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March 8, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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March 8, 1963

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Time for Deeds As Well As Negotiations: F,;doy Mo,00h 8 ,963 A--P-r]e-00/nvader D-e-scr-00es Don&apos;t Worry- T-he Reds 'Bay of Pigs' Disaster Are Still 90 Miles Away THE PROGRESS7 -o % Whiting Willauer is the most recent of a long There is quite a lot of doubt about whether this plan is correct, By REV. JAMES H. GANDRAU "The sky wll be yours." This was the promise, the hope and the prayer that led a little band of freedom fighters to believe that they could liberate Cuba. "The promise of air support by the United States was the key to the entire Cuban invasion", Rev. Thomas A. Macho, S.J., assured an awestruck crowd at a Carroll Club luncheon last Tuesday noon. The San Juan room of Seattle's Roosevelt Hotel was deathly silent except for the carefully measured cadences of the guest speaker's voice. Despite a distinctively Castillian accent which blurred the "y's" and rolled the "r's", attention was perfect. Why shouldn't it be? Father Macho was describing a tragic chapter in recent world history hitherto known to but a handful of heroes. The Spanish Jesuit standing before them was an actual eyewitness to the invasion of the Bay of Pigs. What is more, he himself had been an invader. "They promised us that the sky would be ours", the former chaplain of the brigade insisted; then added with an unexpected smile; "The sky was ours; but the planes were theirs." Truth and Tragedy .... Truth and tragedy often hide behind the mask of humor. This little quip in a nutsheU told the whole sad story of what happened that fateful morning of April 17, 1961, when Father Macho's tiny brigade of 1,400 Cuban liberators invaded Castro's mighty fortress of 7 million. Sixty-five thousand Communist mercenaries were there to riddle them. But the invaders were not afraid. The U.S. Gov- ernment had led the courageous little band to believe that "The sky was theirs" and that if a beachhead could be established and maintained for three days, help would follow. For this reason each soldier carried K rations for just 3 days. The bay was held those three agonizing days. In so doing, the brigade killed 2,000 Communist soldiers outright and wounded 4,000 more. Despite enormous odds the beach was held. But the invasion failed, and it failed miserably. When the brave little handful needed the air support that had been promised, it wasn't there; when they needed reinforcements, none came. Few events in the history of this country have caused a greater sense of national shame. If bronze could blush, the glow from the face of the Statue of Liberty would have crimsoned the water of New York harbor that murky April morning. Why The Failure? The State Department has to date issued no satisfactory explanation as to why the United States failed the freedom brigade at the Bay of Pigs. We may never know why the United States turned its back on the Cuban invaders, but here, thanks to Father Macho, is'a fresh and authoritative insight into what did happen on the mystery-shrouded morning of April 17, along with the events that led up to it. ',The. first question you will probably ask is how did I,, as a Catholic priest, volunteer for this mission? The answer is easy. Because we were going to fight Communism. I knew some of the boys and leaders personally and felt it my duty to be with them. Although I was bern and educated in Spain, as a member of the Antilles Province in the Dominican Republic I had taught in Cuba several years. "At the time I got word of the invasion plans I was studying for a doctorate in philosophy at Fordham University in New York City. Became Brigade Chaplain "After some understandable hesitancy, my superiors gave (Continued from Page 6) Have 2,000 served intact and is stronger to- day than ever is due not to hu- Red Soldiers man, but to Divine action, the action of the Holy Spirit. Left Cuba? WG I Have Same Chance od theHoly Spirit lets man do all he can to preserve the Church, it is only i:when there is Furthermore, they have not changed their attitude toward him. They are still seeking accommodation to spare his feelings in the light of Red danger of error or utter destruc- China's continued harangues. Khrushchev himself, accord- tion thatGod gives man a hand. ing to his remarks published in Mankind is still free. God forces the Soviet official press agency, man to spread His Kingdom, Tass, made his position quite plain. He moved in his armed enter His Church or to be forces to protect Cuba from an saved for that matter. How each invasion by "the aggressive cir- cles of the United States," he generation accepts or rejects His said, and he is not about to truth, how they abuse it or corn- remove them again in the face ply with it will one day tell the of what he asserts is a contin- story of salvation or damnation, uing threat to invade Cuba. Here are a few extracts from But regardless of how we that published statement: it, God is alway standing / by