oswaldovich. No. Comrade commissar; yes. We all used to kid around that language. He used to like it, and he would come out, we would call him "comrade," and he would go straight, jack up and give a big impression. But Call said he didn't. Well, that's his prerogative. He didn't want to get mixed up in it.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you are pretty sure you never heard him call Oswaldovich?
Mr. DELGADO - That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who is Private, First Class Wald? Was he in your hut, too?.
Mr. DELGADO - He was in our outfit.
Mr. LIEBELER - And was he a friend of Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - Just speaking acquaintances. That's all. He didn't have too many close friends.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who didn't?
Mr. DELGADO - Oswald And these guys were all different, like Wald was a for sports. And Call was the closest you would come to Oswald, because he liked classical music and good books, now.
Mr. LIEBELER - But Wald and Osborne, they were more in sports and that sort of thing?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - What about Sergeant Funk? Did you mention him to the FBI?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; Sergeant Funk wasn't in our outfit too long to know Oswald. Oswald and him didn't hit it off at all.
Mr. LIEBELER - How did that come about?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, one instance was when we were all standing formation, waiting for work call. We were off this day. And Call and some other fellows were all around there, you know, making like they were, you know, shooting their guns off, you know, just playing around. So it just happens, when Funk came out Oswald was the only one doing it. So they grabbed Oswald and rode him march with a full field pack around the football field in the area. And he bitched when he pulled that tour of duty, and it stuck in my mind, because it's the first time since basic that I seen that happen. But it happened when Funk stepped out, Oswald the first one he seen.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald complain about Funk after that?
Mr. DELGADO - He had nothing to do with him. Always tried to find fault. The man had a lot of faults. He was very sloppy.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who?
Mr. DELGADO - Funk. And he had a tendency to---he was very--very bad leader, in my opinion, because NCO's in the Marine Corps, you carry a sword, and we loved to see him carry a sword, because when you salute him, he brings the sword up to here (indicating) like this, and one of these days it's going to happen, because the blade would be swinging next to his ear, and we're all waiting for that thing to happen. That's what I remember about Funk. He wasn't there too long.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know any of the other fellows in the outfit who might have known Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - No. There was one sergeant I was trying to think of, but I couldn't think of his name. I think I gave a name to the FBI agents, Holbrook or--something like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember a Corporal Botelho?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. Botelho. He was from upstate California, a potato rancher.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was his relationship with Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - The same as the rest of the fellows: Not too close.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald ever have any arguments with any of these people?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. Quite frequently' he had arguments, but Botelho usually would have arguments about, well, Botelho was pretty proud about his car, you know, and Oswald would find some fault in it, not the right make he had a Chevy, a 1956 Chevy, and one time I walked in on the discussion. I didn't know what it was about. And they were pretty mad at each other. And, as I said, Oswald just took off. But Botelho was a pretty quiet fellow.
Mr. LIEBELER - What about Private, First Class Roussel? Do you remember mentioning him to the FBI agents?
Mr. DELGADO - Roussel? Yes. He was a sports enthusiast. A little, short fellow from Louisiana. In fact, I took him home when I got discharged from the Marine Corps.
Mr. LIEBELER - What rank was call?
Mr. DELGADO - At the time at the time when Oswald was in the outfit, he was corporal. But then later on he got promoted to a sergeant.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was your rank when you were discharged?
Mr. DELGADO - Corporal.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald was what?
Mr. DELGADO - Private.
Mr. LIEBELER - Just a straight private?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald ever complain about the fact that he hadn't been promoted?
Mr. DELGADO - No, never. Never. I don't guess he expected it. I knew he was court-martialed.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you that?
Mr. DELGADO - No. I got that from the scuttlebutt, one of the guys who knew him from overseas.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you hear what he was court-martialed for?
Mr. DELGADO - No. After all this came out later, I read about it.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is the silent area?
Mr. DELGADO - That's what I referred to. He put silent area. That's the war room.
Mr. LIEBELER - He, you mean the FBI agent?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - This is where you actually worked in watching----
Mr. DELGADO - Watching the scopes.
Mr. LIEBELER - According to the FBI agent's notes, you and Oswald were passing notes back and forth.
