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Frank Anthony Sturgis

[Reference: RIF 124-10289-10325.  FBI file number BUFILE 2-1499, Miami Field Office 2-192]


1-INS, Miami (RM)
1-U.S. Border Patrol, Miami (RM)
1-U.S. Customs, Miami (RM)
Date: September 22, 1961
Office: Miami, Florida
Field Office File: 2-192
Bureau File: 2-1499


Synopsis: MM T-1 on 9/5/61 described subject as "braggart, liar whose every utterance is subject to question".  PEDRO DIAZ LANZ, one-time head Cuban Revolutionary Air Force, described subject as ardent anti-Communist but interested in having good time.  DIAZ said all newspaper stories which have been printed re subject have been grossly exaggerated.  Said subject accompanied group on trip to Cuba in 1961 but unsuccessful in landing.  Described subject as "stupid".  LARRY de JOSEPH said he contacted subject in 4/61, at which time subject interested in organizing educational type operation concerned with distributing propaganda to those interested in combating communism.  After demonstration at Davie, Fla. in 7/61, subject gave up his ideas of forming organization because of unfavorable publicity.  ORLANDO BOSCH, leader anti-Castro organization, MIRR, said subject, among others, made trip with destination Cuba, but unsuccessful.  Described subject as soldier of fortune and, in his opinion, publicity seeker, absolutely valueless in combat.  On 9/14/61 WILLIAM JOHN JOHNSON, JR. furnished signed statement; said in Jan. or Feb., 1961, he proceeded with others in plane from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to Norman Cay, Bahamas.  Thereafter aircraft flew group of five persons, including subject, on two unsuccessful attempts to fly into Cuba.  Denied ever seeing subject attempting recruit anyone into his organization.  Subject interviewed 9/19/61.  Denied recruiting activities, claimed during early 1961 he conceived idea of forming International Anti-Communist Brigade.  Declined answer questions re his participation on expedition for purpose joining anti-Castro units in Cuba.  Said many of things said about him in "Parade" article written by JACK ANDERSON were exaggerated and not true.  Denied having anyone in combat training, claimed to be making plans to open private detective office in Miami with ALAN McDONALD; denied office to be used for recruiting purposes.  GERALD PATRICK HEMMING denied knowing subject attempting to recruit anyone into his organization.  JERRY BUCHANAN, acquaintance of subject, turned himself in to Fla. State Probation authorities, Miami, 7/28/61, sent to Fla. State Prison, Raiford, to serve three years for forgery.




[begin page 4 handwritten "-4-".  No page 3.  At bottom the following was typed:
On 9/5/61 of Miami, Florida  File# Miami 2-192
by SA LEMAN L. STAFFORD, JR.:mgw  Date dictated: 9/7/61]

Date September 11, 1961

PEDRO LUIS DIAZ LANZ, 120 S. W. 71st Avenue, Miami, Florida, telephone CA 6-3142, was interviewed and furnished the following information.

DIAZ, one time head of the Cuban Revolutionary Air Force under FIDEL CASTRO, fled from Cuba and denounced FIDEL CASTRO and presently resides in exile in Miami with his family.

DIAZ said he has been acquainted with FRANK ANTHONY STURGIS for several years and, in fact, STURGIS was an officer in the Cuban Revolutionary Air Force when that organization was headed by DIAZ.  DIAZ described STURGIS as an ardent anti-communist but an individual who is primarily concerned with having a good time in life.  DIAZ said that all of the newspaper stories which have been printed concerning STURGIS have been grossly exaggerated.

He said he knew that STURGIS, during the early part of 1961, had accompanied a group on a boat which was going to Cuba, however, the group was unsuccessful in landing in Cuba and he knew for a fact that the leader of the expedition, one VICTOR PANEQUE, known as Comandante DIEGO, had told him the expedition was unsuccessful in landing.  DIAZ said an article had appeared in a newspaper or magazine in which STURGIS had said the landing had been successful; however, DIAZ said that after the admission by PANEQUE he had confronted STURGIS with this information and STURGIS admitted the group had not gone ashore.

DIAZ described STURGIS as an individual who has always wanted to appear to be a hero, has sought and gained a lot of publicity which has helped STURGIS to accomplish one purpose and that is to be popular with the female sex.

[end page "-4-" begin page "-5-"]

DIAZ stated he had read the article which had appeared in "Parade" magazine written by JACK ANDERSON and whereas the article referred to STURGIS as an individual who had participated in the Cuban invasion of April, 1961, he DIAZ knew that STURGIS had not participated in this invasion.  DIAZ reported that some weeks ago he had learned through various individuals in Miami that STURGIS was attempting to form a group of anti-CASTRO fighters.  He said that for a while in Miami there were perhaps 20 or 30 individuals who claimed to be members of STURGIS' group, however, they had no money, were not organized, became hungry, disbanded and, to the best of his knowledge, all of the individuals who had come from across the country to join STURGIS' organization had returned to their homes.  DIAZ said he knew of no recruiting activities on the part of STURGIS; that he did not even know the name of the organization which STURGIS had previously attempted to organize and, to the best of his knowledge, the organization had never really developed but had failed almost simultaneously with an attempt to organize.

