The Pilots (Holt, David Ferrie, Leroy Young, and others)

The Pilots

Chauncey Marvin Holt died in 1997 and his book with the documents was released 2013-2014) that had an appendix will all documents for the public to see. He did not want any people seeing these until after all had died and would be caught or interviewed.

The CIA had used obsolete World War II B-26 bombers, and painted them to look like Cuban air force planes. The bombers missed many of their targets and left most of Castro’s air force intact. As news broke of the attack, photos of the repainted U.S. planes became public and revealed American support for the invasion. President Kennedy cancelled a second air strike.

This clip of Chauncey Holt is from an interview in Dallas surrounding Lee Harvey Oswald and Holt’s personal statment; for coming forward with his knowledge and “if believed will lay to rest the ideas that Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald were just nuts that passed in the night.” https://youtu.be/zwcs2UfOc3E?si=wOLQuU1A3und0B2m

Hot flew exactly those planes in Guatamala in 1954 as was prepping them as ordered and paid for by the CIA for Cuba, and Lee Harvey Oswald was an FBI CIA asset in the operation made a patsy by hidden spook elites who wanted Oswald as a patsy. As Holt and Hunt say it was a CIA operation they were in that killed Kennedy and I point out this is the group of planes Kennedy canceled.

Welcome to CIA Contractor Pilots refurbishing these planes in The Palm Springs California and Tuscon Arizona area for Operation Mongoose attacks on Gautamala and Cuba under William King Harvey that was inteded for Bay of Pigs but called leading to Bay of Pigs Deaths (but averting others.)

The story is in Chauncey Marvin Holt Self Portrait of A Scoundrel


In the imnages Chauncey Holt shows an accountat to the CIA Operation Mongoose meetings with William King Harvey, Sam Giacanca, Ray Ryan and others. The funding and use of CIA funds and secret locations where these planes are modified in CIA Weapons program that will painting the planes (A Chauncey Holt Specialty before computer graphics existed. Blow ups of photos could be done.) These planes were flown in and from Gautamala and had been intended for Cuba the second airstrike to support George H.W. Bush’s Brigade 2506 Cuba invaders.

Then Benjamin Dranow, who was one of
Jimmy Hoffa’s rap buddies, and a friend of
my cousin Milton, appeared on the scene. He
was using the name of Ben Davis, but, of
course, I knew his real identity. He had been
convicted of mail fraud in Minneapolis and
was under indictment for having cashed a
$100,000 treasury bill, which was stolen. He
still managed to obtain a huge loan from the
Teamsters, without any diffculty or delay.
Later the loan was in default and the hotel
was forced to close.

We were still doing a great deal of
gunrunning, operating through the Southwest
Aircraft Company, a CIA front. The major
stockholder of record was Peter Licavoli, since
he had formed the company in the first place,
at the same that he formed the Military
Armaments and Advisors Company of Detroit,
Tucson and London.

This base in operations was closed to us
when the DEA, which was looking for drugs,
seized our aircraft and discovered hundreds of
rifles and explosives, including hand grenades,
claymore mines and C-4.

The agents got the aircraft but they didn’t
locate the crew. The aircraft had been leased
to non-existent crew members. When the
government found out the identity of the
owners of the aircraft they, of course, were very
suspicious, but they could never prove that we
had anything to do with the operation.
Our suit to recover the aircraft, which
extended over several years, was unsuccessful.
When the criminal information was drawn
it seemed rather strange to see the caption: U.S.
v. Dehaviland Aircraft, Model Caribou.
I have learned that this is the case when they
seize boats, cars or airplanes.

After this fiasco, which was very expensive,
I moved on to Beverly Hills and flew less and
less although I did make several trips to Laos
where our aircraft, all of which had been STOL equipped was leased to Bird & Son, another of
the CIA’s private airlines.

Between the assassination of Kennedy in
1963 and Peter Licavoli’s death in 1979, as I
stated before, we were in a lot of deals, some
legal; some illegal.

During this time, we met some of the most
effective snitches on the government’s payroll.
Of these, Alan Bruce Cooper and Charles
E. Leggett were two of the most memorable.