Mr. DELGADO - We worked in a room similar to this, and there would be a big plotting board there with the aircraft in flight, and radar sets would be back there, with the officers back there, and he and I, when we weren't watching the scopes, we would be writing down what aircraft were up, and we had a small lamp on our table. So when we wanted to talk, he would hand a note to me.
Mr. LIEBELER - You were not permitted to talk during this time?
Mr. DELGADO - The enlisted men.
Mr. LIEBELER - The enlisted men?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, the enlisted men were permitted to talk, but not at this ones permitted to talk were the controllers who had the aircraft on their scopes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your job was to watch one of the scopes?
Mr. DELGADO - Watch one of the scopes, and when we were relieved from doing that, we sat on the front table and kept track of the aircraft on the plotting board.
Mr. LIEBELER - So while you were actually watching the scope, you were permitted to speak? You had to talk at that time?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes, to the aircraft.
Mr. LIEBELER - To keep track of the aircraft?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. That's why they didn't want too much noise in there. Just enough for the controller to understand the pilot and vice versa.
Mr. LIEBELER - There are two of these FBI reports here that tell me that you told the FBI that Oswald used to go to Los Angeles every 2 weeks.
Mr. DELGADO - I used to go to Los Angeles every other week.
Mr. LIEBELER - But not Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you are sure that you told that to the FBI?
Mr. DELGADO - Positive.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have no question about that at all?
Mr. DELGADO - No question about that at all. Otherwise I wouldn't have made the statement that he had been with me one time. It would have been common to see him in the train station. But it wasn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember Lieutenant Depadro?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was he?
Mr. DELGADO - He was a first lieutenant. He was from Florida. His Parents were boatbuilders. He owned--his family owned a big boatbuilding place in Florida. I couldn't tell the agents what town. I wouldn't remember that. I thought it was a town, I gave them----
Mr. LIEBELER - Who was he?
Mr. DELGADO - He was just a section officer. He worked as a controller, and he was also our platoon officer.
Mr. LIEBELER - The FBI report indicates that you have told Lieutenant Depadro that Oswald was receiving Russian language newspapers; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes. I mentioned that to him on the way from the guard shack at one time, and he just brushed it off. He didn't seem to care.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who is Sergeant Lusk?
Mr. DELGADO - Our sergeant major.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember talking to the FBI agents about Sergeant Lusk?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you tell them?
Mr. DELGADO - I told them that in one instance Sergeant Lusk had the misfortune of waking us up in the morning. Nobody bothered waking us up, and the formation had gathered, and we were all sleeping away.
Mr. LIEBELER - The men in your quonset hut?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. And I'm the one in charge of them, and about 8 o'clock in the morning I hear the door open up, and I see this guy walking into my room. The first thing I wake up and see was the diamond, the stripes, and he says, "I want to see you men in the old man's office, in class A's." So I knew it was a bad step. We went up there, and he chewed us out for sleeping. And on the way back he said, "You're getting as bad as Oz."
But it wasn't our fault. It wasn't Oswald's fault. He slept away with the rest of us. It was too far for the CQ. And he just didn't feel like walking that far. So I told the agents that I was the only corporal on restriction at the same time.
Mr. LIEBELER - They restricted your barracks for that?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. Well, it's better to be restricted than to be court-martialed for it.
Mr. LIEBELER - It is. Do you remember discussing extradition treaties with Oswald?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was that discussion?
Mr. DELGADO - Any crime perpetrated in the States, say somebody was to do something wrong in the United States, and they wanted to get him. We talked about countries he could go to. I said, well, not including Cuba, which at that time would take anybody, and Russia, he could go to Argentina, which I understand is extradition-free. But the other countries all have treaties with the United States. They would get you back.
Mr. LIEBELER - In that discussion what did Oswald say?
Mr. DELGADO - Nothing that I remember.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he say he would go to Argentina if he ever got in trouble like that?
Mr. DELGADO - If he ever got in trouble; yes. But this is the period of time we are talking about, of taking over the Dominican Republic. And this is what I don't understand: Oswald brought out a fact about a route to take to go to Russia, bypassing all U.S. censorship, like if you wanted to get out without being worried about being picked up. And he definitely said Mexico to Cuba to Russia, and whether or not I'm bringing into the fact these two guys that defected. But that was the same route. And he told me about the two guys, the same way these two guys defected.