DIAZ continued he felt that STURGIS is "stupid" and that he had been "used" by people such as columnist JACK ANDERSON in printing the gross exaggerations of claims attributed to STURGIS  in his anti-CASTRO campaign.

DIAZ said that several days previously STURGIS had come by his residence and visited with him for a short while and stated he had been working for a dry cleaner but that he had quit his job.  He said STURGIS did not mention anything about income and that  he does not know how STURGIS is managing to live.  He said STURGIS is living with a girl who has been working as a stripper on Miami Beach.  He identified her as JANETTE, whose last name he did not know.

DIAZ said that MAX VILA, who had been a member of STURGIS' group at one time, participated in the unsuccessful invasion of Cuba in April, 1961; however, he was seized by Cuban authorities after parachuting from an airplane during this unsuccessful campaign.

[end page "-5-" begin page "-6-"]

Date September 11, 1961

LARRY DE JOSEPH, 3521 S. W. Third  Street, Miami, Florida, telephone Highland 4-5378, furnished the following information.

DE JOSEPH resided for approximately ten years in Havana, Cuba, prior to the downfall of FULGENCIO BATISTA on January 1, 1959.  DE JOSEPH had a sculptor business in Havana and also worked as a cashier at the gambling casino at the Sans Souci Night Club.

DE JOSEPH first met FRANK STURGIS a few days after the unsuccessful Cuban invasion which occurred on or about April 17, 1961.  He learned through an individual whom he could not identify that an organization called the International Brigade was being formed to combat communism throughout the world.  He heard that the organization was headed by FRANK STURGIS.  DE JOSEPH contacted STURGIS and STURGIS told him that he thought it time that the people of this country and peoples of the free world should take an active interest in fighting communism.  STURGIS told DE JOSEPH  that he had no intention of forming a military organization at the time.  STURGIS said this was an educational type of operation which would primarily be concerned with the distribution of propaganda type material to those individuals who would be interested in combating communism.  STURGIS spoke of the organization developing and becoming widespread throughout countries of the free world.  STURGIS explained that citizens of the United States could not actively participate in combat in other countries but he felt they could be used in other ways.

DE JOSEPH said he learned many people had always regarded STURGIS as a man of action and when he began to talk of combating communism in ways other than through physical force, they began to think that he was getting soft.

[At the bottom of this page is handwritten "-6-" with blanks filled in as follows:
On 9/6/61 of Miami, Florida  File# Miami 2-192
by SA LEMAN L. STAFFORD, Jr.:mgw  Date dictated 9/7/61]

[begin page "-7-"]

DE JOSEPH said STURGIS was interested in having people join his organization which he called the International Brigade.  He had a form printed in the Spanish language, however, copies of the form were subsequently thrown away.  DE JOSEPH said there were individuals who wanted to join the organization, however, the organization "never got off the ground".  DE JOSEPH  stated STURGIS did not have the know-how to organize the group and subsequently sought legal advice.  After getting legal advice STURGIS began to tell people that he was not interested in a combat organization as he had had previous experiences involving encampments, uniforms and weapons; furthermore, that the had almost lost his United States citizenship as a result of his participation in the Cuban Revolutionary Army, and he did not want to place himself in peril any more.

DE JOSEPH said an individual named GERALD PATRICK HEMMING heard about STURGIS' organization.  He came and wanted to unite his group with that of STURGIS.  DE JOSEPH understood that the two individuals talked about a survival type of program similar to that sponsored by Civil Defense.  STURGIS, according to DE JOSEPH, told HEMMING to forget about camps and uniforms as well as weapons.

DE JOSEPH said that in July, 1961, there was a demonstration at Davie, Florida, sponsored by a group of United States citizens as well as Cubans interested in anti-CASTRO activities.  STURGIS was present with DE JOSEPH.  GERALD PATRICK HEMMING was also present with approximately 20 - 25 men from his organization.  STURGIS did not actively participate nor did DE JOSEPH participate in any of the activities of the day.  STURGIS was interviewed by members of the press and there was subsequent publicity which appeared in the "Miami Herald" and actually, according to DE JOSEPH, the information attributed to STURGIS had been so exaggerated and distorted that even STURGIS complained.  DE JOSEPH said he knew this to be true because he accompanied STURGIS to the "Miami Herald" offices where STURGIS

[end page "-7-"]

talked with DOM BONAFEDE, a "Herald" reporter who had talked to STURGIS at the Davie Airport.  STURGIS protested concerning the above described distortions, however, BONAFEDE said it would be resolved at some future date.

