Lee's developmental history was negative except for a mastoid operation and a tonsillectomy when he was about seven. He remembers that the operations frightened him, but nothing else about them.
--Warren Commission: Vol. XXI,
page 488 (Siegel Exhibit No. 1)
Also indicating that Oswald had a tonsillectomy is a 12/6/63 FBI report (file # Memphis 105-891; Memphis 44-1165) which reported that a Dr. Philbin of Dallas, Texas removed Oswald's tonsils on January 17, 1945.
About an hour into his talk called "Harvey and Lee" at the 1997 November in Dallas symposium, JFK researcher John Armstrong displayed on overhead projectors two Marine Corps "Sick Call Treatment Records." One is numbered 1653230, the other, 1652330.
What is fascinating, though, is not the numbers but what else is written on these old documents. Both name the patient: "Oswald, Lee H. Pvt." And both indicate that he was suffering from tonsillitis. The entry from 1957 on the record above indicates he was treated for "tonsillitis."
The second sick call record, dated 5-23-58 is even more specific.
Sore throat. Temp 98.
Present one day.
Injection of phagus with purculet
These sick call records are documented in the USMC "Official Military
Personnel File on Lee Harvey Oswald" (released to researcher Robert J.
McDonnell by the Department of the Navy, Marine Corps Headquarters, on Sept.
So.... Did Lee Harvey Oswald's tonsils grow back? Were Marine medics hallucinating? Or is there a more likely explanation?
The Warren Commission, John Armstrong believes, combined the biographies of two different people to arrive at the classic legend of Lee Harvey Oswald. One was a Russian speaking youth, possibly the child of Hungarian parents. Armstrong notes that this person was referred to as "Harvey." The other was a taller but similar looking boy with a Southern U.S. accent, born as "Lee Harvey Oswald." Both may well have become entangled at an early age in an intelligence operation. It was "Harvey" who traveled to Russia and was shot dead by Jack Ruby. It was "Lee" who got into a fight in the ninth grade at Beauregard Junior High School and lost a tooth.
One Lee Harvey Oswald had his tonsils removed on January 17, 1945. The other did not.
And what about the mastoid operation referred to in the Warren Commission deposition excerpted at the top of this page? Oswald's Marine medical records indicate the following: "Mastoid operation 1945; Hospitalized 2 weeks, Ft. Worth, Texas." But despite a careful examination of his body for scars as small as a quarter on an inch in size, Oswald's autposist recorded none remotely near the mastoidectomy. The mortician who prepared Oswald's body for burial couldn't find scars that should have been there either. The scar from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the left elbow from Oswald's Marine years also appeared to have disappeared after his death.
In October, 1957 Lee shot himself in the left arm with a .22 derringer. The entrance wound was closed with stitches and the bullit left in his arm. Later an incision was made on the back side of his arm and the bullet removed. Two incisions--two scars. After Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby an autopsy was performed. Photographs were taken of Oswalds arms. There are no scars from a bullet wound, nor are any scars noted on the autopsy report. Oswald was prepared for burial and embalmed by Mortician Paul Groody. Groody was twice asked about scars on Oswald's arms. Groody said he had not seen any scars on Oswald's arms.
Years earlier, when Lee Oswald was 6 years old, he had a mastoidectomy operation behind his left ear. In 1956 Lee's Marine medical examination report lists a 3" mastoid scar behind his left ear. When Harvey was killed by Jack Ruby, Dr. Earl Rose performed the autopsy. Dr. Rose noted many scars in his autopsy report, some were as small as 1/16". Dr. Rose also took 27 color slides of Oswalds body which are now in the National Archives. There is no 3" mastoidectomy scar on the autopsy report nor can such a scar be seen in any of the color slides. It was Lee Oswald who had the 3" mastoidectomy scar-not Harvey. Harvey had no such scar.
-- John Armstrong, 1999
Univ. of Minn., Minneapolis
These mysteries have long puzzled JFK researchers, but the solution is simple enough. One Lee Harvey Oswald had a tonsillectomy and a mastoidectomy in 1945 and shot himself in the left elbow in 1957. The other Oswald did not.