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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Fletcher Prouty's Interview with the ARRB, Part Seven

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Did Lee Harvey Oswald participate in a covert program in Indonesia in 1958?

Allegation #8: Regarding Lee Harvey Oswald's alleged participation in covert programs headed by Prouty, specifically in Indonesia in 1958.

Wray: Do you recall any experiences after you returned to Washington that you consider relevant to the assassination? By that I mean: when you got back in your office, people were talking about the assassination in such a way, I guess, that would arouse your suspicions, or would seem to have contributed information that was not public knowledge, or something like that?

Prouty: Well ... first of all, I was very busy, because I had gone to Antarctica on business. And some of the people that had gone -- I was meeting with them, and that kind of thing. Otherwise, to be very frank with you, I thought it was over. I mean, I can just look at the pictures and know that something -- you know, that it was a big time conspiracy; [one] that was big enough to control the news, and control other things. There was nothing I could do about it; being a military officer, I went back to my job. I was not what grew later to be [called] an assassination "buff." I have never even picked up the Warren Commission Report. I wouldn't know it if I saw it. That kind of thing -- that's not my business. So, then when I got home, I bought newspapers, and read some of the other stories. The early ones agreed with this stuff. Others began to have stories. I must have lost interest in -- I just figured, 'it's just a story.' I knew damn well that -- oh, by the way ... Lee Harvey Oswald was among the people taken from the Armed Forces, working for [the] CIA in the program that I headed. I didn't head the Marine program, but, I mean, he was down in that program. And he was out at Atsugi, Japan; he had worked for us in the Indonesia campaign. And I just figured that a guy who has been in this program has certainly been screened enough to ... so people know him. And I just let it go at -- of course, I never met ... We never met people personally. We didn't want them to know who we were, and vice versa. But I found that out from the records later. Of course, my boss being a Marine general, [it was] easy to find out."

The ARRB was interested in this allegation and wanted more detail:

Wray: Let me ask you a little bit more about that. When you say that Lee Harvey Oswald was in this program, what specific program are you talking about?

Prouty: He was ... support of the military operations of the CIA; clandestine operations. And he was assigned to Atsugi, as I understand, with the U-2 program. There were several programs there; one that had to do with radar, and one was ... U-2 reception program. Whatever the duties were for the people there; you know, Atsugi was the Far East base for [the] CIA. I've been to Atsugi, I don't know if you know -- [it's a] huge underground base -- it's an air base from the air, but it's a big underground base. I was on Atsugi [sic] on September 1, 1945, the day before the surrender. That's the airport we landed on.

Prouty admitted that he never saw Oswald's records:

Wray: When you say, "Lee Harvey Oswald was in the program," ... I'm trying to inquire, and sort of carefully ascertain ... do you know that because you learned that afterwards -- that someone called your attention to the fact that, 'hey, look, here's this guy Oswald that was in our program.' ... Or, if you can recollect this, do you recall having been aware of Oswald's name before the assassination?

Prouty: No, no. We almost never saw names. Even when Gary Powers went down, the Air Force pilot ... I had to find out later that he was an Air Force pilot and not a civilian pilot. But we had the records. I never saw the Oswald records, I never looked for the Oswald records. In fact, I had retired after that.

But where did this allegation come from?

Wray: So, when you say that "Oswald was in this program," what's the basis for your saying that?

Prouty: (Pause) It's just general knowledge. It's come up lots of times. And since I recognize the program whenever see it ... he fit the pattern so perfectly, I would never doubt the stories I saw. I don't know whether it was the New York Times [or] something like that, I don't know.

So, was there a factual basis for the allegation?

Wray: But you're saying, if I'm understanding you correctly, that your understanding that Oswald was involved in this program comes from sources outside your duty position -- [the] New York Times, or other things that you've read, as opposed to official papers that you saw?

Prouty: Well, and the way I read those sources. For instance, when it was stated that he was close to the U-2 program, I knew what the U-2 program in Atsugi was; even if the writer of the story didn't know, I did. Or if he was connected to the Indonesia campaign, [it's] the same thing. I'm the guy that sent the guys to Indonesia. But I didn't do it by name and serial number. We needed so many men to go, and he was among the men that went. Well, he went -- I knew what the program meant. It was a clandestine program -- he didn't go for a vacation.

Wray: The ... Oswald's involvement in the Indonesia campaign -- again, that comes from your interpretation of stories that you've heard?

Prouty: Things that I've read, yeah. Things from various sources or people I've talked to.

Result or conclusion by ARRB: Prouty could not and did not provide any substantiating evidence whatsoever. At one point, it became apparent that this source for this information was not personal knowledge, but a report in the New York Times or some other newspaper. There is no evidence to support this allegation and no further investigation by ARRB is recommended.

Previous Relevant Posts on Fletcher Prouty

A summary document of his interview with the ARRB

Another summary document from the ARRB about Prouty's allegations and army intelligence.

Prouty had some very unsavory relationships with antisemitic groups.

Was Fletcher Prouty's Trip to Antarctica Unusual?

Regarding Christchurch, New Zealand and The Christchurch Star

Regarding the 112th Intelligence Corps (INTC) Group and/or the 316th INTC Detachment

Did Prouty Keep the notes from his supposed phone call about army intelligence?

Prouty's experience with military presidential protection duties

Flagrant failure by the Secret Service to take minimum precautions?


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