Approximately one week after the demonstration at Davie, STURGIS completely gave up the idea of forming an organization because of the unfavorable publicity.  DE JOSEPH said HEMMING and STURGIS are not on speaking terms now because of their differences.  STURGIS claimed the only way to participate in combat is to wait until the United States Government authorizes a group to do something and at that time the group could accomplish a goal.

DE JOSEPH  recalled that some individuals had heard about STURGIS' organization after the newspaper and magazine publicity; that they had come to Miami from different parts of the country, and he had personally heard STURGIS tell these individuals to "Forget it" and go back home and go to work.

DE JOSEPH advised STURGIS is doing no recruiting, that he has no organization and that he could not identify anyone who is united with STURGIS.

DE JOSEPH said STURGIS claims he is in contact with someone in the United States Government who counsels and advises him, however, DE JOSEPH does not know the identity of this individual.

DE JOSEPH stated STURGIS made a trip recently to New York and Washington, D. C. and it was believed that STURGIS had contacted ALEX RORKE, a freelance photographer and writer who had been preparing a documentary film on activities of STURGIS.  It was DE JOSEPH's belief that RORKE had been planning to release this film; however, DE JOSEPH was unable to furnish any specific information concerning this matter.

[end page "-8-"]

DE JOSEPH related that STURGIS has been consulting a Miami attorney whose name he did not recall; however, STURGIS has stated he has been recently getting advice and counsel from GINO NEGRETTI.  STURGIS had also told DE JOSEPH he was giving consideration to incorporating his organization within the State of Florida and he was not certain but felt that STURGIS had sent certain forms to the State of Florida at Tallahassee concerning this matter.

DE JOSEPH also said that he does not know where STURGIS resides but he has Miami telephone number MU 1-5864.  He said STURGIS had visited him a few days before and told him he was in need of money and talked about organizing a private detective agency in the Miami area.

During this interview Mr. DE JOSEPH said he had been injured in an accident several years ago, at which time he suffered a concussion which had caused him at times to have a lapse of memory.  He indicated he is presently under the care of and receiving treatment from a Miami psychiatrist, MICHAEL M. GILBERT, 316 N. E. 14th Terrace, Miami, Florida.

[end page "-9-"]

[Bottom of page the following:
On 9/8/61 at Miami, Florida   File #Miami 2-192
by Special Agent LEMAN L. STAFFORD, JR.:GK   Date dictated 9/11/61]

Date September 12, 1961

ORLANDO BOSCH, 65 S. W. 28th Road, Miami, Florida, was interviewed and furnished the following information:

BOSCH identified himself as head of the Movimiento Insurrectional Recuperacion Revolucionario, which is the Revolutionary Insurrectional Recuperation Movement (MIRR), an anti-CASTRO organization.  At the outset of the interview, BOSCH was advised that he did not have to say anything, that anything he said could be used against him in a court of law, and furthermore,  that he could consult an attorney should he so desire.  Dr. BOSCH, a Medical Doctor, said he realized this, but that he had never withheld information from the FBI and wished to furnish any information desired.

In November, 1960, VICTOR, PANEQUE, a Cuban revolutionary, also known as Comandante DIEGO, led a small group of anti-CASTRO revolutionaries on a trip destined for Cuba, however, the group was unsuccessful in making contact in Cuba and Dr. BOSCH very frankly said the group did not go ashore.

Dr. BOSCH stated that ALEX RORKE, a free lance photographer and newspaper writer, had accompanied PANEQUE and a small group of Cubans on this expedition; that RORKE subsequently wrote an article which appeared in "Argosy" magazine which was greatly exaggerated, full of untruth, in that statements were made that a successful trip had been made into Cuba when it was not so.

A subsequent trip was made in February, 1961, by VICTOR PANEQUE with a small group, including SANDALIO CARDENAS EVELIO GUTIERREZ and one individual named PAZ, whose first name was unknown to BOSCH.  BOSCH claimed the MIRR had a following of 500 men in Oriente Province of Cuba, and it was the purpose of this group to join and lead this group of revolutionaries in assaults on CASTRO forces.  At that time FRANK ANTHONY STURGIS, also known as FRANK FIORINI,

[end page "-10"-]
[pages 11 and 12 not released with this RIF]

[begin page "-13-".  At bottom of page the following is typed:
On 9/14/61 at Miami, Florida
File # Miami 2-192
Date dictated 9/15/61]
September 19, 1961

WILLIAM JOHN JOHNSON, Jr. furnished the following signed statement.