Alan Cooper was American-born but had spent
a great deal of time in England and sported
a British diplomatic passport, which appeared
genuine to me. If it were a forgery, the
counterfeiter was a first rate craftsman.

He turned up on Phoenix in the late sixties
or the early 1970s, tooling around town in a
silver Rolls Royce and discussing, in a very
modest, unassuming manner, his $20 million
art collection, which included such masters as
Raphael, Rembrandt, Picasso and Chagall.

It is impossible to sort out, even now, the
loyalties and the disloyalties of many of the
colorful and, regrettably, deceitful characters I
met during that period.

At that time, Somoza and Trujillo, both
bloodthirsty despots, were bitter foes of Castro
and were staunchly defended by the fledgling
CIA, which, at the time, through its contract
agents, was providing guns and money to
Castro.

Newspaper reporters and writers of
magazine articles created the myth of Castro,
with considerable assistance from the CIA.
Only after it was too late did they see Castro
for what he really was. Of course, part of the
responsibility for what Castro is must be borne
by the U.S. government, who actually forced
“a shotgun wedding” between Castro and the
Soviet Union, which was always willing, but
Castro was very shy in the beginning.
Since I was a pilot, I flew in and out of
Havana, many times on assignments for CIA fronts, and for others, such as Lansky. I was
approached many times by individuals, who
later became famous or infamous, depending
on which side of the fence one found one’s self.

One of those names that I used was Charles
Hormley and I was almost buried under that
name. By the summer of 1958, I had made
over a score of flights into Cuba, supplying
arms to Castro. On one of these flights I
developed engine trouble and was headed for
the naval base at Guantanamo, when I was
forced to ditch. I was pulled out of the water by
naval personnel, who took me to the American
Embassy, after caring for my injuries.

I used the tourist card of a reporter, who was
one of the company’s assets to exit the country.
I was queried at the airport as to why my
arm was bandaged and I told the offcers that
I was injured in a car accident in Havana. The
offcers just nodded, knowingly, because, with
the drivers in Havana, who were among the
world’s worst, the accident rate was very high.
I used Ralston’s name and license when I was
working for Intermountain Aviation in the late
1950s, when Tibetans were training in the U. S.
for guerrilla forays into China.

I also used his name and license for flights
into Cuba, and one can still see the B26s,
with armor plate, bomb bays and gun ports, at
Davis-Monthan Air Base in Tucson.

Guatemala is a beautiful land of vivid
contrast; lofty mountains and fertile valleys
with abundant crops of bananas and coffee and
has a very moderate climate.

It is a depressing country as well when one
considers the poor and homeless descendants
of the ancient Mayas.

When Arbenz announced in February 1953
that he intended to appropriate 225,000 acres
of United Fruit’s land, the CIA was galvanized
into action, even though United Fruit was not
using the land.

Ambassador John E. Peurifoy retorted, “He
will do until a communist comes along.”

So IRC started recruiting for the plan to oust
Arbenz. A handful of civilian pilots were hired
to fly the Thunderbolts, vintage airplanes from
World War II, used to assist Armas in his
“invasion” of Guatemala.

A few Gooney Birds — C47s — were to be flown
by contract pilots to distribute pamphlets or to
push ordinance from, over Guatemala City.

A training site on Momotombito, a volcanic
island in Lake Managua, Nicaragua was set
up and as colorful a group as one can find,
right out of central casting in Hollywood, was
assembled; Jerry Fred DeLarm, “Rip” Robertson,
Tony Po, Jack Younger, Howard Hunt, David
Atlee Phillips and others whose names escape
me at the moment.

On April 17, 1961, 1,400 Cuban exiles launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba. https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/jfk-in-history/the-bay-of-pigs

In 1959, Fidel Castro came to power in an armed revolt that overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. The US government distrusted Castro and was wary of his relationship with Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union.

Before his inauguration, John F. Kennedy was briefed on a plan by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) developed during the Eisenhower administration to train Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland. The plan anticipated that the Cuban people and elements of the Cuban military would support the invasion. The ultimate goal was the overthrow of Castro and the establishment of a non-communist government friendly to the United States.