to intervene when nec- essary, to see to it that His King- dom is never destroyed, to see to it that men and women of every age get the same chance to accept it or reject it--the chance that God is offering each of us ht now. efore we trace the history of w God has allowed men to co- operate in His New Kingdom of Perfect Truth-- Teaching--Au- thority- Sacrifice m Sacraments let us recall God the Son's Great love for us. he Son's Great Love for Us Love is measured by action. If you love Me," Christ said, "keep my commandments." "The forces of peace (meaning the Soviet Union) managed to arrest the on- coming avalanche of thermo- nuclear war, and the crisis in the Caribbean was resolved by peaceful means. "Events show, however, that the American imperialists have not apparently renounced the policy of aggression and provo- cations . . . "The government of the United States cannot but un- derstand that an invasion of Cuba, if allowed to take place, would be incompatible with the commitments as- sumed during the crisis in the area of the Caribbean. It will be recalled that the Pres- ident of the United States pledned himself not to invade Cuba while we agreed to withdraw strategic missiles and IL-28 bombers from Cuba, and did withdraw them . . ." "But this does not mean that The Son has proven His love we have left heroic Cuba at the for us by action. God the Father mercy of the big shark of so loved the world that He gave A m e r i c a n imperialism. We gave the Cuban people our us His Only Begotten Son. This word, the word of a brother, we learned in the first part of that the Soviet Union will come course under "God the Fa- to Cuba's aid. and we shall not leave her in the hour of need." Under "God the Son" we Although he did not mention discovered that the Son so loved Soviet soldiers, nothing could be us that He gave Himself for our plainer about his intention not Salvation. "Greater I o v e than to remove them from Cuba. Even if nothing more had been this no man hath that a man lay said, the Administration should down his life for his friends." have got the message. Remember one thing; All this Castro Assails U.S. As if to reinforce what did for me. We love God be- Khrushchev had said last week, He has first loved us. God Dictator Castro this week came the Son loves us far more than out boldly and sent a list of complaints against the U.S. to we love ourselves. What more UN Secretary General U Thant. can we add save a feeling of He asked that a 4,000-word let- utter wonder and deep gratitude, ter written by Foreign Minis- Think of it. The Son of God ter Raul Roa, detailing what were called provocative acts, gave His life for me! be given to all UN members. permission and I became chaplain of the brigade, list of U. S. Ambassadors whose expert advice on "The entire operation began back in 1960 on tiny Giussepa combatting Communismwas rewarded with dismissal Island somewhere well within American territory. Sixty boys and men, many of them sodalists and militant Catholics, began from the diplomatic service. Arthur Bliss Lane, U.S. to train for guerrilla warfare. It was here that Brigade 2506 got Ambassador to Poland, sacrificed his top position in its name and became transformed from a guerilla band to a the diplomatic corps to write his book, "I Saw Poland Betrayed". conventional army of some 1400 soldiers. President Eisenhower Patrick Hurley, U. S. Ambassador to China, resigned from had originally planned that the operation be guerilla in nature, his job in a dramatic attempt to warn our citizens that the State Later a switch was made. Which administration was responsible Department was helping the Reds take over China. Arthur Card- for the change, we do not know. her and Earl T. Smith, two U.S. Ambassadors to Cuba, warned "Upon arrival at Guatemala each soldier received a number, our Government that Castro was a Communist and a danger to A young sodalist by the name of Charles Rodregues was search- America. ing the high country for a better field in which to hold maneuvers. But the State Department pigeon.holed their reports and He fell, or was swallowed up by a volcano and lost his life. His asked for their resignations. number was 2506. In his memory the Brigade was named." Clare Timberlake, one of our best African experts, was re- At this point, the priest paused and pointed proudly to a placed as U.S. Ambassador to the Congo because he was too anti- medal affixed to his left lapel. It bore the insignia of Brigade Communist for the Lumumba-lovers to tolerate. Now a Senate 2506. In his eyes there shone for a brief moment a surge of sor- Committee has revealed how another U.S. Ambassador, Whiting row mingled with deep pride. Willauer, was fired for trying to make sure that the Bay of Pigs "Despite the unfortunate accident a high altitude base was invasion did not fail. established. It was called Trax. Besides Trax where the infantry Willauer Was Brilliantly (ualified was trained, the U.S. built an air strip at Retalheleu and still Willauer, was fired for trying to make sure that the Bay of Pigs another low altitude base was established at Garrapatenango. several