The Bay of Pigs and the Goodness of God
By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None of His Benefits:
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28In the fall of 1960 a representative from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and General Reid Doster of the Alabama Air National Guard, 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing located at the airport in Birmingham, met with Alabama Governor John Patterson on a very important mission. The CIA was planning to overthrow Cuban dictator Fidel Castro who had come to power in January, 1959. Doster and the CIA were asking for Patterson’s permission to recruit pilots and service personnel from the 117th to train Cuban exile pilots for the invasion. Patterson agreed as long as the Alabama airmen were not required to engage the enemy. They could serve as advisors but nothing more. Doster and the CIA agreed. Why the Alabama Air National Guard? Because they flew B-26 bombers, leftovers from World War II, the same planes the Cuban Air Force flew. The plan was to remove any U.S. Air Force markings and replace them with Cuban markings to make it look like this was totally a Cuban led action against Castro, that Cuban pilots had hijacked the bombers and were using them against Castro and his army. So in February, 1961, less than a month after John F. Kennedy was sworn into office, thirty-seven men from the 117th, including eight pilots, left Birmingham and traveled to Guatemala to train the Cuban exile freedom fighters. None the men’s wives or children knew where they were going or why. They were given new identities, new names and new addresses. The men were paid handsomely for their expertise, $2850 per month, which in 2022 U.S. dollars would be $26,600 per month. The CIA’s plan was to back the Cuban exiles who vowed to rid their country of Castro and Marxism.
The CIA’s plan was approved by Dwight Eisenhower in the last few months of his Presidency and Kennedy inherited the plan. A few days before the mission was to commence Kennedy got cold feet, worrying that this would be very easy to trace back to the United States. Therefore Kennedy withdrew air support from the pilots who were to bomb strategic locations in Cuba while 1500 Cuban freedom fighters made a land invasion on the southern coast of Cuba in a place called the Bay of Pigs.
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