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An Anniversary of Heroism and Shame: The Bay of Pigs (This day on April 17, 1961)
American Thinker ^ | April 17, 2012 | Humberto Fontova

Posted on 04/17/2012 1:31:34 PM PDT by LibFreeUSA

"They fought like tigers," writes the CIA officer who helped train the Cubans who splashed ashore at the Bay of Pigs 51 years ago today. "But their fight was doomed before the first man hit the beach." That CIA man, Grayston Lynch, knew something about fighting - and about long odds. He carried scars from Omaha Beach, The Battle of the Bulge and Korea's Heartbreak Ridge. But in those battles Lynch and his band of brothers counted on the support of their Commander in Chief.

At the Bay of Pigs, Grayston Lynch (an American) and his band of brothers (Cubans) learned - first in speechless shock and finally in burning rage - that their most powerful enemies were not Castro's Soviet-armed soldiers massing in nearby Santa Clara, but the Ivy League's Best and Brightest dithering in Washington. Lynch trained, in his own words, "mostly brave boys who had never before fired a shot in anger" - college students, farmers, doctors, common laborers, whites, blacks, mulattoes. They were known as La Brigada 2506, an almost precise cross-section of Cuban society of the time. The Brigada included....,continued

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...


TOPICS: Cuba; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: bayofpigs; cuba; kennedy






"Where are the planes?"
kept crackling over U.S. Navy radios two days later.
"Where is our ammo? Send planes or we can't last!"
Commander Jose San Roman kept pleading to the very fleet that escorted his men to the beachhead (and sat much closer to them than the Sixth Fleet sits to the Libyan coast today.) Crazed by hunger and thirst, his men had been shooting and reloading without sleep for three days. Many were hallucinating. By then many suspected they'd been abandoned by the Knights of Camelot.

That's when Castro's Soviet Howitzers opened up, huge 122 mm ones, four batteries' worth. They pounded 2,000 rounds into the freedom-fighters over a four-hour period. "It sounded like the end of the world," one said later. "Rommel's crack Afrika Corps broke and ran under a similar bombardment," wrote Haynes Johnson in his book, the Bay of Pigs. By that time the invaders were dazed, delirious with fatigue, thirst and hunger, too deafened by the bombardment to even hear orders. But these men were in no mood to emulate Rommel's crack Afrika Corps by retreating. Instead they were fortified by a resolve no conquering troops could ever call upon-the burning duty to free their nation.

"If things get rough," the heartsick CIA man Grayston Lynch radioed back, "we can come in and evacuate you."
"We will NOT be evacuated!"
San Roman roared back to his friend Lynch.
"We came here to fight! We don't want evacuation! We want more ammo! We want PLANES! This ends here!"

Camelot's criminal idiocy finally brought Adm. Arleigh Burke of the Joints Chief of Staff, who was receiving the battlefield pleas, to the brink of mutiny. Years before, Adm. Burke sailed thousands of miles to smash his nation's enemies at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Now he was Chief of Naval Operations and stood aghast as new enemies were being given a sanctuary 90 miles away! The fighting admiral was livid. They say his face was beet red and his facial veins popping as he faced down his commander-in-chief that fateful night of April 18, 1961...

"Mr. President, TWO planes from the Essex!"
(the U.S. Carrier just offshore from the beachhead)
"that's all those Cuban boys need, Mr. President. Let me order...!"

JFK was in white tails and a bow tie that evening, having just emerged from an elegant social gathering. "Burke," he replied. "We can't get involved in this."

"WE put those Cuban boys there, Mr. President!" The fighting admiral exploded. "By God, we ARE involved!"

Admiral Burke's pleas also proved futile. The freedom-fighters' spent ammo inevitably forced a retreat. Castro's jets and Sea Furies were roaming overhead at will and tens of thousands of his Soviet-led and armed troops and armor were closing in. The Castro planes now concentrated on strafing the helpless, ammo-less freedom-fighters.

"Can't continue," Lynch's radio crackled - it was San Roman again. "Have nothing left to fight with ...out of ammo...Russian tanks in view....destroying my equipment."


"Pepe" San Roman after his capture

"Tears flooded my eyes," wrote Grayston Lynch. "For the first time in my 37 years I was ashamed of my country."

When the smoke cleared and their ammo had been expended to the very last bullet, when a hundred of them lay dead and hundreds more wounded, after three days of relentless battle, barely 1,400 of them -- without air support (from the U.S. Carriers just offshore) and without a single supporting shot by naval artillery (from U.S. cruisers and destroyers poised just offshore) -- had squared off against 41,000 Castro troops, his entire air force and squadrons of Soviet tanks. The Cuban freedom-fighters inflicted casualties of 20 to 1 against their Soviet-armed and led enemies. This feat of arms that still amazes professional military men.

"They fought magnificently and were not defeated," stressed Marine Col. Jack Hawkins a multi-decorated WWII and Korea vet who helped train them. "They were abandoned on the beach without the supplies and support promised by their sponsor, the Government of the United States."

"We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty!" proclaimed Lynch and Hawkin's Commander-in-Chief just three months earlier.