countries, a lawyer and a linguist. He held a position of The instructors from the United States were excellent. Our army strategic importance with General Chennault's Flying Tiger op- consisted of a few paratroopers and frogmen, seven infantry eration during World War II. He was legal coordinator of Admiral battalions of 170 men each, five tanks, a few ships and sixteen Byrd's second Antarctic expedition. He had held various Govern- B-26 cargo transports, ment positions including special representative of the President "Once the training period was over the entire brigade was to the Philippines to reconstitute the civilian economy after World flown to Port Puero Cabezas, Nicaragua. As we moved out, War II. He held a pilot's license for multiengine aircraft, and other volunteers moved in to take our place. Certain of Victory "On April 14 we sailed for Cuba. For three long days we were at sea. The transport ships traveled very slowly. As we moved along we had U.S. Navy battleships and destroyers as escort. I did not know their names but one ship with a large number 71 on the bow still sticks in my memory: We always felt safe with the United States so close. So certain were we of victory that our military strategy did not even include a plan of L retreat. .,:-. ::: During the three-day trip we were briefed on the plan of attack Three beachheads had to be established. Their military names were Playa Larga (red beach), Playa Giron (blue beach) and -: the third (green beach) was never given an official name. Ac- tually, green beach was a military miscalculation. The aerial map of that portion of the bay revealed dark coral formations ;::" which were falsely interpreted as sand. The water proved so i:.':!:ii: treacherous that landing here was impossible, i:::i:; :.. Everything Went Wrong . ---...." "At midnight of April 16, our five Navy transport ships .J: creeped into the Bay of Pigs. Landing operations began at once. :-:" .::: ;: :':: :':: And almost at once everything began going wrong. I was with ".. ..... % the Second and Fifth Battalions. Our assignment was (red beach). = " '"' : i '  Huston. We had on board all the gas and ammunition necessary for the invasion. We were, as the Americans say it, sitting on a powder keg. , - .......... "There were no landing barges, only fifteen-foot aluminum _\\;/ boats with outboard motors. The motors were new and had :G: .... : never been run. It took forever to get them started. After six ::: .... , hours of noise and confusion, only the Second Battalion and a part of the Fifth had landed. As chaplain I remained on the Huston until the very last. At 6:30 a.m. the men on deck began ..: _::, to shout, 'A plane is coming, a plane is coming!'. We all began ..... - ::: to pray and thank God. But the plane was not ours. It dove and began to strafe the tand!ng party. All we had on the Huston were r/:: S: i:(:. '" c three machine guns. Castro's plane repeated the strafing several ::.. '...' " times. Then a bomb was dropped; the explosion tore off our :; " rudder. We were helpless . . . Finally the fighter dove again and re:eased a torpedo that hit us midships and the Huston began to sink. -Prayed To Our Lady "The warship, Barbara J., fled and we were left alone. Fortunately we were in shallow water and the ship sank only a few feet. Twenty-two men, however, lost their lives. By this time the ship was ablaze and those who remained were fighting ", :'r :" ':". ''''Z''" --'''''. . fire for their very lives. I knelt on the deck and said a fervent Hail Mary to Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cuba. A sailor rushed up and offered me a life preserver. Another lad of 16 asked to whom he should give his life belt. I told them both to save themselves. I felt it my duty to stay aboard the ship, even though there were tons of ammunition that could explode at any minute, was an expert diver, having received commendation for rescue "Finally, the fire was put out and the survivors headed for work performed at the risk of his own life while he was Ambas- shore in rowboats. Before we got there, Castro's plane returned sador to Honduras. He began his study of Communism and how and as it dove to strafe us we jumped into the water and swam to fight it through a connection with the Dies Committee 25 years to shore, ago. "Then we headed down the beach in an attempt to joi/ the ServedIn Honduras Second Battalion, but we never found them. For the next three In 1954, on the basis of his practical experience in fighting in- days all contact with the Brigade was lost. We felt completely ternational Communism, WiUauer was appointed Ambassador to alone. I did, however, manage to say Mass each day. At 4:30 on Honduras for the specific purpose of helping to bring about the the fourth day at the Gospel of the Mass one of the soldiers overthrow of the Communist regime in neighboring Guatemala. shouted, 'They're coming!'