Tucson man shares memories of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald - Tucson News Now

Tucson man shares vivid memories of Lee Harvey Oswald

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Lee Harvey Oswald Lee Harvey Oswald
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

As we remember President John F. Kennedy on this 50th anniversary of his assassination, a Tucson man opens up about his vivid memories of the killer, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Gregg Hoegemeier remembers the shock of realizing he and Oswald had crossed paths.

Hoegemeier was 17 when he joined the Marines back in 1956.

Another 17-year-old joined too.

It was Oswald.

They arrived at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego within one day of each other.

That was where they met.

They went through boot camp and infantry and aviation training together.

It was a total of six months.

Hoegemeier said they were not friends and never hung out together, but he remembers Oswald as a loner he never saw smile.

Hoegemeier said Oswald had a very small circle of friends, and something else.

"He had a somewhat of, you might say, a sneaky weasel kind of way," Hoegemeier said.

Oswald got under Hoegemeier's skin when Oswald marched behind him during aviation training in Florida.

"He purposely made it a point to clip the back of my boot, the heel of my boots with his toe just to tick me off, just to upset me," Hoegemeier said. "It got to the point where I was getting irritated and we almost came to blows over it. But I didn't want to wind up in the brig. But he got the message that I wasn't happy. But he did little things like that - underhanded, you might say."

Hoegemeier said he also remembers very well that Oswald seemed to know weapons, perhaps even before he joined the Marines.

He said Oswald was the fastest when it came to taking his rifle apart and putting it back together, even while blindfolded.

"Night action, firing whatever, you don't want lights on. So you have to be able to disassemble and clean your rifle and assemble it again blindfoldedly," Hoegemeier said. "And he always - out of 150 of us - did it. Seems to me, every time he came in with the least amount of time."

Much has been written about what kind of a shot Oswald was.

Hoegemeier has no doubt Oswald had the ability to hit what he aimed at.

He remembers that during rifle training Oswald was one of the best, even at 500 yards.

"From 500 yards away. That's a long, long way. So I was in awe of people that could shoot that well. And he was one of them," Hoegemeier said. "So I had ... no doubt in my mind when hearing that (Oswald shot Kennedy), and putting it together, I felt he was quite capable of committing that."

Hoegemeier said after their six months of training together, they never saw each other again.

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