Pharos-Tribune

Local News

November 22, 2013

Holding onto history: JFK teletype preserved

Man kept original teletype advising Kennedy had been shot.

Chuck Spradling was working in a Military Assistance Command, Vietnam communication center when a teletype advising John F. Kennedy had been shot.

Spradling, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, was working a 12-hour shift in the communication center that received operation and military intelligence when the teletype arrived.

"We were right in the heart of Saigon," Spradling said.

"Everyone was shocked and surprised," Spradling said. "Because of where we were, we had no knowledge of where he [Kennedy] was and what he was doing."

Knowing the importance of the teletype, the Logansport native has held on to the original teletype for 50 years.

"I knew it was something significant," Spradling said. "I had to save it."

At the time, his wife and children were with him at their home in Saigon, Spradling said. He spent 15 months at the headquarters. Spradling recalls his wife calling him because she heard the news on the radio and he had to confirm it was true.

"It was different experiencing it overseas," Spradling said. "Back here it would have been all over the television."

Spradling spent 20 years in the U.S. army. He entered in to the army in 1953 and 10 years later, in 1963, he received the teletype of Kennedy's assassination. He continued to serve until 1973.

"I'm glad I hung onto it," Spradling said.

Today the teletype sits on Spradling's bookshelf next to "The Torch Is Passed," a book memorializing Kennedy's death.

Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or amie.sites@pharostribune.com. Follow her: @PharosAES.

This teletype was received in the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) communication center in Saigon when Kennedy was shot. The following teletype is printed verbatim from the original. TDBPDALLS, TEXAS------- Kennedy was shot through the head and neck as he rode through Dallas in the presidential limousine in what had been a trygmphal motorcade. When the shots were fired at about 12:30 p.m. CST and the chief executive slumped forward, Mrs. Kennedy turned in the seat ahead of him and cried, "oh, no," in anguish and horror. She tried to cradle his head in her arms as the limousine took off at top speed for Parkland Hospital where Kennedy died about half an hour later. Johnson, who was Kennedy's bice president, automatically succeeded to tethe presidency. The new chief executive took the oath of office at about 2:30 p.m. CST. For the first time in history, the oath was administered by a woman--US District Judge Sarah T. Hughes. Johnson was sworn in aboard the presidential jet transport--Air Force One--at Dallas' Love Field. He then flew to Washington to take over the government which Kennedy had directed since Jan 20, 1961. Kennedy's body was aboard th plane. The same volley of shots that skilled the president struck Gov. John Connally of Texas, who was riding beside Kennedy. Like Kennedy, the stricken Connally was sped to Parkland Hospital and wheeled into surgery for an emergency operation. The democratic governor was struck in the body and srist. Dennedy, who was 46, was cut down by a flurry of bullets hortly after his ol- n-topped car had left the Dallas Business District, where thousands had massed 10 and 12 deep along each curb to cheer him and Mrs. Kennedy. This was the first presidential assassination since 1900 when a half-crazed gunman shot William McKinley at close range during a reception in Buffalo . Kennedy as the first president to die in office since Rranklin D. Roosevelt succumbed to a cerebral hemorrhage in April 1945. The Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Dallas Police swung in to acihvion within seconds and launched what ywas perhaps the biggest, determined manhunt in the nation's history. A nuxeer of suspect were picked up during the next few hours. Charles Brehn, 38, of Dallas, was standing in the big crowd at the curbside about 15 feet away as the president's car approached. "He was waving and the first shot hit him and then that awful look crossed his face," Brehm said. There were at least three bursts of gunfire. Kennedy slumped over on the seat and Mrs. Kennedy screamed. Connally fell back forward to the floor. Police charged up a grassy knoll into a nearby park. Secret Service men unlimbered automatic rifles and drew pistols. But it was too late. Kennedy's and other limousines sped to the hospital while polie and secret service agents fanned out lookingeo for the killer or killers. The suspected assassin was chased into the Texas Theater in the Oak Cliff section and seized after he had shot and killed a police officer. The man, who sore a brown shirt, was capture by the policeman's partners after a struggle. The suspect was quoted as saying: "it's all over now."

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Fatal wreck Monticello woman killed in overnight wreck near 31-931 split

    A Monticello woman was killed late Monday night in an automobile accident involving a car and semi-trailer truck in the northbound lands of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - PT072914 Colts-pic [Duplicate] QB Luck making progress ANDERSON — Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University.During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.The Indianapolis Colts quar

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • District's tire collection effort still going strong If you’ve got old tires, the county still wants them.The Cass County Solid Waste District extended the county-wide tire collection program Monday for the next few weeks — or until the new semi-trailer is full at least.District director Bob Ehle has b

    July 29, 2014

  • Permanent road closure has Miami Co. residents worried PERU — Residents who live near a safety-flare company that’s expanding north of Peru spoke out against a proposal to permanently close a section of county road that runs through the company’s facilities.Orion Safety Products, located at 3157 N. 500 W

    July 29, 2014

  • NWS-PT072914 Legal Services3.jpg Church opens nonprofit immigration clinic She’s worried about her oldest daughter, now almost 18, who’s residing with strangers in Honduras.She talks to her daughter almost daily, she said, but the last time she saw her in person was when her daughter was 7 years old.That’s because she’s und

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Board approves gravel pit in Walton Homeowners in the area of a proposed gravel pit and other interested Cass County residents packed the commissioners hearing room Monday night to voice their concerns over the pit that local firm Engineering Aggregates Corp. wants to dig, only to have

    July 28, 2014

  • Cass Co. deputies assist in high-speed pursuit

    An Illinois man driving at speeds of 120 mph led officers from three counties on a high-speed chase Sunday before crashing into a utility pole.

    July 28, 2014

  • Illinois man leads police on high-speed chase PERU — An Illinois man driving at speeds of 120 mph led officers from three counties on a high-speed chase Sunday before crashing into a utility pole. Peru police say Isaac K. Hoefling, 31, Lamont, Illinois, was first pulled over by Howard County dep

    July 28, 2014

  • Teachers worry about revamped ISTEP test INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana teachers heading back to classrooms starting this week are facing the daunting task of preparing students for a standardized test that's been retooled for the third time since 2009. Some teachers and district administrator

    July 28, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 28, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 28, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition