The date of the title is not to be confused with the 'Missile Crisis' of October 1962
, when and where there wasn't a shot fired; whereas the failed Bay of Pigs invasion occurred in May 1961
. My term of active service was E-3 Boatswain's Mate piloting small craft on an ammo ship '58 to '62 The long standing cover story on the Bay of Pigs is that 'there was no American presence or participation': that is a prevarication.
I know this because I had command authority as Coxswain on an LCVP carrying 4 crewmen including myself, and two dozen mercenaries of unknown origin wearing civilian clothes. There were also at least three identifiable 'UDT Frogmen' (presently called 'SEALs') in civilian clothes, carrying non-issue small arms weapons.
As of May 2011, the - at that time - Director of the CIA, Leon E. Panetta (Since promoted to the incumbent Secretary of Defense), effected the Bureau of Veterans Affairs to approve my - two decade denied - application for PTSD. Prior to that approval, the Bureau of Veterans affairs was not empowered to access (since declassified) records (of covert operations in Cuba, 1960).
Letters sent to Mr. Panetta by me, further detail the motive of this post, which is an effort to gather and provide more information regarding this (formerly covert, now declassified) information issue.
An undetermined number of American military personnel participated and were lost in the (formerly classified) Bay of Pigs ('debacle'); which was deliberately compromised by then-acting C.I.A. Director, Allen Dulles, who was consequently fired by then-President John F. Kennedy (J. Dulles went on to be appointed to sit on the Warren Commission, to determine that 'Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone'... Mr. Dulles' motive for causing the failure of the revolutionary invasion was to prevent viable liaison between United States and Cuban officials: to insure the perpetuation of rogue CIA drug runners from trafficking billions of $ of annual tax free illicit drugs between Cuba and Miami, Florida. The so called Bay of Pigs 'fiasco' also allowed Castro's annexation with the Soviet Union to maintain the presence of 'first strike potential' nuclear missiles within 25 minutes of air time between Cuba and the National Capital of the United States. These missiles are still 'in place' to the hour of this writing).
Please read the following communications and feel free to respond with any information which may alleviate the - otherwise historical vacuum.
It is my objective to accumulate enough information concerning the Americans lost in the Bay of Pigs, in order to establish a public memorial - providing their names - in honor of their service. Fourteen out of twenty five operatives were lost, in my unit alone.
The subjected communications with former CIA Director - the now honorable Defense Secretary - Leon E. Panetta, follow:
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(Residential address omitted)
30 April 2010
Director Leon E. Panetta
Central Intelligence Agency
Office of Public Affairs
Dear Director Panetta:
Enclosed, please find my DD 214 attached to three other documents, including my 25 year belated form DD 215, all of which are the result of your 1985 discovery of my Expeditionary papers confirming my participation in the formerly classified Bay of Pigs invasion, May ’61 (not to be confused with the ‘Cuban missile crisis’ of October ’62).
In March and April of 1961 – prior to the failed invasion of May ’61, I drove LCVP boats and reconnaissance personnel to classified locations on the island . We were told that these activities were training exercises, though, in retrospect, we learned otherwise – namely, that we were gathering pre invasionary information.
I was responsible for and obliged to stay with my boat(s), at all times. Most of my passengers wore civilian clothes and carried non-standard issue small arms weapons. Reconnaissance patrols were usually deployed at night. My boat, which carried a maximum of 32 fully equipped passengers - although no more than 25 people were ever aboard, not counting my crew of three - was secluded on small rivers and estuary inlets, under the cover of heavy foliage. On what proved to be our last mission, over a dozen men were deployed from my boat in daylight hours. Shortly thereafter, a heavy exchange of fire – including 60mm mortar - was clearly audible for about ten minutes duration.
The assigned time for their return came and went; the incident was reported by radio – at which time we were ordered to leave the area, without determining whether or not there were any W.I.A. or K.I.A., although the firefight occurred at a close enough proximity to include stray rounds raking the undergrowth at our position. We were obliged to abandon our furtively established entrenchment and the deployed personnel.
The primary objective of this communication is to ask if you have access to any correlating records. That I know of, the Navy does not acknowledge deployment of personnel on the beach or taking any casualties; whereas, we lost at least a dozen men in the described engagement, April ’61. If the Navy Department will produce any evidence of this it may make the difference of whether or not I am eligible for a Combat Action Ribbon (CAR), which effects the approval or denial of my claim for post traumatic stress disorder, which - though service connected PTSD has been repeatedly and officially established - claim has been repeatedly denied, in response to which I have appealed, since the denials falsely allege:
*‘from the evidence submitted in your claim, there is no proof that a stressful experience occurred.’ This is an offensively obtrusive prevarication: boldly applied to all of my denied claims.
