OF MILITARY OPERATIONS
FOR THE BOP's OPERATION
[Reference: Dade County OCB
DATE: May 10, 1961
TO: THOMAS J. KELLY, Metropolitan Sheriff
FROM: LT. FRANK KAPPEL, Supervisor, Criminal Intelligence
SUBJECT: CUBAN COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITIES -
Reference is made to the report under the same case number
dated May 1, 1961
containing related information about the abortive invasion
by Cuban Counter-revolutionaries
on April 17, 1961.
The following is a chronological succession of military
operations as related
by the informant who contacted the writer on April 26, 1961.
According to the informant, the expeditionary force was
transported on four
surplus L.C.I.'s leased for the operation from Garcia
Lines. The ships
were listed as: Houston, Atlantico, Caribe, and Rio
P. C.'s, the Braggart and Barbara J., were to serve as
command ships and
carried the communications equipment. The four
L.C.I.'s had been code-named
respectively Barracuda, Tiburon, Sardina, and Ballena.
The Atlantico (Tiburon) was equipped with eight landing
of five 19 foot boats powered by 75 hp Evinrude outboard
motors and three
17 foot boats powered by 45 hp Evinrude outboard
motors. The crews
of these boats received training for 30 days prior to the
invasion; the training
took place in Puerto Cabezas.
The ships of the convoy were assembled at point Zulu and
proceeded from there
to point Charlie- Charlie where two destroyers escorted them
to the landing
The two United States destroyers were code-named Santiago
Aerial cover was provided by a two-engine observation
Enroute to point Charlie-Charlie, the crews and troops were
briefed on the
operation and specifically told that the landing was in no
with an uprising from within as the invasion was strictly an
The Brigade consisted of five battalions with a total
strength of 1,258 infantrymen
and approximately 300 men for the supply services. The
the actual strength of a United States infantry company and
almost no heavy
There was no artillery and the only support was given by six
Mark IV Sherman
tanks which joined the invasion in three L.C.T.'s and were
the infantrymen. Apparently the lack of sea transports
forced the planners
of the operation to reload the L.C.T's with the motorized
it , and then return to the troop transports to pick up the
Each L.C.T. carried two tanks, two trucks, and two
jeeps. The infantrymen
were armed with Garand rifles and M1 carbines plus heavy
of six 60 mm mortars, six 81 mm mortars, an six 4.2
mortars. A number
of 57 mm recoilless rifles and .50 caliber machine guns was
also used by
the expeditionary forces.
April 17, 1961, 3 a.m. - Landing operations began with first
of frogmen who were to establish the three beaches Red,
Green, and Blue.
The frogmen reached the Bay of Cochinos aboard the Braggart
for the shore under the command of their American
landing, they were discovered by a patrol of militiamen and
they were forced
to kill them. The shots attracted the attention of the
and the alarm became general.
April 17, 1961, 5 a.m. - the infantrymen began to land from
with only sporadic opposition from the militiamen.
According to the
informant, about 15 militiamen joined the invaders and
several peasants of
the nearby village approached the troops with gifts.
The landing took
place in Playa Giron.
The L.C.T.'s landed the tanks and other motorized equipment
an then returned
to the transports to unload the infantrymen.
April 17, 1961, 5:30 a.m. - At approximately this hour, the
by the Castro Air Force began on the troops loaded in the
The informant stated that at this time, there were no more
than three Sea
Furies engaged in the attack. The enemy aircraft came
one at a time
an they were often mistaken for friendly aircraft because
the only distinguishing
mark was a blue stripe under the wings used by the invaders'
April 17, 1961, 6:15 a.m. - The transport "Houston" entered
the narrow Bay
of Cochinos to offer protection against enemy aircraft but
her four .50 caliber
machine guns could do very little to alleviate the plight of
the troops on
the beach. At approximately the same time the last
platoon of Company
F of the second battalion was leaving the Houston where the
from both sides of the Bay began firing on her. The
Captain then decided
to beach the vessel and permit the remaining troops to
While the men of company F were proceeding towards the
beach, they were attacked
by an enemy B-26. The aircraft made two passes and on
the first one,
the pilot was observed waving at the men below but
he turned around and began strafing the landing barge.
The deputy Company Commander, ARTURO M. SANCHEZ, was wounded
in the back
by a .50 caliber bullet and the barge was ordered to turn
back and proceed
to the Barbara J. With the wounded officer.
From approximately that hour until the end of the day, the
Barbara J. Was
subjected to 17 attacks by enemy aircraft.
During the air attacks the transport "Atlantico" shot down a
the "Braggart" a B-26.
April 17, 1961, 9:15 a.m. - The transport "Rio Escondido"
was hit by a rocket
and caught fire. The "Rio Escondido" was the transport
the ammunition for the tanks and heavy weapons. Also
on the "Rio Escondido"
were stored the fuels for the tanks and aircraft.
After a futile attempt
to control the fire, the Captain of the ship received orders
ship". The "Rio Escondido" later sunk with no loss of
April 17, 1961 9:45 a.m. - At approximately this time, the
in the operation received orders to close in on the beach
and offer what
support they could to the ground forces with their A.A.
By this time, the Castro forces had the opportunity to place
batteries and their fire forced the ships to withdraw out of
April 17, 1961, 10 a.m. - The U.S. destroyer code named
"Santiago" gave orders
to the transports to get out of range of the coastal
that time on, according to the informant, there was
practically no contact
with the ground forces.
In the early hours of April 18th, the ships received orders
to return to
the beaches and unload some of the material but when they
Bay of Cochinos, the initial order was countermanded.
The informant stated that toward the evening hours of April
18, 1961, the
transports received orders to return to Puerto Cabezas and
there await orders.
The group was joined by another transport, the "Lake
Charles" carrying the
personnel of "Operation 40" and the convoy reached its
April 22, 1961. There they received the visit of the
of the Revolutionary Council. "Operation 40" had been
prepared to cope
with the internal uprising that was to follow the
invasion. These were
the men trained in the South Dade residence reported by the
writer in a report
dated February 28, 1961 under this same case number.
The officer in
charge of the group, Col. LEON, is reported to have died by
his own hand
when the situation became unbearable on the beaches.
Additional information concerning this case will be
A. L. TARABOCHIA
LT. FRANK KAPPEL, Supervisor
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