Now, I can't imagine who he meant. I thought he was referring to this later case. But the FBI agent confused me all to heck. He told me it was a year later that these two guys from the United States, working for the mathematicians, something like that, defected, taking the Same route that Oswald had told me about. I remember him explaining to me, and he had drawn out a regular little map on a scratch paper showing just how you go about doing it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald did this?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your recollection is that he mentioned two men who also defected to Russia at that time?
Mr. DELGADO - The same route; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - But the FBI man said that didn't happen until a year afterwards?
Mr. DELGADO - A year later.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you checked up on this to find out when these men did defect?
Mr. DELGADO - No. I took it for granted they had the scoop, you know. I assume that I may have been interpreting these events and running the two together. But in my estimation I don't think it was possible. I remember him at the time mentioning two men that had defected, and we were wondering how they got there, and he said this is how he would get there, now.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he say these two men had gone from the United States into Mexico into Cuba?
Mr. DELGADO - He said, "This is the route they took. This is the way I would go about it. This is the way they apparently did it." Something to that effect.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your recollection isn't too clear on that?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you do recall that Oswald mentioned that if he were going to go to Russia, that he would go to Mexico and then to Cuba?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, you read in the newspapers after the assassination that Mexico?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; that he was in Mexico for a while on vacation or something like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes.
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you read in the newspaper that Oswald had gone to Mexico with the idea in mind of going on to Cuba?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You had never read that in the newspaper?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't know that before now?
Mr. DELGADO - No; outside of him being in Russia, and he went to Mexico on his own. From Texas I think he went to Mexico. And I didn't know him to cross over into Cuba.
Mr. LIEBELER - Well, now, I am not saying that he actually went to Cuba.
Mr. DELGADO - Or had any----
Mr. LIEBELER - I am saying he went to Mexico with the intention of going to Cuba.
Mr. DELGADO - I didn't read that far.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't read that?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - So there is no chance that you read this later and are confusing this as something that Oswald said before?
Mr. DELGADO - No. This was definitely said then, in 1959, and according to the FBI records this supposed same route or near to the same route was done in 1960 or 1961.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you and Oswald ever talk about religion?
Mr. DELGADO - He was--he didn't believe in God. He's a devout atheist. That's the only thing he and I didn't discuss, because he knew I was religious.
Mr. LIEBELER - He knew that you are religious?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are religious?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, to the effect that I believe there is a God or a Maker.
Mr. LIEBELER - You attend church regularly?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; and in one instance he told me that God was a myth or a legend, that basically our whole life is built around this one falsehood, and things like that. I didn't like that kind of talk.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you remember anything else that he said about religion?
Mr. DELGADO - No; outside of condemning anything that had to do with religion, you know. He laughed. He used to laugh at Sunday school, you know, mimic the guys that fell out to go to church on Sundays. He himself never went.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever quote from the Bible or anything like that?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever make fun of the Bible?
Mr. DELGADO - No. It was just being a good book, written by a few men, you know, that had gotten together and wrote up a novel. That's all. Outside of being a well-written book, there's no fact to it.
Mr. LIEBELER - But he didn't quote sections from the Bible just to show how wrong it was?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you talk to the FBI men about this question?
Mr. DELGADO - No. I don't think I did. They asked me about religion, and I told them he was an atheist. That's all.
Mr. LIEBELER - You don't remember telling them that Oswald used to quote from the Bible and show you how wrong it was and tried to make it look silly?
Mr. DELGADO - No. That was typical of him.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you have no recollection of him doing that?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have any recollection of telling the FBI men he did that?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I don't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, this question of socialism, discussions of socialism that you had with Oswald: Did he compare that with the military life?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did he say about that?
Mr. DELGADO - Well, this is--military life is the closest to the Socialist way of life, where you had--let's see. How did he phrase it---everything was common or something like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald seem to think that socialism would be a good thing?
Mr. DELGADO - That's right, for people. If they worked for the military, they could work for everybody, instead of everybody being an individualist and just a few of them having--if they all got together in one common denominator, if everybody worked with the state owning everything, and everybody worked for the state.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald didn't really like the Marine Corps, did he?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - How could he say that socialism was like the military, and like socialism, and still hate the military?
Mr. DELGADO - He liked the life but hated the military. Some people love to be bossed around, you know, and told what to do. Yet, the same people may not like for certain individuals, let's say like Sergeant Funk, for instance, to tell them what to do.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever have the feeling that Oswald disliked discipline as a general proposition, or just individual people that told him what to do?
