ALS signed “Lee & Marina,” three pages, lightly-lined on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8, January 30, 1962. Letter to his brother Robert. In full (spelling and grammar retained): “Well, I haven’t heard from you for quite a while either you’re not writing or your letters aren’t getting through to me. I told you in my last letter that we have finilly been granted exit visa’s for leaving the Soviet Union we’ll probably be in the states in the spring. You once said that you asked around about weather or not the U.S. goverment had any charges against me, you said at that time ‘no,’ maybe possible now that goverment knows I’m coming they’ll have something waiting. Mother wrote me a letter the other day in which she informed me that the Marine Corps had given me a dishonorable discharge in Nov. 1959. Did you know this? Of course, this is not too bad, since it relives me of reserve duty, but still I should take this into account
I wrote a letter to John B. Connally Secretary of the Navy who lives in Ft. Worth asking about my dishonorable discharge maybe you could ask him to look into the case since I don’t know whether the Russians will let that letter through. You said you were sending us something but be still having gotten anything don’t worry packages are very slow coming and going. The Embassy said they will see about a loan for us when we leave so it seems our money problem will not be too acute. Marina still has a month too go so by the time you get this letter you’ll be pretty close too being an uncle. March 1 is the big day. Marina sends her love to all, as I do hope to see you all soon. I really don’t know where we’ll settle I’d sort of like New Orleans. How’s the hunting out at the farm? How the weather and all? If you find out any information about me, please let me know, I’d like to be ready on the draw so to speak. We’ll keep writing until we get ready to leave so don’t quit writing.” In fine condition, with a couple unobtrusive stains, a slight vertical wrinkle passing between names in the signature (neither of which detract from the terrific overall appearance of the letter), and a trimmed top edge where Warren Commission label was once affixed; this was exhibit 314. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope.
Concerned that his actions in the Soviet Union would make him a target upon his return to the States, Oswald sought his brother Robert’s help in gathering as much information as possible regarding any issues the government may have with him before he arrived. In the letter to John Connally referenced here, Oswald demanded that the then-secretary of the Navy ‘repair the damage done’ to him and his family with the dishonorable discharge, menacingly exclaiming, ‘I shall employ all means to right this gross mistake or injustice to a boni-fied U.S. citizen and ex-serviceman.’ By the time Connally received the letter, he was no longer with the Navy, having announced his retirement at the close of 1961 to run in the upcoming gubernatorial election, and happily passed it to his successor, washing his hands of Oswald until the two would meet again on that tragic day in November—the only other victim in the shooting that killed Kennedy, Connally was seriously injured while riding in the president’s car, suffering from major wounds in his chest, wrist and thigh. Combining pleasant personal conversation—“by the time you get this letter you’ll be pretty close too being an uncle”—with comments revealing his constant fear of persecution—“maybe possible now that goverment knows I’m coming they’ll have something waiting”—this is a fascinating letter offering a glimpse into Oswald’s thoughts just months before returning to Texas. RR Auction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.