Our storyline is the account of three people who are not related and not of the same political or religious persuasion. But circumstances, some would call it serendipity, caused their individual paths to cross and they became friends while still maintaining their individuality.
The incident that caused their paths to become intertwined, was interaction with the person of Donald Grey Pierson, who was known as Don Pierson. He was both a Texan and the creator of three offshore radio stations during the Nineteen Sixties which were aimed at the population of the British Isles.
One of those stations caused the British Government to force the British Broadcasting Corporation to revise its programming by creating a pseudo-clone of one of Pierson's offshore stations. Until 'The Trio' began to question how Don Pierson in remote West Texas got involved with a project so far away, no one had bothered to investigate the real story. Instead, journalists and scholars alike relied upon fan encounters and unreliable newspaper reports.
In 1985, Don Pierson handed over his collection of financial and legal records relating to his three stations, and a lot more. Because Pierson's projects also collided with many events and lives related to headline making contemporary activities of the time, 'The Trio' embarked upon this long-running investigation. It has become, to quote Paul McCartney, a "long and winding road" for 'The Trio' to get from the beginning of this story, until now, and 'now' is not the ending because our investigations continue every day.
The time period of the Nineteen Sixties includes several major events relating to both cultural and geopolitical events connecting the industrial and military affairs of the British Isles with North America. One of those events involves the murder of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, and the subsequent rush to name his assassin as Lee Harvey Oswald. He was a U.S. citizen whose trail on the road to infamy, is alleged to have involved a sea voyage from the USA to England via France, and then an airplane flight from England to Finland.
But after his implausible defection to the USSR, working in a radio factory at Minsk and getting married, he decided to return to the USA and got a job at a book warehouse. It is within this compact period of time that Oswald is alleged to have made plans to murder President Kennedy, who, it is alleged, Oswald said he liked. Then, on November 24, 1963, after Oswald allegedly killed Kennedy, Oswald was murdered on 'live' television, within full sight of an 'army' of journalists, and while Oswald was in custody of Dallas Police. The story gets sillier by the moment, but when you add the intervention by James Dudley Wilmeth, it becomes beyond credibility and turns into absurdity.
However, there is just one problem with laughing away this tale, and that is that the sequence of events is true, and the claimed mainstream interpretation of those events is also true. What is of maximum incredulity is where professed reality is turned into absurdity, unless of course it is absurdity and not reality. We leave readers to decide.
For decades conspiratorial theories involving both alternative gunman as well as alternative circumstances regarding the assassination of John Kennedy have swirled around in media stories. But there is one person who interacted with this story just three days before the killing of President John F. Kennedy, and whose connectivity to this event has been glossed over. That person is James Dudley Wilmeth.
By 'glossed over', we do not mean that his involvement has been ignored, but the investigation into his explanation for that connection has been totally superficial. However, documentation of his background has also been suppressed. Yet, James Dudley Wilmeth has all the markings of a groomed American secret agent, and from our research it is possible to conclude that is exactly what he was.
Because the biographical background of James Dudley Wilmeth's life has been spread around in fragments, it has never been gathered-up and presented in a sequential format to chronologically document the manner in which key events in his life entwine themselves with many key events that took place in the Twentieth Century. One of those key events involves the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
James Dudley Wilmeth was born on October 30, 1910 in Ballinger, West Texas, a small town south of Abilene, and at the time of his birth, his father was 43, and his mother was 36. The identity of his father as a human being is not in doubt, but the media has created confusion over his father's given name.
We cannot find his father's birth certificate, but we have located a marriage notation, census records and his death certificate, with the latter being an official Texas State Department of Health document. It is therefore the most authentic of all references to the name of James Dudley Wilmeth's father.
On Certificate 41746/298 dated August 21, 1930, under 'Full Name of Deceased', it states in the handwriting of the Undertaker who filled it out, that the "full name of deceased" is: "Mr. Jo B. Wilmeth". His wife signed this document as "Mrs. Jo B. Wilmeth".
But, on the 1900 United States Federal Census, it identifies this person as "Joe B. Wilmeth". Then, in a newspaper report dated Sunday, October 1, 1916, he is referred to by the 'American Statesman' newspaper in Austin as being "Joseph Wilmeth". However, there is no doubt this this "Joseph" is in fact "Jo" rather than "Joe" or "Joseph".