. I stopped Mass and turned to see Willauer was the American in charge of a team consisting of some of Castro's soldiers approaching in a small boat. One of John Puerifoy, Ambassador Robert Hill and several CIA men. our soldiers shouted, 'Surrender or die!' They answered with Willauer's team succeeded in throwing the Communists out of 'Fatherland or death!' and jumped into the water. Guatemala--the only example of the successful overthrow of a "One of the Communists was killed and three others were Communist government. captured in the attempted escape. I gave the dying Communist Ambassador Willauer received a commendation from Allen conditional extreme unction. Only God knows what was really Dulles which stated that the Guatemalan revolution could not in that poor's fellow's heart, have succeeded without Whiting Willauer. "We Believe In God" Willauer was never deceived by Castro. When our State De- "One of our soldiers pointed to me and said: 'This is a partment and other prominent Americans were lauding Castro priest. Do you believe in God' The captured Communists as a sincere idealist and as the Robin Hood of Cuba, Willauer answered, 'We believe in God'. I said to them, 'Then kiss this accurately judged Castro to be a Communist on the basis of his cross.' They kissed it. We let them go free and fled into the Communist associates and his use of the same tactics the Chinese mountains. For seven days and nights we wandered about. Reds used 15 years before. Castro's helicopters were following us all the time. Sounded Alarm In 1959 "Finally, on the seventh day, at 9:00 a.m., we were cap- On Jan. 27, 1959 Willauer began sending a series of reports tured. Thirst had driven us in search of a fresh water lake. to the State Department sounding an alarm about Castro. These While resting there, a helicopter landed and one of the soldiers reports were supplemented by a number of trips to Washington at shouted, 'Invaders!'. I answered back, 'We have no weapons, his own expense to advise senior State Department officials. we surrender'. On Dec. 10, 1960 Willauer was called into Secretary of State A soldier approached and saluted me with the words, 'Well, Herter's office and told that President Eisenhower had "a very if it isn't the famous Father Macho.' 'How did you know my special job" for him. Herter told Willauer: name?:, I asked. 'It was easy', he answered, 'I was once your "There has been going on since March 17, 1960, the prepar- student'." ations of an invasion, backed by the CIA, but run by Cubans. " "" ::!:! :i:!:::: i:: :::::'. ::::i: ::::::. :!i:::::::::::::i:.:::i:i:i:::i:!:i:iGi:i::i:::i::: i:::i::i:i. ' ........... :. ""ii!i ::!iiii::i:: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ......... ; i i!! ;i; !i!i!!;ii::::ii:i::::i::!. ! i    "  ii!! !,i;!i ".: ,,*. ":i:... " :i:! ":i:i:i:i:i: i::::i:!:!: : !':iiii::!::;i;i ., !i "i]i;i!! :': i;i- i... .i[:!.ii!!iiii!:!;:!1!:`.:?:!!:.i!.:!!i.`... :...'...'.:::: ,:::::/,:, !: ::: :K;K': ::" :$::':-:: :!:: .'.' .," ::.:!.'.'::.'.' '.: ..'...':. ............. ::::" ...i.,'.-'.' ! : !!!::"'". ::!:?.:ii ::i: .::: .... ,. ..'.'.!:::::: :i ::" ":::::::i:::S::: :i::;!. ;'.'': - - ::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ..'. i!:'!!ii!:':!!i i  ii i;i  i!":,,., i:i': ::`.::.<``::`%:::ii:i:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::$::::::..x::`: :::: `!i!!.`i.`..!!!!iiii!iiiii::!`:!i:::!`ii!::!:::i !ii!: :x``:::.``.``..`..:::!:.``:!:::!!!:!:`!:!:!!!:y..:..`@.m: :!:::::::::::::::::::::::::::!:!:::::.'.::!:::::::::::::::::::.:.,: ................ ....... ................... A STUDENT from Miami's Barry College, a liberal arts refugee children in English at the Miami Diocesan Spanish college operated by the Adrian Dominican Sisters, volun- center. (Photo courtesy The Miami Voice.) teers her services during the summer to instruct Cuban what the timing should be, various problems about pulling the thing together. I want you to be the senior partner of a partner- ship of two people. Your junior partner will be a top CIA man. And you will report to . .. 'a board of directors' of Under Sec- retary level . .. You are to have access to every piece of in. formation, you are not to do anything in writing that you can avoid putting down on paper. But get in there and take a good : hard look at this thing. Give us your real opinion on it." So on Dec. 15, 1960 Willauer started work on the Bay of Pigs. invasion as the very top representative of the U. S. Government. He made suggestions about air cover for the invasion. He saw to':, it that the 5oint Chiefs of Staff were advised about invasion plans. He consulted with the American pilots who trained the Cuban. pilots for the invasion. He operated on the premise that "this" thing should not be done or undertaken unless there was prac-. tically no chance it would fail, and that we should have to corn: mit ourselves in advance to see that it was backed up, so that it " could not fail." On Feb 8 at 11:30 a.m. Willauer was called to a meeting in,? Secretary of State Rusk's office, attended by A. A. Berle, Tom. Mann, Chester Bowles and Theodore Achilles. This meeting was called preparatory to a conference President Kennedy was to have that afternoon at 3 o'clock to review the invasion plans. WiUauer discussed the invasion plans, but it became apparent to him that the others were not