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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Air Force One tapes shed light on JFK death aftermath

The U.S National Archives has released long-lost audio recordings of conversations that happened on Air Force One during the flight back to Washington, D.C., following the assassination of John F. Kennedy while he was president.

The tapes, which provide insight into what happened on the plane following the assassination in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963, contain more than 40 minutes of audio that was not included in tapes previously made public.

The plane was carrying the body of the president, his wife Jackie Kennedy, whose clothes were still stained with her husband’s blood, and Lyndon B. Johnson — who was sworn in as president on Air Force One at Love Field Airport only two hours after Kennedy was shot and killed.

The conversations were recorded by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), which routed all phone and radio traffic, and include new code names and incidents; communications with another aircraft in the presidential fleet, en route to Tokyo; a private conversation with Jerry Behn, the head of the Secret Service; a phone call to Rose Kennedy, the president’s mother; and a discussion about what to do with the president's body.

"Everyone aboard Air Force One, with the exception of the body, would be choppered into the south ground. The body will be choppered to the Bethesda Naval Medical Centre," a voice on the tape says. Read More