Miami, Florida
September 14, 1961

"I, William John Johnson, Jr., make the following voluntary statement to Leman L. Stafford, Jr., who has identified himself to me as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  I have been told that I do not have to make this statement, that anything I say can be used against me in a court of law, and if I so desire, I can consult an attorney.

I was born in New York City, New York, on February 11, 1931.  I presently reside at 1271 Northwest 180th Terrace, Miami, Florida.  I am a United States citizen.

In about January or February of 191, I was a passenger on an Aero  Commander airplane, which was flown from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Nassau, and which was piloted by Willie Wall, who is a licensed pilot.  We were accompanied by Alex Rorke and Chester 'Chet' Maier.  From Nassau, we flew to Norman Cay, Bahamas.  Is There the two of us met a group which had arrived on board a ship called "The Jolly Roger".  As I recall, the individuals on this ship were Frank Fiorini, one Diego, whose correct name is Victor Paneque, another individual with the last name of Nimmo, and another one with the last name of Paz.  There was another one; who was known by the nickname of Guajiro.

From Norman Cay; the five individuals

[end page "-13-" begin page "-14-"]

above, with myself and Wall, departed at 4:00 AM in the airplane and flew to Holguin Province, where we had planned to make a landing and discharge our passengers; however, Diego, the apparent leader of the group, was reluctant to land, and therefore, we returned to Norman Cay without doing so.

"I recall that Alex Rorke took photographs of Fiorini as he entered the airplane prior to our departure from Norman Cay, and I personally took some photographs of Fiorini while we were en route to our Cuban destination.

"After returning to Norman Cay, Wall and I, Maier and Rorke, returned to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with the airplane.  Three days later, Wall, Maier and myself again departed from Fort Lauderdale in the airplane and returned to Norman Cay.  We again took the same group of five individuals identified above in an attempt to make a landing in Cuba; however, Fiorini advised against it, feeling that the Cuban Government had been alerted to our possible landing.  We could see what might happen, and therefore, returned immediately with our passengers to Norman Cay.  After discharging our passengers at Norman Cay, Well Maier and I Chet
went back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  I do not recall the exact address, but Maier lives at an address on Northeast 177th Street, Miami, Florida; however, he has taken a job at a bank in Jackson, Mississippi.

"I recall that the group of five indicated there were fifty to seventy-five people waiting for them in Cuba.

"I first met Fiorini on the above-described occasion.  I have talked with him on

[end page "-14-", begin page "-15"]

infrequent occasions since that time.  I understand that he is a leader of an anti-Castro group; however, I do not know the name of this organization.  I recall seeing Fiorini on one occasion in Walgreen's Drugstore on West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida, at which time he had in his hand some printed forms, which I understand were for the purpose of recruiting people into his organization; however, I never saw anyone being recruited, and I do not know the identities of anyone who might be in his organization.

"I have talked with Fiorini on occasions, and learned that he had recently gone to New York City and Washington, D. C., in order to obtain financial support for an anti-Castro organization.  He told me he had been unsuccessful in raising funds.

"I have read newspaper articles concerning Fiorini, identifying him as an anti-Castro leader, giving data concerning the strength of his organization, and to my knowledge, these figures are completely false.  I wish to furthermore state that I have read articles in which Fiorini said he had made landings in Cuba, and I personally know of no landings whatever having been made by him on any occasion.

"After observing Fiorini on the two airplane trips described above, I feel that he gave good, sound advice to the group not to land on the occasion of the second try in Cuba, and that he actually prevented the group from losing their lives.  In my opinion if I were to be in trouble or participate in any type of revolutionary activity, I would want to be accompanied by Frank Fiorini, as I have seen him display a lot of courage under extremely hazardous conditions.

[end page "-15-" begin page "-16-".  The last and final page]

"I have read this statement consisting of this and four other pages, have initiated each one, and wish to state that it is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

/s/ LEMAN L. STAFFORD, Jr. Special Agent,
    FBI, Miami, Florida, 9/14/61
/s/ ROBERT JAMES DWYER, Special Agent,
    FBI, Miami, Fla. 9/14/61

In addition to the above signed statement, JOHNSON said he had been arrested on September 12, 1961, by U. S. Customs and charged with possession of an automatic weapon.  He said WILLIE WALL was with him at the time and WALL was also arrested.  Both JOHNSON and WALL were released after posting $1,500 bond each after a hearing before U. S. Commissioner ROGER EDWARD DAVIS at Miami.

The following is a physical description of JOHNSON as obtained from interrogation and observation:

Sex: Male
Race: White
Date of Birth: 2/11/31
Place of Birth: New York City
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown
Occupation: Used car dealer
Residence: 1271 N. W. 180th Terrace
Miami, Florida

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