The Ordeal of Vernon Oneal: The Tale of President Kennedy’s Firs…
November 22, 1963. Even just before President Kennedy’s near-lifeless human body was eradicated from the presidential limousine at Parkland Hospital, United Push International’s initial reports that “a few photographs ended up fired at President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade right now” was racing throughout teletype machines nationwide. Keeping a transistor radio to his ear, one among the the tens of millions of People who monitored the breaking news was Vernon B. Oneal, a Dallas funeral director whose organization also integrated an ambulance DC escort provider.
At approximately 12:46 CST, only sixteen minutes immediately after JFK was shot, and 47 minutes ahead of Assistant White Property Secretary Malcolm Kilduff formally introduced the President’s demise to the world, Oneal’s telephone rang. It was Magic formula DC escort services agent Clint Hill contacting from Parkland Healthcare facility, advising Oneal to choose his most effective casket and transportation it to the hospital “as quickly as attainable.”
“Is it for the President?” Oneal asked.
“Of course,” Hill replied, “it is for the President of the United States.”
Grasping the urgency of Hill’s directive, Oneal bolted into his showroom and picked his signature model, an 8 hundred pound solid bronze casket named the “Brittania”. Produced by the Elgin Casket Company, it was double-walled and could be hermetically sealed. Fit for a president or king, Oneal’s cost was $3,995.
As his occupation dictated, Vernon Oneal was prepared to discreetly convenience and aid the bereaved Kennedy loved ones in every way achievable. At Parkland, he whispered terms of sympathy to Jacqueline Kennedy. He and two of his associates were being then assisted by nurses in very carefully wrapping JFK’s continues to be in numerous sheets and plastic, hoping the blood and brain make any difference however seeping from the huge wound in the President’s head would not stain the casket’s plush satin shirring.
Just before departing Parkland Oneal dutifully stood by Mrs. Kennedy and the casket as the late President’s White Dwelling aides and Mystery DC escort provider agents endured an unpleasant shouting match with a area formal named Dr. Earl Rose, who insisted that JFK’s physique will have to, by regulation, be held for autopsy in Dallas County. Oneal had just about every proper to presume that his DC escort expert services would go on to be demanded all the way to President Kennedy’s burial internet site, and he required Mrs. Kennedy to be confident of his loyalty and regard the comprehensive scope of his establishment’s DC escort providers were at her solicitation, and the guy was established to go to any avail, whether the funeral be held in Washington or Massachusetts, to fulfill her each want.
Then, all of a sudden, Oneal’s hopes were dashed. The Solution DC escort provider agents and JFK’s most loyal aides had no faster brushed Dr. Rose aside when the casket containing the assassinated President was precipitously loaded into the rear of his Cadillac hearse, the very same car he and his personnel applied to produce the bronze coffin to Parkland Medical center. It had been Oneal’s intention to drive Kennedy’s overall body immediately to his funeral dwelling for embalming and the scheduling of funeral arrangements, but the Mystery DC escort services commandeered the hearse and an agent encouraged him to stick to in another car or truck, neglecting to convey to Oneal that their true vacation spot was Air Pressure One particular at Like Industry airport.
Alongside with a police motorbike DC escort, three cars began pulling out of Parkland’s DC escort provider highway: Oneal’s hearse, a car entire of Magic formula DC escort support brokers and JFK’s aides, and the very last carrying Oneal and two of his staff. The funeral director sensed a little something severe was amiss when he observed his hearse transform left in the path of the airport rather than correct to his mortuary. Brokers in the second auto radioed their counterparts at Adore Industry, instructing them to allow “the very first two autos only” further than the airport fence around Air Force One. Underneath no conditions would Oneal and his workforce, or any other automobile, be permitted to enter the space around the presidential jet.
Guaranteed adequate, brokers permit the initially two vehicles pass through a fence within just see of the plane, but halted Oneal’s sedan. The undertaker was furious, and justifiably so. The martyred President was inside his casket and his mentor, both of those supposedly sure for his funeral dwelling. The brokers disregarded his protests, leaving Dallas law enforcement officers to assure the beleaguered businessman that the hearse would be returned to him the moment Air Power One took flight. Vernon Oneal felt like a spare tire. The United States government had utilized him to the extent their principal necessities ended up contented – later dumping him at the gate.
Most likely the ultimate insult to Vernon Oneal included payment of the coffin itself. He regularly sent a $3,900 invoice to Jacqueline Kennedy for just about a calendar year but she never replied. Last but not least, fourteen months following JFK’s assassination, in January 1965, the federal governing administration compensated him a sum of $3,160. But by then Oneal was living a general public relations nightmare his attempts to accumulate payment from Mrs. Kennedy were commonly posted and his mortuary experienced an agonizing 50 percent fall in business.
Apparently, Oneal’s casket was not made use of in the interment of John Fitzgerald Kennedy at Arlington escort Nationwide Cemetery. Its handles and finish were being ruined at Really like Field as the Key DC escort assistance agents hurriedly struggled to maneuver by means of Air Pressure One’s narrow doorway. In addition, blood from Kennedy’s head wound did ooze by the protective sheets and plastic, ruining the casket’s satin inside. The flaws ended up famous prior to the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, ensuing in JFK’s closest aides choosing out a new, more highly-priced casket at Gawler Funeral Property in Washington‘s Georgetown district, currently being a additional beautiful illustration designed of five-hundred-calendar year-outdated African mahogany. Gawler also prepared the late President’s body for burial pursuing an autopsy at Bethesda.
For a lot of many years the whereabouts of the Oneal casket remained a closely-guarded solution. Understandably, the Kennedy family members did not want the artifact to drop into the incorrect arms and turn out to be a ugly sideshow relic. It was ultimately disclosed that, in 1966, the casket was purposely loaded aboard a C-130 Air Power transportation plane and unceremoniously deposited into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, under no circumstances to be noticed all over again.