Mr. DELGADO - I would say discipline by certain individuals, you know. He used to take orders from a few people there without no trouble at all. Just a few people that didn't like him or he didn't like them, or he thought to be---he thought Funk to be too stupid to give him any kind of order. That was beyond his level. That was fact. This man was a complete moron, according to Oswald. Why should he, because he's been longer, have the authority to give him orders, you know? So he had no respect for him. If he had respect, he would follow, go along with you. But if he thought you to be inferior to him or mentally--mental idiot, he wouldn't like anything you told him to do.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you remember any other discussions about this comparison of socialism with the Marine Corps or the military? (Short recess.)
(Question read.)
Mr. DELGADO - Well, according to the point where he would bring out that the military, there was always one boss, and if he tells everybody to do something, they all do it with no question, and everything runs along smoothly. But in our government, no one person could give that order where the whole populace would obey or act to it. There were a whole bunch of individualists. Some may, some won't, and some would argue about it. That's not the same exact word he used, but that's----
Mr. LIEBELER - He indicated that he thought it was a good thing that somebody should give orders like this and----
Mr. DELGADO - That everybody would obey without question.
Mr. LIEBELER - Were you surprised when you learned that Oswald had gone to the Soviet Union?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; I was.
Mr. LIEBELER - You had no reason to believe----
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - From your association with him that he was intending to do any such thing?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - While he was in the Marine Corps; is that correct?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - He never spoke to you or indicated to you in any way that he planned to go to Russia?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You thought he was going, as you mentioned before----
Mr. DELGADO - To Switzerland.
Mr. LIEBELER - To school in Switzerland?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are absolutely certain that you did not indicate to the FBI that Oswald accompanied you to Los Angeles as a regular matter?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - You just told them he went with you once?
Mr. DELGADO - Once.
Mr. LIEBELER - In connection with this discussion of extradition treaties, did Oswald say that he would go to Russia if he ever got into any trouble? Do you remember that?
Mr. DELGADO - He had mentioned Russia as a place of refuge if he ever got into any trouble, but the answers went around to the other countries, well, I would say, "excluding Russia or Cuba, Argentina would be the next best."
Mr. LIEBELER - But you didn't get any impression from him that he intended to go to Russia?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - This was just a general discussion of extradition treaties?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Just general conversation?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - This Pfc, Roussel----
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Henry R. Roussel, Jr.?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - He was from New Orleans, right?
Mr. DELGADO - No. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, right outside of LSU.
Mr. LIEBELER - Roussel was from Baton Rouge?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember discussing Roussel with the FBI?
Mr. DELGADO - Right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember telling them where he was from?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you tell them?
Mr. DELGADO - Baton Rouge. On account of he had taken us to the LSU, you know, university--campus.
Mr. LIEBELER - This is when you were at Biloxi?
Mr. DELGADO - No; this is at the terminal when we got discharged. Roussel was on leave. I was discharged. I took Call--Call was discharged also, and Call and myself and Roussel and another two or three two other guys, we made a trip to the east coast, but we went down to the South to take Roussel home. And I remember it well, because it was the year Billy Cannon was famous down there at the LSU.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't tell the FBI that Roussel was from New Orleans?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember this Pfc. Murray? What is his first name?
Mr. DELGADO - Don.
Mr. LIEBELER - Don?
Mr. DELGADO - Don.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember him as knowing Spanish to about the same extent that Oswald knew Spanish, or more or less? What is your recollection on that?
Mr. DELGADO - He knew less than Oswald did when Oswald--the last time I seen Oswald.
Mr. LIEBELER - How would you describe Murray's command of Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - Not too good. In his particular instance it was phrases, you know, that kind of talk.
Mr. LIEBELER - So that you weren't as successful in your attempts to teach----
Mr. DELGADO - I didn't have the time. See, when we were in Biloxi, we were both together, going to school there. But we didn't have the time once we got to California. He was living off post. His wife was there, so we didn't have that much time together.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Murray move off post right away, or did he live on the post for a while after he came to----
Mr. DELGADO - He lived about--after I got there, about 2 months, and then his wife he went to Florida and got married and brought his wife in to California. I would say he moved off post about February of 1959.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did most of the marines call Oswald? Did they call him Lee or----
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald, just by his last name?
