J. D. Tippit (J J. D. Tippit)

J. D. Tippit

The Dallas Police officer allegedly killed by Lee Harvey Oswald on the day of the Kennedy assassination.  Evidence fully indicates that Lee Harvey Oswald killed officer Tippit, but since Oswald was never brought to trial, it remains only an allegation.  Born J. D. Tippit in Clarksville, Texas, the oldest of six children to Edgar Lee Tippit, a sharecropper cotton farmer and his wife, Lizzie Mae Rush.  The initials J. D. were given to him by his father as a first name, and do not stand for anything; he was named after a character that his father had read about in a novel while in high school and had admired.  Tippit attended Fulbright High School through the tenth grade, but dropped out to help on the family farm.  Growing up on a rural Texas farm, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and horseback riding.  When World War II broke out, JD’s father left to work in a war plant in Hooks, Texas, leaving 15 year old JD to operate the family farm.  In 1944, the family moved to Birmingham, Texas, to be near the war factory work of his father.  JD enlisted into the Army, and following basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas, he volunteered for the paratroops.  Completing airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in late 1944, JD was shipped to England and assigned to the 17th Airborne Division as an infantryman.  In January 1945, he was assigned to the 513th Battalion (Parachute Infantry), 17th Airborne Division, and was baptized into combat in France.  On March 24, 1945, he parachuted with the 17th Division across the Rhine River near Eiersfordt, Germany, making his one and only combat jump, and earned a Bronze Star Medal.  When the war ended in May 1945, Tippit was sent home and honorably discharged, returning to his family farm in Red River County, Texas.  On December 26, 1946, JD married his high school sweetheart, Marie Frances Gasway, in Clarksville, Texas, and they would later have three children: Allan, Brenda, and Curtis.  He found work in Dallas, Texas, working for Sears Roebuck, but shortly afterwards, he decided to return to farming in Red River County.  After several years at farming, in 1952, he decided to return to Dallas, where he found a job with the City Police.  Assigned badge no. 848, JD took to police work naturally, and soon developed a flair for spotting troublemakers.  Fellow police officers would remark about his instinctive ability to spot suspicious people about to make trouble.  In 1956, JD received a commendation for using this ability to kill a gunman in a bar before the man could kill the police officers.  On November 22, 1963, Officer Tippit was working his normal beat in south Oak Cliff section of Dallas, when President John F. Kennedy was shot.  Within minutes, word went out to all police officers of a description of Oswald, as the possible JFK shooter.  Spotting Oswald walking down the sidewalk, Tippit pulled over to talk with him, since he closely resembled the man the police dispatcher had identified as a suspect.  When Tippit got out of his patrol car, Oswald suddenly pulled out a pistol and shot Tippit four times, killing him instantly.  Two people witnessed the shooting and later identified Oswald as Tippit’s killer, and seven others saw Oswald running from the scene, carrying a pistol.  Oswald was arrested in a nearby movie theater when the ticket seller called police about a suspicious looking man.  When arrested, Oswald still had the .38 cal. Pistol on him that he used to kill Tippit, and later ballistics tests identified that pistol as the gun that killed Tippit.  Officer JD Tippit was laid to rest on Monday, November 25, 1963, the same day that President Kennedy was laid to rest.  Over 1500 mourners attended the funeral.  JD Tippit was later given a posthumous Meritorious Citation and Medal for Valor from the Dallas Police Department.  In January 1967, Tippit’s widow, Marie, married Dallas Police Lieutenant Harry Dean Thomas. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)  Family links:  Parents:  Edgar Lee Tippit (1902 – 2006)  Mary Lee Daniels Tippit (1919 – 2015)  Children:  Charles Allan Tippit (1950 – 2014)* *Calculated relationship


  • September, 18, 1924
  • USA


  • November, 11, 1963
  • USA


  • Laurel Land Memorial Park
  • Texas
  • USA

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