234. 4/15/1961

“In early 1961 we [CIA training agents] knew this invasion was coming. We were out of the loop in Ecuador, so we didn’t know exactly when, but we knew it was starting on April 15, a Saturday, when two B-26 light bombers, these are World War II vintage twin-engine light bombers, with the insignias of the Cuban air force, landed in Florida, claiming to be defectors. One landed in Key West and one landed in Miami. They had carried out raids on Cuban air bases. The fact was they were part of the Cuban exile air force trained by the CIA in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, with the full cooperation of the Somoza dictatorship at the time. The base at Puerto Cabeza was given the code name Happy Valley. The Agency gave the Cuban exiles about seventeen B-26s and some C-54s, the military version of the DC-4, a twin-engine propeller plane. By April 15, when this raid took place, the invasion force was leaving for the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba. They had about six ships and some landing craft. The force was supposed to wipe out [Fidel] Castro’s air force, so that one of the essential conditions for success could be achieved, that is, air superiority over the beach. The plan was to take a beachhead at the Bay of Pigs and hold it. There was a small airstrip there. They would have to hold it for seventy-two hours and then the CIA would fly in the civilian political leadership would come in and declare themselves a government in arms and would then request assistance from the U.S. The Marines were all ready to come ashore. They were on ships just across the horizon to the south of the Bay of Pigs.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

Philip Agee, “A Century of War and Bad Faith; Cuba History, and the CIA,” Prevailing Winds Magazine, March 9, 1994, Pages 27-28

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