Mr. DELGADO - Just Os or Oswald. Very seldom do you find in the military, at least I haven't come in contact with, where one fellow referred to another fellow by the first name. It's always by the last name, mainly because the name is written on his jacket, you know. I didn't even know his name was Lee.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't know that his first name was Lee?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you say that you, concerning your contact with Murray, just taught him a few phrases or answered questions when he asked you questions about Spanish, or would you say that you engaged in any kind of real program to teach him Spanish?
Mr. DELGADO - No; just answer some questions he had or phrases that he wanted interpreted, that's it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember a fellow by the name of Charley Brown in your outfit?
Mr. DELGADO - Charley Brown?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes.
Mr. DELGADO - No; that is a name I gave him. I believe it was one of the fellows that was in the barracks with us at one time or another, Charley Brown, but I can't recall.
Mr. LIEBELER - That doesn't ring a bell?
Mr. DELGADO - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you mention the name of Charley Brown to the FBI?
Mr. DELGADO - I may have. We got a Charley Brown in our outfit now.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; but I may have, may not have mentioned Charley Brown. I gave them the name of who I thought---felt who the one or two colored fellows were, but I couldn't think of it, and just made a stab in the dark.
Mr. LIEBELER - You don't remember what the name was that you told the FBI now?
Mr. DELGADO - No; Walt, Walt--Watts, that is the name I gave him, not Brown.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you think of anything else about Oswald that you think might be of some help to the Commission in its investigation?
Mr. DELGADO - He didn't like the immediate people over him in this particular outfit. All of them weren't as intelligent as he was in his estimation.
Mr. LIEBELER - What about your estimation, did you think that they were as smart as Oswald was?
Mr. DELGADO - Oswald, I remember, for instance, that Oswald used to get in heated discussions with a couple of the officers there.
Mr. LIEBELER - The officers?
Mr. DELGADO - Right. And they'd be talking about let's say, politics, which came up quite frequently during a break, let's say, and I would say out of the conversation Oswald had them stumped about four out of five times. They just ran out of words, they couldn't come back, you know. And every time this happened, it made him feel twice as good, you know. He thought himself quite proficient with current events and politics.
Mr. LIEBELER - He used to enjoy doing this to the officers, I could imagine.
Mr. DELGADO - He used to cut up anybody that was high ranking, he used to cut up-and make himself come out top dog. That's why whenever he got in a conversation that wasn't going his way he would get mad, he'd just walk off, you know, and leave.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you think of anything else about him?
Mr. DELGADO - He didn't drink. He didn't drink too much. Occasional beer. I never seen him drunk.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have any reason to think that he had any homosexual tendencies?
Mr. DELGADO - No; never once. It was odd that he wouldn't go out with girls, but never once did he show any indications of being that. In fact we had two fellows in our outfit that were caught at it, and he thought it was kind of disgusting that they were in the same outfit with us, and that is also in the records of the outfit, these two fellows they caught.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever tell you why he wasn't interested in girls or did you ever discuss that with him?
Mr. DELGADO - No; I figured this fellow here looked to me like he was studying and applying himself for a goal, he wanted to become somebody, you know what I mean; later on, after he reached that goal, he will go and get married, or something like that; but the time I knew him he was more or less interested in reading and finding out different ideas here and there. That is, he'd ask what we thought of a current crisis, you know, and he'd argue that point.
Mr. LIEBELER - He was a pretty serious-minded fellow?
Mr. DELGADO - Yes; he was. Very seldom clowned around, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you think he had much of a sense of humor?
Mr. DELGADO - No; he didn't appreciate it. You couldn't pull a practical joke on him, very sarcastic sneer all the time, you know. He had only one bad charteristic, one thing that can really identify him was a quirk he had. I don't know what it was, when he spoke, the side of his face would sink in and cause a hollow and he'd kind of speak through open lips like that, you know, and that's the only thing you could remember about Oswald when he spoke, you know, something like that, you know [indicating].
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever think that he was mentally unbalanced?
Mr. DELGADO - He never got real mad where he'd show any ravings of any sort, you know. He controlled himself pretty good.
Mr. LIEBELER - If you can't remember anything else about Oswald, I have no more questions. On behalf of the Commission I want to thank you very much.