It is possible that his parents hoped for a girl and named the baby before it was born, only to discover that their child to be a boy and not a girl. Because the name "Jo" is usually the short version of Joanne, Joanna and Josephine. So reporters may have assumed that being male, Jo Wilmeth should read "Joe Wilmeth" or even "Joseph Wilmeth". This is only of importance now due to repetition of the same initials within the same Wilmeth family, and the use of those initials by other families named Wilmeth.
However, on his grave there is an inscription which reads "Jo Wilmeth 1868 - 1930". All of the notices in the press relating to his illness, death and funeral, all identify him as "Jo Wilmeth". His son who became Cadet James Dudley Wilmeth, had two brothers and five sisters. One of his siblings was named in the contemporary burial information of 1930 relating to his father as being "Jo Brice Wilmeth". He seems to have been named after his father, thus confirming his father's first name as Jo, and identifying his middle name beginning with the letter "B" as Brice.
We discovered documents relating to Cadet Wilmeth's grandparents on his father's side of the family as being James R. Wilmeth and Maria Wilmeth. Therefore unless an authentic Birth Certificate can be produced, we will conclude that Cadet Wilmeth's father was given the first names of Jo and Brice.
From these and related press stories we also discovered that Jo Brice Wilmeth was born in McKinney, Texas, but the exact date and even the exact year of his birth varies by reporting from 1867 to 1868. Approximately ten years after the birth of James Dudley Wilmeth, his parents moved from McKinney, Texas to Ballinger, Texas. Twenty years later, his parents moved again, this time to Fort Worth, Texas, and that is where his father Jo Brice made his home for the remaining 15 years of his life. Although Jo Brice died in 1930, his wife outlived him until 1965 when she died at age 92 from a stroke.
It is perhaps of passing interest to note a detail from the Death Certificate of Jo Brice. He died at age 60, following an illness that lasted for three days and then died of"acute enteritis (food poisoning)". How he ingested the bacteria that eventually killed him is not recorded, but it is possible that it was somehow related to his financial career built upon close ties to cattle ranching.
In one sense, it was that aspect of his father's life and possibly foundational cause of death, that must have made a huge impression on six years old James Dudley Wilmeth when a sensational event took place that was reported in the press of the day. It happened in October 1916 when his father escaped from captivity in Mexico.
On Tuesday, August 19, 1930, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram' provided a summary of the life of Jo Brice Wilmeth and the events leading up to his captivity: After pioneering days as a cowboy", Jo Brice "became connected with the First National Bank of Ballinger."
"In 1899 he left this firm to organize and become cashier of the private firm of W.C. Parks Banking Company" in Ballinger. In 1900, that firm was incorporated under the name 'Citizens National Bank of Ballinger', and Jo Brice at first served as cashier and then Vice-President. The press report noted that Jo Brice was a member of both the Masonic order and Presbyterian Church of Ballinger where he became its Sunday School Superintendent.
Sandwiched into that career is this information from the 'Fort Worth Star-Telegram' of the same date: "Wilmeth was the Southern representative for the Stockyards National Bank, and was also connected with the Chicago Cattle Loan Company and was in charge of an office of that firm here. He was also vice president of the Reporter Publishing Company", publishers of the 'Livestock Reporter' newspaper.
Even though his roots were in Ballinger, Texas. Jo Brice was publisher of a Fort Worth livestock publication, and in a partnership with George Miers who owned a large cattle ranch in Mexico. They exported cattle north of the Mexican border into Texas. On October 1, 1916, the 'American Statesman' newspaper in Austin reported that George Miers and Jo Wilmeth who was misnamed as "Joseph Wilmeth", had been arrested, and now they were being held in a railroad box car with little food or water. The location of their detention was in semi-arid country, too dry to support heavy vegetation, but not dry enough to be classified as a desert. In other words, the fact that the two of them were locked inside a hot railroad box car with little water to drink, was not just uncomfortable, in that climate it was also dangerous to their health.
