EXCELLENT security for JFK in Tampa, FL on 11/18/63

“It was 4 days before JFK would be assassinated at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, the date was Nov. 18th. 1963 when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s plane would touch down at Mac Dill Air Force Base. He and General Paul D. Adams would sit in the very same Lincoln that he and his wife Jackie would be in on that fateful day in Dallas.The motorcades in Texas needed Jackie. For you see they made an amazingly photogenic couple and the campaign needed the Texas voter. The Tampa motorcade route would begin after a speech at Al Lopez Field. It went south on Dale Mabry then turned east and ran 5 miles up Grand Central Avenue to Franklin Street. Winded it’s way around to Howard Avenue and stopped at the Fort Homer Hesterley Armory where he would deliver another speech. Then back to Grand Central Avenue and west to the International Inn (now the InterContinental). After another 20 minute speech back to Grand Central Avenue and then return to MacDill. In JFK’s entire presidency this would be his second longest motorcade route, eclipsed only by his famous Berlin, Germany trip. On this entire route JFK was guarded front, back and all sides by the Tampa Police Department Motor Officers, 34 motor units in all on that sunny day in November. I recently talked with retired TPD motor officer Russell Groover (who with officer Ronald Barber) were chosen to be the two motor units closest to JFK. The FBI and Tampa Police started recieving threats against the President two weeks before his landing. Two days before the President’s arrival when asked by the Secret Service “If anyone breaks through this perimeter you are to take them out. How would you do this?” Without thinking, officer Groover said “I’d hit them with my motorcycle”. With hands needed to operate the motor unit and the possibility of a stray bullet into the crowd, it was the correct answer. Officer Barber agreed and they had their two “lead” men to the left and right of our 35th President. Officer Groover drew a detailed diagram of the TPD motor unit deployment. It was a very closely spaced diamond of 7 units around JFK’s car and the remaining 23 boxing in that formation. He also commented that in every multi story building along the motorcade there were police or military stationed on every floor and the roof. At Mac Dill, president Kennedy thanked every officer personally and with a handshake, for Tampa did its job well and JFK boarded Air Force One without incident.


The motor units are of immense value in a motorcade due to narrow road lanes and crowded conditions. They can pass, drop back and are a great tool to “push” back an overzealous crowd from the Presidential cars in such limited space.




Motorcycle Policeman Russell Groover





About vincepalamara

Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology. Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over 80 former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and subpoena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy. Vince is also the author of the books JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda, The Not-So-Secret Service, Who's Who in the Secret Service, and Honest Answers about the Murder of President John F. Kennedy: A New Look at the JFK Assassination. All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 140 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works. Vince has appeared on the History Channel's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (VHS and DVD), C-SPAN, Newsmax TV, A COUP IN CAMELOT (DVD/BLU RAY), KING KILL '63, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT (DVD), National Geographic's JFK: THE FINAL HOURS (including on DVD), PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library. Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.
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2 Responses to EXCELLENT security for JFK in Tampa, FL on 11/18/63

  1. Yes, Ainsley, I know you’re a shill for Blaine-you gave him a glowing review on Amazon and you’re Facebook buddies. His book is alot of bunk- Frank Yeager helped in the advance in Tampa and Floyd Boring was in charge. My book debunks his book. I never said there were police and/ or military on EVERY floor- you on drugs? I spoke to and corresponded with many other White House aides and agents, several of whom were senior to him, that DISPUTE his fables. Yes, the security was great in Tampa…the point is: WHY WASN”T IT LIKE THIS IN DALLAS? I have read, reviewed, and debunked his book. I spoke to Blaine twice and e-mailed him. Also, I did not say 30 motorcycles surrounding JFK’s limo; geez-you are distorting what Groover said (above) , NOT what i said. Get a life and go kiss Blaine…you have no sway with me. You, Rossi, and Badalson are birds of a feather that flock together. The party is over for Blaine 9/1/13: http://www.amazon.com/Survivors-Guilt-Service-Failure-President/dp/1937584607/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362573539&sr=1-1

    • Frankie- when is Carlo going to join the party? All your concerns–and much, much, much more–are addressed in my forthcoming book. You act like I don’t know about all of this and haven’t dealt with it for years. And if you are relying on Blaine’s statements post-Summer 2005 (and Boring’s)…I would not. Have a nice day :O)

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