Training

President Eisenhower approved the program in March 1960. The CIA set up training camps in Guatemala, and by November the operation had trained a small army for an assault landing and guerilla warfare.

José Miró Cardona led the anti-Castro Cuban exiles in the United States. A former member of Castro’s government, he was the head of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, an exile committee. Cardona was poised to take over the provisional presidency of Cuba if the invasion succeeded.

Despite efforts of the government to keep the invasion plans covert, it became common knowledge among Cuban exiles in Miami. Through Cuban intelligence, Castro learned of the guerilla training camps in Guatemala as early as October 1960, and the press reported widely on events as they unfolded.

Shortly after his inauguration, in February 1961, President Kennedy authorized the invasion plan. But he was determined to disguise U.S. support. The landing point at the Bay of Pigs was part of the deception. The site was a remote swampy area on the southern coast of Cuba, where a night landing might bring a force ashore against little resistance and help to hide any U.S. involvement. Unfortunately, the landing site also left the invading force more than 80 miles from refuge in Cuba’s Escambray Mountains, if anything went wrong.

The Plan

The original invasion plan called for two air strikes against Cuban air bases. A 1,400-man invasion force would disembark under cover of darkness and launch a surprise attack. Paratroopers dropped in advance of the invasion would disrupt transportation and repel Cuban forces. Simultaneously, a smaller force would land on the east coast of Cuba to create confusion.

The main force would advance across the island to Matanzas and set up a defensive position. The United Revolutionary Front would send leaders from South Florida and establish a provisional government. The success of the plan depended on the Cuban population joining the invaders.

The Invasion

The first mishap occurred on April 15, 1961, when eight bombers left Nicaragua to bomb Cuban airfields.

JFKWHP-ST-19-6-62. President Kennedy Addresses the 2506 Cuban Invasion Brigade, 29 December 1962

The CIA had used obsolete World War II B-26 bombers, and painted them to look like Cuban air force planes. The bombers missed many of their targets and left most of Castro’s air force intact. As news broke of the attack, photos of the repainted U.S. planes became public and revealed American support for the invasion. President Kennedy cancelled a second air strike.

On April 17, the Cuban-exile invasion force, known as Brigade 2506, landed at beaches along the Bay of Pigs and immediately came under heavy fire. Cuban planes strafed the invaders, sank two escort ships, and destroyed half of the exile’s air support. Bad weather hampered the ground force, which had to work with soggy equipment and insufficient ammunition.

The Counterattack

Over the next 24 hours, Castro ordered roughly 20,000 troops to advance toward the beach, and the Cuban air force continued to control the skies. As the situation grew increasingly grim, President Kennedy authorized an “air-umbrella” at dawn on April 19—six unmarked American fighter planes took off to help defend the brigade’s B-26 aircraft flying. But the planes arrived an hour late, most likely confused by the change in time zones between Nicaragua and Cuba. They were shot down by the Cubans, and the invasion was crushed later that day.

Some exiles escaped to the sea, while the rest were killed or rounded up and imprisoned by Castro’s forces. Almost 1,200 members of Brigade 2506 surrendered, and more than 100 were killed.

The Aftermath

The brigade prisoners remained in captivity for 20 months, as the United States negotiated a deal with Fidel Castro. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy made personal pleas for contributions from pharmaceutical companies and baby food manufacturers, and Castro eventually settled on $53 million worth of baby food and medicine in exchange for the prisoners.

On December 23, 1962, just two months after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a plane containing the first group of freed prisoners landed in the United States. A week later, on Saturday, December 29, surviving brigade members gathered for a ceremony in Miami’s Orange Bowl, where the brigade’s flag was handed over to President Kennedy. “I can assure you,” the president promised, “that this flag will be returned to this brigade in a free Havana.”

The disaster at the Bay of Pigs had a lasting impact on the Kennedy administration. Determined to make up for the failed invasion, the administration initiated Operation Mongoose—a plan to sabotage and destabilize the Cuban government and economy, which included the possibility of assassinating Castro.

Visits: 18

Leave a Reply