LETTER TO CHARLOTTE BRAY [GPH BIO.]
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 03:17:10 EST
Subj: Re: Letter From a: Marine [Korea] [US Army Special Forces
'Nam] & [CIA]
Date: 2/27/03 9:18:01 AM Eastern Standard Time
Mrs. Bray [or if I might be so bold - - Charlotte]
I served in the Marines during the early 1950s for 4.5 years [I
extended by initial 4 yr. enlistment in order to qualify for the
Naval Academy Prep. School at NTTC Bainbridge, Havre D' Grace,
MD.] I resigned at the US Naval Academy during late 1958,
more years of required USMC Reserve duty. I left the USMC
"Buck" Sergeant, and promptly resumed my recent gunrunning
to Rebel Forces inside Cuba.
I served in the Cuban Rebel Army from '58 thru late 1959, and
transferred from The Parachute Regiment to the Rebel Air Force
Fighter/Patrol pilot. [I checked-out in the following WWII
aircraft: F-51 "Mustang"; B-26 "Douglas Invader"; British Mod. 2
"Sea Fury"; F-47 Republic "Thunderbolt" (a/k/a the 7 ton "Jug");
Curtis "Air Commando"; C-47 Douglas "Sky Train" (which was our
jump aircraft); L-2A DeHavilland "Beaver"; TBM-4 Grumman
(Geo. H.W. Bush's WWII bird); AT-6/SNJ-3 North American "Texan";
"Trojan"; etc., etc.!
I left Cuban service during late 1960 after training Sandinista
Guerrillas and was later arrested by Fidel's Secret Police on
occasions. [The same "Sandinistas" whom I trained, became
anti-communist "Contras" during the
had participated in the tragic invasion of the Dominican
June 14th, 1959, and was able to fly some of Major Delio Gomez
survivors out of the La Plata airport on the North coast of
Domingo"! A month later I went on the invasion against
in Haiti (11 July 1959) with Major Henri Fuertes, and flew some
survivors out of this debacle after a very fierce fire-fight at
D' Haitien Airbase which we had captured previously.
Upon arrival back in the US I was debriefed by the CIA.
During early 1961,
I worked with some of the Anti-Castro Commando groups before the
Pigs Invasion (17 April 1961). I continued to train the
independent (of CIA) Cuban Exile groups at camps in the
the Keys until the summer of '64.
During August of 1964, our recently deceased (Then SF Major)
Norman J. Gray [3/20thSFGrp(Abn)FLANG - - persuaded me to join
Detachments, Company "C", 3/20th SFGrp(Abn) which was then HQ'd
Fla. Nat'l Guard Armory located on NW 27th Avenue, Miami, Fla.
moved to Ft.
1967 I signed up with the State Dept.'s USAID/Public Safety
Dept. (CIA) and was assigned to deploy to Tay Ninh Province in
'Nam. After moving my wife and two baby daughters to
the Jim Garrison Investigation threatened to compromise my
career, along with that of then Captain Robt. K. Brown. However,
continued on to the RVN and the 25th Division (Despite his MOS
as an SF
"A" Team Leader). [Bob Brown later commanded an "A" Team
SFGrp(Abn) for two tours. [After a Parachute Medical mission in
during early 1970; Bob later went on to found "Soldier of
Magazine"]. RKB retired as a L/COL during the
all got together a couple months back - - here at Fort Bragg
country during the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the Green
I grieve deeply for the loss of Norm Gray, but despite my
health problems, I had my SFC Green Beret son-in-law drive me on
hour trip to Rodanthe on the "Outer Banks" near Hatteras.
Ed Githens [re-activated and deployed to Kygystan and Kandahar
after retiring w/ 37 years of 3/20th service] and his son, along
Pete Cooke were there upon my arrival. Norm's excruciating
is gone now, and we expect that he is looking down on all of us,
naturally expecting that we will continue the duty that he so
trained us in!!
'Nuff said, kinda like "Preaching to the Choir".
Semper Fi / De Oppresso Liber
Sgt. Gerry Patrick Hemming
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