F.A.R. PLANES 1959
[Reference: Dade County OCB
DATE: AUGUST 4. 1959
TO: Thomas J. Kelly, Metropolitan Sheriff
FROM: Frank Kappel, Supervisor, Criminal Intelligence
SUBJECT: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, BOMBING OF AIRCRAFT
On 8/3/59, this writer was assigned to gather together all
the reports made
by the various divisions of this Department concerning the
bombing of Cuban
Air Force Aircraft.
Attached are copies of the report submitted by Patrol and
Officers who made the initial investigation. Also
attached are copies
of the reports submitted by the Detective Bureau and
Technical Services Division.
At approximately 2:00 PM, 8/3/59, this Agent contacted
WHITNEY S. POWERS,
Vice President and Secretary of Air International at 3400
N.W. 59th Avenue.
POWERS stated his company has possession of ten T-28 North
airplanes belonging to the Cuban Air Force. Air
International has been
doing reconditioning and repairs on these airplanes and have
had them on
their premises for about a month.
These particular T-28's were purchased from a salvage dealer
Arizona for $2,500 each and were flown here for an
They had been stored in Ft. Lauderdale prior to being
brought to Miami.
Air International has been charging the Cuban Government
between $5,000 to
$6,000 each for the reconditioning, conversion and painting
These T-28's were built by North American in 1949 and have
less than 300
flying hours on them. The U.S. Air Force found the
T-28 had a poorly
designed exhaust system which poured the exhaust gases into
the pilot's compartment.
They were subsequently declared surplus and were stored on a
field at phoenix,
The Batista Government originally acquired these airplanes
and the present
government has been trying to secure the necessary export
permit that is
required before the aircraft may leave the U.S.
The T-28's were assigned the numbers 150 to 160 inclusive by
the Cuban Air
Force. Numbers 150, 151 and 152 are paid for, the
others are not.
Planes #157, 152, 153 and 151 were rigged with the home made
bombs. The bombs
in numbers 152 and 153 were the only ones that
exploded. The others
bombs remained unexploded in the engine cowls.
The bombs were placed in the right cowl of #151 and in the
left cowl of #153.
Likewise #152, (one of the T-28's paid for and subsequently
the bomb in the right cowl, #157 had it in the left.
the bombs were probably placed in the planes by two persons.
DICK SEKMAN, an employee of Air International and an F.A.A.
the damage to the two T-28's between $8,000 to $10,000
each. He further
stated they were beyond economical repair. Air
International has insurance
under the Port rules covering Hangar Keepers
Liability. POWERS stated
the Insurance Company representative believes this type of
loss in not covered
in this policy.
SEKMAN further stated he observed a medium blue ‘50 Dodge or
facing east on the north side of 36th Street two days prior
to the bombing.
This vehicle was off the pavement near the fence and
apparently did not move
for two days. At dawn on 8/2/59 it was gone. No
is available at this time.
Technical Services advised the bombs were made of dynamite
that had been
broken up and mixed with sand; the mixture was then placed
in waxed milk
shake containers and a fuse inserted.
It is the general belief of persons at Air International
that the bombs were
placed by the MASFERRER faction.
Further reports and information to follow.
EDWARD R. CLODE
FRANK KAPPEL, Supervisor
August 5, 1959
TO: Thomas J. Kelly
FROM: Detective Leo R. Joffre
SUBJECT: Bombing of Aircraft
1. On the evening of August 3, 1959, this writer was
assigned to further
investigation on this case as per instructions from Chief T.
I subsequently received all available reports on the
incident from Detective
EDWARD CLODE of Criminal Intelligence.
2. On August 4, 1959, at approximately 9:30 a.m., I
proceeded to AIR
INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, located at 3400 N. W. 59th
Avenue, Miami, Florida.
At this location I contacted Mr. WHITNEY S. POWERS, Vice
President and Secretary
of AIR INTERNATIONAL.
3. Information from the aforementioned was in effect
the same as stated
in previous reports. His company had in their
possession ten T-28,
North American training planes which are the property of the
Cuban Air Force.
These planes were purchased in Phoenix, Arizona for
$2,500.00 each and flown
here at the cost of $1000.00 each. Mr. POWERS stated
that his company
had been reconditioning these aircraft at a cost of
$5,000.00 to $6,000.00
each. He stated that the Cuban government had paid his
cost of the reconditioning on two of the aircraft but on
none of the others.
Further payment is expected by Mr. POWERS in the near
4. On August 2, 1959, at approximately 1:55 a.m.,
unknown person or
persons entered the AIR INTERNATIONAL property and placed
four homemade bombs
into the engine cowlings of aircraft Numbers 157, 152, 153,
The bombs in planes 152 and 153 exploded and caused
to $10,000.00 damage. The damage is such that the
planes are beyond
economical repair, as new aircraft could be purchased for
the cost of the
5. Officers ROBINSON and PHILLIPS in County car 669
had been dispatched
to the scene, along with Detective D. DELONGCHAMPS.
had removed the two unexploded bombs from the
aircraft. The scene was
processed by Sergeant BRODIE, JIM GRANT and WILLIAMS of the
6. In the course of my investigation I contacted Mr.
DICK SEKMAN, an
employee of AIR INTERNATIONAL. He informed me that he
a blue 1950 Dodge or Plymouth parked on the north side of N.
W. 36th Street,
facing east. This auto was observed two days prior to
the bombing and
was gone at the time the investigating commenced.
Apparently this vehicle
had broken down. It was parked approximately a quarter
of a mile from
7. At the time of the incident two persons were on the
AIR INTERNATIONAL; the watchman, EDWARD L. ROHRICH, 4250 S.
W. 8th Street,
and A/3C ARMANDO C. LOPEZ, of the Cuban Air Force, Both
the second explosion.
8. I contacted Captain RANDOLFO C. COSSIO, of the
Cuban Air Force,
who was in charge of the aircraft but at the time was unable
to gain anything
9. I contacted the personnel manager of AIR
INTERNATIONAL and learned
that the company had several latins employed. He
informed me that a
JUSTO PEREZ, 951 East 10th Place, Hialeah, TU 7-6440, was
employed as a mechanic
helper and had been employed since 10-23-56. He is a
white male, Cuban,
approximately 30 years of age, and is a CASTRO supporter.
10. A HECTOR E. MOJARRIETA, W/M, Cuban, age 35, 45 N.
W. 24th Street,
is also employed as a helper since 2-3-58 and is a CASTRO
11. HIPOLITO CANAL, W/M, Cuban, 370 N. w. 25th Street,
18, 1959, is also a CASTRO man.
12. I was informed that a Columbian terminated his
employment in July
and went to Columbia for personal reasons. His name is
V. E. VARGAS.
13. A LUIS A. LANAO, W/M, Cuban, of 608 S. W. 15th
his employment in July. He was laid off due to lack of
14. A M. ROSADO, W/M, Cuban, of 34 N. W. 26th Street,
employment on 5-20-59 of his own accord.
15. Mr. POWERS informed me that he does not believe
that any of the
aforementioned personnel have any connection with the
bombing. He states
that all the aforementioned personnel are
pro-CASTRO. He stated
also that whoever committed the act did not have much
knowledge of aircraft.
He stated that they were amateurs because they could have
the aircraft by placing the bombs in the cockpits of the
16. Attempts have been made to obtain information from
in regard to the incident, buy these attempts have been met
results. It is believed that members of MASFERRER'S
group were connected,
but nothing conclusive has been obtained. Further
attempts are being
made to receive information in regard to the incident.
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