*Whereas, apart from the confirmed Expeditionary experience (which does not establish exposure to combat), I have formally and officially submitted a number of Service Medical Record (SMR) affirmed ‘near sudden death’ experiences, as well as a host of severe stressors supported by written testimony from shipmates, including my former Division Petty Officer, Roger C. Branch (who recommended me for a Bronze Star). The claim denials (enclosed, in my appeal - saying why I think the VA denied my case incorrectly) consistently ignore (stonewall) the hard evidence of Service Medical Records and the hand-written testimony – with return address & ph. # - of former shipmates. On the other hand, if my reconnaissance activity can be confirmed with the accompanying award of a CAR (evidence that I was on Cuban soil is probably adequate), claim approval is probably unavoidable.
As you know, the theater began to be declassified (that I know of, via your resolute acquirement of my Expeditionary acknowledgement by the Navy Dept.) in September of ’85, in accordance with the enclosed/attached documents. Although I wasn’t personally ‘targeted’-by nor did I return any enemy fire, I have been exposed to it on two occasions (of reconnaissance activities). Due to heavy undergrowth my crew and I did not have ‘visual’ contact and were therefore disabled from determining friend from foe during the described engagements.
I sent a letter of inquiry similar to this, to Navy Personnel Command (Code 312), , Ph. 901-874-3000.
That letter was sent 12/14/09 and has not been responded to. Upon calling them four months later (4/28/10) I was told they did not receive the letter.
As you may recall, the Navy Department denied your first inquiry regarding my participation in the Bay of Pigs invasion, and, were it not for you and your Congressional Aide at that time, one Mary Beck, submitting a second inquiry, the initial denial would have remained the last word on my request, but for your perseverance, in making the determinations that are – de facto - established in the attached documents of confirmation (DD 215, Navy Dept. statements, et al). I have also attempted written communication in this matter, with Vets Rep ‘Butch’ , of Congressman Robert Wittman’s office at 1-757-874-6687, without response. My efforts are repeatedly disregarded and otherwise nullified; consequently I resolved to effect this urgent communication with you.
Respectfully thanking you, I am,
(Residential address omitted)
Dated, 24 September 1985
3 May 2000 ... These and other associated documents, including interviews with key CIA spokespersons have been published in Bay of Pigs Declassified:
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The following award and certificate were forwarded and received May and June 2011
(The referenced certificates do not adhere to the format of this thread.)
The Honorable Leon E. Panetta
Secretary of Defense
Washington, D. C.
20301 - 1000
Dear Secretary Panetta:
Attached (above), please find my last communiqué to/with you and your staff, while you were Director of the C.I.A., with other documents from the Disabled American Veterans and the Bureau of Veterans Affairs.
My wife and I, may not ever know for certain whether you took constructive and resolute action on my behalf, regarding my formerly and endemically denied claim for Compensation and Benefits with the Bureau of Veterans Affairs: yet, we are in fact sure that you did indeed motivate action from the BVA.
Attached (above), please also find a copy of the BVA’s official notification of my claim approval, for 100%, permanent compensation for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It is understood that a person of your station is literally preoccupied with matters of global proportion(s).
Sir, I was compelled to write this brief letter, expressing very sincere and deep gratitude for many reasons, most of which you and yours probably understand.
In these troubled times, it is ineffably, nothing short of ‘miraculous’ – what I am and always will be quite sure you caused a fractious bureaucracy (once again) to finally, if belatedly, take action: in my favor.
Without the benefits proffered by the awarded claim, my wife and I were near, literally, to a demise of financial insolubility (complete disaster, in more colloquial terms).
Please accept our congratulations on your recent – and certainly appropriately unanimous – promotion by the Senate.
The – apparent – fact that a man of your station finds time to help constituents, as you did in 1985, and then, to do so again, regarding my appeal to the BVA, proves that the element of benevolent humanity still dwells in high places.
Please give our most sincere regards to your staff of the past and present.
Thank you, Dear sir, for your executive contributions to dispatching the mortal enemies of ‘We the people’, and, our Constitution and way of life.
You and yours are in our prayers, and the prayers of many others, who you’ve empowered, to empower others in turn.
I am, very gratefully and respectfully,
- Kent Robertson
U.S.N. '58 - 1962
Veterans of Foreign Wars Chaplain
Chief Warrant Security Officer
Thank you - GATE Members and visitors - for reading this missive.
If you can add to this information please do so here, in honor of those so far unnamed persons who perished.