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Nazis in New Orleans (#3)


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Poster printed up by Robert Surrey, Leahart's Dallas American Nazi Party member. [4]

Poster printed up by Robert Surrey, Leahart’s American Nazi Party associate in Dallas and personal secretary to Edwin Walker.

COMMENT: Numerous programs and articles on this website have dealt with Nazi involvement [5] with the assassination of JFK, from paramilitary American Nazi [6] elements to individuals and institutions overlapping the Reinhard Gehlen spy milieu [7].

In the most recent Food For Thought [8] posts, we excerpted [9] a recent, massive volume General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy [10]by Jeffrey H. Caufield M.D.

NB: For a seasoned researcher, this is a useful and important book, however it MUST be handicapped–the author is dismissive of the [by now recorded fact] that elements of the intelligence community were involved in the killing. Of course, they were.

Notwithstanding that significant flaw, the book features a treasure trove of information about Nazi and fascist connections to the assassination of JFK. A veteran researcher can–and should–easily take the information from Caufield’s book and collate it with the intelligence community elements with which the “radical right” individuals and institutions are affiliated.

Although not coterminous by any means, what Caufield terms “the radical right” and U.S. intelligence are profoundly connected.

In FTR #188 [6], we detailed the “Hate Bus,” a gambit by American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell to protest the Freedom Riders and the Civil Rights movement.

In this post, we highlight aspects of the career of “Hate Bus” participant Ray Leahart, a New Orleans ANP [American Nazi Party] member: 

CaufieldBookII [11]General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy [10]by Jeffrey H. Caufield, M.D.; Moreland Press [HC]; Copyright 2015 Jeffrey H. Caufield; ISBN-13: 978-0-9915637-0-8; pp. 79-82. [10]

. . . . On December 16, 1963, after the Kennedy assassination, the New Orleans FBI investigated a tip that Lee Harvey Oswald had been seen with Ray Leahart during the previous summer. Leahart was a New Orleans Nazi whom [Guy] Banister had bailed out of jail in the Hate Bus incident. The report is presented here for the first time:

MUNCY PERKINS: Clerk Carrolton Avenue Station, New Orleans Public Service, Inc., residence address 5320 Camp Street, New Orleans advised that occasionally individuals have been observed by him at the Carrolton Avenue Station in the early morning hours waiting for RAY JAMES LEAHART, one of the bus drivers. MR. PERKINS thought that possibly LEE HARVEY OSWALD may have been among those persons waiting for LEAHART. . . .

. . . . No FBI documents, other than the New Orleans police mug shots from the Hate Bus arrest, were in the FBI record raises the question of what happened to FBI reference 841767D (Leahart’s arrest record in the Hate Bus incident) and why it did not accompany the allegation and substantial likelihood of an Oswald-Leahart association when sent to the Warren Commission. Banister’s close friendship with New Orleans FBI SAC Regis Kennedy may have had something to do with the critical omission.

Garrison’s investigators were aware of Leahart, but not of the allegation that he was seen with Lee Harvey Oswald. They had information that Ray Leahart, a city streetcar or bus driver, pasted ANP [American Nazi Party] slogans and posters on the walls of the Magazine Street bus depot where he worked. Investigators were aware that Leahart had been to the training cap across Lake Pontchartrain with Derek Frier who was a courier for the Nazi Party (several allegations that Oswald had been to the camp were noted in Chapters One and Two), and that Frier’s friend Loren Butler was a high-ranking official in the Nazi Party.

According to FBI documents, Ray Leahart and Bluford Balter were organizers of the New Orleans American Nazi Party. Leahart personally knew George Lincoln Rockwell and had at least twelve personal discussions with Rockwell—and even visited him on one occasion in Virginia. Rockwell also met with Leahart, the head of the New Orleans National States’ Rights Party, in New Orleans, in New Orleans in September 1964. In 1961, a “Special New Orleans Edition” of the NSRP newspaper The Thunderbolt was issued with the front page headline, “[LEANDER] PEREZ TURNS SPOTLIGHT ON THE ENEMY,” and appeared with a story written by Ray James Leahart above a large photograph of Leander Perez, Banister’s close friend. . . . Guy Banister subscribed to  The Thunderbolt. . . .

. . . . The Dallas FBI office was aware of correspondence linking Leahart to ANP [American Nazi Party] activities in Texas. One Dallas ANP member, Robert Surrey, was a close associate of General [Edwin] Walker. Surrey’s wife Mary was Walker’s personal secretary. Wealthy oilmen reportedly funded Surrey’s Nazi outfit. Surrey printed the infamous “Wanted for Treason” poster which had circulated in Dallas before the association. The poster pictured mug-shot-styled photos of President Kennedy and accused him of treason. Surrey and Walker were Warren Commission witnesses, and, of course, Walker was close to both Guy Banister and Kent Courtney. . . .

 . . . . In the 1970s, Leahart became a leading member in the National Socialist White People’s Party—a reconfigured ANP and Ku Klux Klan outfit—along with David Duke, perhaps the best-known white supremacist in America in the 21st century, Leahart peddled his propaganda along with Duke in what was known as a “Free Speech Rally” at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. On September 9, 1972, Leahart became the best man at Duke’s wedding. . . .