Heroes of April 17, 1961

1 posted on 04/17/2012 1:31:48 PM PDT by LibFreeUSA
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To: LibFreeUSA

This is the day JFK invited the Cuban missile crisis by appearing weak when he refused to provide thd promised air support. He is considered as some kind of saint or hero but his weakness nearly got the world killed.


2 posted on 04/17/2012 1:47:43 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: LibFreeUSA

Just one of many JFK F- - -Ups.
Brave men went free Cuba while RFK and JFK said let them die.
Next came the Berlin Wall,
Then Viet Nam,
Then the Cuban Missile Crisis,
Then Dallas.


3 posted on 04/17/2012 1:48:28 PM PDT by BilLies (Ass.Press ABCBSNBCNN, NYTimes, WaPOSt , etc., hate your Traditional American guts!)
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To: BilLies

Brave men went TO free Cuba...
sorry


4 posted on 04/17/2012 1:54:29 PM PDT by BilLies (Ass.Press ABCBSNBCNN, NYTimes, WaPOSt , etc., hate your Traditional American guts!)
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To: muir_redwoods
-"This is the day JFK invited the Cuban missile crisis by appearing weak when he refused to provide thd promised air support."

Exactly! and I would go even further and say that it had similar and direct implication of why we went overboard in Vietnam (with Johnson) because by 1964/65 Johnson was already smarting from Kennedy's looking so weak with Bay of Pigs fiasco decision triggering missile crisis (i.e. weakness on communism implication), that he went completely over board engaging the U.S. in a needless war, causing the death of over 55,000 U.S. soldiers 3,000 miles away, when he couldn't even risk one single plane just 90 miles south of FL on a country that threatened nuclear holocaust on the USA.

5 posted on 04/17/2012 1:57:36 PM PDT by LibFreeUSA (Pick Your Poison)
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To: BilLies

Thanks for your sincere thoughts. I was 7 yrs old, in Cuba, when they landed and were left stranded.


6 posted on 04/17/2012 1:59:36 PM PDT by LibFreeUSA (Pick Your Poison)
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To: LibFreeUSA

I remember it fairly well. My Sister was a clerk/typist at Hurlburt field, then part of Eglin AFB. There were Cubans all over the place.

I can remember seeing several B-26 bombers which had 8 .50 cal. machine guns in the nose. These were not the WWII B-26 but a different tho similar bomber. They were propeller driven and I suspect devastating ground attack planes but stood no chance against Cuban jets.

One day my Sister was driven home (we lived about 35 miles from Hurlburt) by a Cuban. She had a date with him but Mother cancelled it telling her she was not going out with a Cuban. My Sister was disappointed as she said every girl on base wanted to date him. He looked just like Desi Arnaz.

At the end of the Summer she went back to college and I saw no more of the Cubans.


7 posted on 04/17/2012 2:03:23 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: muir_redwoods

First time I ever cursed in front of my Dad—I got a spanking, but I deserved it. It forever turned me into a Conservative.


8 posted on 04/17/2012 2:03:23 PM PDT by richardtavor
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To: LibFreeUSA

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/195800/JFK-GETS-BLAME-FOR-US-ROLE-IN-VIETNAM-WAR.html

JFK GETS BLAME FOR U.S. ROLE IN VIETNAM WAR

No one has provided more persuasive evidence that it was President John F. Kennedy who got the United States into the Vietnam War than James Reston in his recently published memoir, “Deadline.”


9 posted on 04/17/2012 2:06:16 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: LibFreeUSA

The article doesn’t make clear the worst of it. Kennedy had been told by the CIA from the moment he learned of the operation it would fail without US air support. He solemnly promised, “They WILL have air support”. The CIA agent in charge did not trust Kennedy and made him swear two more times to provide air support to the Cubans. It wasn’t until they were dying on the beach Kennedy said, “No, air support. We will not get involved”.

JFK, as are most Kennedys, was an unmitigated POS. I won’t say I’m glad he was shot but I think it was better for the country even with Texas gangster Johnson replacing him.


10 posted on 04/17/2012 2:07:26 PM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: MtBaldy
JFK, as are most Kennedys, was an unmitigated POS. I won’t say I’m glad he was shot but I think it was better for the country even with Texas gangster Johnson replacing him.

Kennedy definitely was not the plaster saint that history revisionists have molded over the years. I can well remember the mood of the country in 1963, and it was not chiseled in stone that JFK would be re-elected.

However, LBJ was able to latch on to the Kennedy martyrdom and enact legislation that has been damaging to the country ever since - war on poverty, etc. I don't think LBJ could have done that without wrapping himself up in the Kennedy mystique. I think it is poetic justice that LBJ was undone in the mid to late 60s by the very same elitist liberals who he courted tirelessly, but who never trusted him and hated his guts.

All just my opinion, fwiw.

11 posted on 04/17/2012 2:23:27 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: MtBaldy
JFK would be remembered for the POS that he was instead of as a hero if it weren't for the Magic Bullet.
12 posted on 04/17/2012 2:29:27 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (Newt 2012)
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To: LibFreeUSA
"We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty!" proclaimed Lynch and Hawkin's Commander-in-Chief just three months earlier.