Jo Brice and his partner George Mier had not been arrested by police, but by military officials at Sabinas, Mexico which is approximately 120 miles to the border at Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. On the USA side of that border is Del Rio, Texas, and it is another 200 miles to Ballinger, Texas. Back then, journeys took place over primitive dirt roads, and that was during the time that a long-running civil was raging in Mexico, while at that same moment in time, Europe was engaged in the Great War (WWI).
It was a time in Mexico when its land and wealth were mainly in the hands of a handful of families and foreign companies. It was a situation which left which the landless peasants working for long hours and low wages just to survive and George Miers had built his ranching business on this system of exploitation, with the financial assistance of Jo Brice Wilmeth.
In 1916, Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States, and until 1918, the USA remained ostensibly neutral with regards to Europe and World War I. Nevertheless, Jo Brice and his partner George were trying to run their cattle ranch during a time of Mexico-Texas cross-border invasions, and bandits such as Pancho Villa were morphing into generals while the Mexican Civil War was turning into the Mexican Revolution.
Eventually Jo was released on payment to his captors, but George continued to be held in exchange for more money. On Wednesday, October 18, 1916 in 'The Eagle', a newspaper published in Bryan, Texas, a report from Del Rio stated that:
"George Miers, American cattle man, who with Jo Wilmeth, Chicago banker was arrested for alleged violation of export customs regulations in Mexico and place in jail by military officials at Sabinas, Mexico, arrived here Tuesday, having been released under a bond of $600, Mexican silver. Mexican military authorities originally demanded a bond of $10,000 gold, but through the efforts of the state department at Washington the case was transferred from military to Mexican civil courts, where bail was reduced."
This report which corrected the first name of Jo Wilmeth and explained how the captivity of these two men began with the military and then passed into the hands of local civil authorities, then concluded with this explanation:
"Miers was arrested Oct 2 with Jo Wilmeth. Wilmeth was released with filing of formal charges, but Miers' case assumed international proportions, and his release on bond followed diplomatic exchanges between Washington and City of Mexico."
This situation prompted Jo Wilmeth to tell the press that: "I can't see any way out of it but for the United States to take charge of the situation if a substantial government is ever to be set up for that country." He added that: "The country, so far as its natural resources are concerned, is in an excellent condition." This was no idle threat because of the contemporary border raids by Pancho Villa. They resulted in the U.S. Army invading Mexico under the command of General Pershing. His pursuit of Pancho Villa began in March 16, 1916 and ended on February 7, 1917, meaning that the military incident involving Miers and Wilmeth took place within that same time period.
Consequently Jo Wilmeth's geopolitical interpretation that"I can't see any way out of it but for the United States to take charge of the situation ...." and the corresponding appeal for Washington to intervene and secure the release of Miers from Mexican military capture, must have resonated with the bigger problem involving the military and Pancho Villa.
Remember, when Jo Brice Wilmeth was engaging in international diplomacy, his son was barely six years of age. The capture of Miers by the Mexican military no doubt influenced and shaped his son's views of the world in its relationship to the United States of America. The proof of that influence was later reflected in James Dudley Wilmeth's own writings and views that the world was waiting to be harvested by the USA, for the benefit of the USA. Of course other nations did not share James Dudley Wilmeth's interpretation of geopolitics. But that was in the future, and at age six he was was still playing with toy soldiers.
A few years later when James Dudley Wilmeth was attending High School in Fort Worth, he enrolled in the Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) summer camps program. The ROTC created a pathway for students to become officers in the U.S. Military, and Wilmeth eventually attended four such camps. After High School he first enrolled as a freshman at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth which his father had also attended. But in his sophomore year, his son James Dudley transferred to the University of Texas (UT) at Austin.
On February 13, 1930, the 'Fort Worth Record-Telegram' reported that James had won acceptance to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and an alternative possibility for enrollment at the U.S. Army's Military Academy at West Point, New York. James was disappointed. He wanted to go to West Point, not to Annapolis.
On Sunday, June 29, 1930, at age 19, James Wilmeth received word that an opening had become available at West Point, New York, and he immediately accepted the chance to attend. Unfortunately, on Monday, August 18, 1930, Cadet Wilmeth received news that his father Jo had just died in Texas.
Next: Wilmeth and Mountbatten ....
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