Well, not really.

13 posted on 04/17/2012 2:45:26 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: LibFreeUSA

I was a grown man when the Bay of Pigs occurred, I was appalled that we abandoned our allies but didn’t know the details.
I have read “Decision for Disaster: Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs” by Grayston L. Lynch and it makes you want to cry.
Of course the Media has made the CIA the villain, but RFK’s statement “What will the World Think if we sent in OUR military” or words to that effect expose the superficial dedication of sending men into harms way.
Hope you and yours are doing well.


14 posted on 04/17/2012 2:54:28 PM PDT by BilLies (Ass.Press ABCBSNBCNN, NYTimes, WaPOSt , etc., hate your Traditional American guts!)
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To: BilLies
-"Hope you and yours are doing well."

Thanks. My dad was arrested on the day of the invasion, while I was at school. He was working for an American co. at the time (International Harvester) and had left work to pick me up at school when word got out that there was an invasion taking place. He got stopped at a road-block, when they saw that he worked for an American co. and was not at his job (despite saying he was going to pick me up), they took him away. He was released later that night when a local police chief vouched for him. After the invasion failed, the crackdowns really started, then my mom and dad applied to emigrate. We left in Feb '62.

15 posted on 04/17/2012 4:03:48 PM PDT by LibFreeUSA (Pick Your Poison)
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To: LibFreeUSA

I am sure I read somewhere a long time ago that Khrushchev phoned Kennedy after the invasion began and scared him so badly that Kennedy was literally trembling.

That is when Kennedy called off the promised air support.


16 posted on 04/17/2012 6:13:08 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: MtBaldy
The CIA agent in charge did not trust Kennedy and made him swear two more times to provide air support to the Cubans.

Sort've like the current Cretin in Chief being forced to hit the links and sign nondisclosure agreements in order to ensure the Osama raid wouldn't be compromised.

The more things "change" the more they seem the same. Traitors in our midst.

17 posted on 04/17/2012 6:14:58 PM PDT by Repeat Offender (While the wicked stand confounded, call me with Thy Saints surrounded)
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To: LibFreeUSA
One of the most shameful days in America's history due to that POS Kennedy. And that is what he was all the adulatory history to the contrary notwithstanding.

I am currently reading An Enormous Crime billed as "the definitive account of American POWs abandoned in Southeast Asia" by former Congressman Bill Hendon and Elizabeth Stewart. It is the belief of the authors that one of the major reasons the Vietnamese held onto an unknown number of our POWs was because they were expecting to trade them for aid and reconstruction funds, having learned from JFK's cowardice in ransoming the Cuban Freedom Fighters he had betrayed at the Bay of Pigs.

JFK was, without question, a poltroon.

18 posted on 04/17/2012 6:38:00 PM PDT by Robwin
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To: yarddog

“That is when Kennedy called off the promised air support”

I don’t think Kennedy ever had any intention of honoring his promise to provide air support. If he had the carriers would have had orders in place before the invasion to provide it. There were no orders before during or after the invasion to provide cover for the ground attack planes.


19 posted on 04/17/2012 7:13:21 PM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: MtBaldy

You might be right but my understanding is the air cover and air supply were both in place and just about to be started when Kennedy called it off.


20 posted on 04/17/2012 7:19:33 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: yarddog

I really don’t know. I so detested Kennedy that I’m willing to believe him capable of any evil.


21 posted on 04/17/2012 7:23:38 PM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: yarddog
-"I am sure I read somewhere a long time ago that Khrushchev phoned Kennedy after the invasion began and scared him so badly that Kennedy was literally trembling."

-"That is when Kennedy called off the promised air support."

The Soviets did not become involved in Cuba until after the Bay of Pigs invasion. Prior to that, there were no Soviets in Cuba to have caused them to force any issue on the Americans over Cuba.

22 posted on 04/18/2012 8:36:08 AM PDT by LibFreeUSA (Pick Your Poison)
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To: LibFreeUSA
I wrote a screenplay with the title Bay of Pigs that was almost funded by the exile community in Miami. In doing the research I was able to get a look at slightly redacted CIA docs. I was also able to talk to a few members of the Brigade.

One thing I learned that is almost always left out of the story is the existence of Operation 40. This was a CIA founded and funded team of covert ops guys and assassins. They were along for the invasion but never left the safety of their transport.

It is widely believed that their mission was two-fold --- first, to follow the fighting and eliminate any communist leaders who may have been captured --- second, to eliminate brigage leaders once things were under control. The idea was to guarantee a trujillo-like dictatorship to do our bidding.

There is support for this in the CIA docs.

23 posted on 04/18/2012 9:39:17 AM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
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To: LibFreeUSA

I have been trying to figure out if there was something I did not understand in your strange post.

I can’t unless you are a Communist yourself. The Soviets were involved in Cuba when Castro was still in the mountains tho they were probably still trying to keep it secret.

It was soviet tanks which broke the invasion. I have wondered if it was actually Soviet pilots flying Castro’s jets but admit I don’t know.


24 posted on 04/18/2012 7:11:16 PM PDT by yarddog
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