primarily interested in this. . Wanted Success Willauer's main interest was to make the invasion a success, while the others were much more concerned with what other: countries would think of the invasion. When the meeting broke up, Willauer thought Berle motioned him to follow. But as Willauer came to Berle's office door, Berle went in first, followed by. Achilles and Mann. Berle turned to Willauer and said: "You are not needed." Yq Willauer Cut Out Of Plans About February 15 Willauer felt that the plans for the Bay  of Pigs invasion had progressed to where he needed to talk the CIA in order to complete arrangements for the jet cover for: the invasion. He arranged an appointment for a few days later: with the appropriate officials in the CIA. On the day before the appointment, Tracy Barnes of the CIA, who was serving as Wi!- lauer's junior partner in the Bay of Pigs invasion plans, tele: phoned Willauer and said' "We can't talk to you any more. W can only talk to other people." This was the only official word Willauer had that he was . cut out of the Bay of Pigs invasion plans. Secretary Rusk" was out of the country at the SEATO Con- ference, and so Willauer tried to see Under Secretary Chester Bowles. Willauer called Bowles' secretary every day for 30 days straight, but was unable to get an appointment. One day Wil; lauer met Bowles in the hall. Bowles said, "I am awfully busyj. I will see you later." But he never did. Given The Run.Around *': WiUauer met Berle a couple of times and asked Berle what he was supposed to do. Berle said, "I don't know." Willauer finally realized that be was being given the general run-around and had been froT.en out of all preparation for the Bay of Pigs invasion. Willauer was amazed that he was fired from his job with .2 out being permitted to give anyone the benefit of his experience. Of all men in our Government, Willauer was the most uniquely', qualified to oversee the American-backed attempt to overthrow- Castro because Willauer had led the team which did a similar job so successfully in Guatemala. Because Willauer was not kept in charge, the Swan Island radio station "somehow" failed to broadcast the signal to the Cuban underground, the Liguum Vitae Island station was forbic den to tell the Escambray guerrillas to cut the only rail line frotlli Havana to the Bay of Pigs over which Castro moved his tank Castro's air force was not knocked out, some invaders armed wi 30-caliber machine guns received 50-caliber ammunition, others armed with Garand rifles i'eceived cartridges made for Sprin fields, paratroopers had no sleep for two nights and no food or water for seven hours before jumping into Cuba, and Americam warships steamed away without even offering the outgunned it/, vaders a Dunkerque evacuation. Many of the ransomed Cuban freedom fighters asked reporter Ray Henle: "Did someone want the invasion to fail?" Some months after the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 ra- sulted in total failure, Willauer died of a broken heart, knowing that, had he been kept on the job, seven million people would have been liberated from Communism. Whiting Willauer's sworn testimony was given to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee in July 1961, but it has just recently been released as Part 13 6f the hearing entitled "Communist Threat To The United State Through The Caribbean". Write your Senator for a copy. --Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation. Forum Discusses Red Threat In Hemisphere (Continued from Page 1) ligerent mood," but that "a new strategy" is needed to meet the "Castro - Communist challenge." Without this new strategy, he said, "we run the risk of Soviet imperialism ex- tending its domination to all Latin America, and even to the United States." Gonzalo Ortiz, former Costa Ricau ambassador to the U.S., said that "if something is not done quickly, effec- tively and on a basis of Inter- Amerieun cooperation among the peoples and governments of the hemisphere, I fear I must nredlet that wi:hin six years half of Latin America will be under Soviet domina- t;on." "The promise of justice which should be made to Cuba and to all our peoples is that, once an end is put to political corruption and liberty is re- stored, a vigorous program will be launched to provide efficient methods of work and adequat e compensation for this labor." Dr. De Varona said "the Castro - Communist threat is provoking in Latin America an alarming flight of capital and a considerable decrease in private investments." Ortiz said mass media in the U.S. give our people a wrong picture of Latin Americans. He said "our people want to Cubans Resettled LOS ANGELES, (NC) -- Ten Cuban refugee families newly arrived for resettlement bring to 401 the number of Cubans brought there by the Catholic Resettlement Committee f o r Cubans. work." He added it is nOt enough to overthrow bad go?- ernments, but respect for human dignity must be estab- lished and "economic mea0- ing must be given to democ- racy "so that our peoples can rise above the misery in whiqh they live." The forum was sponsored By Reader's Digest and was held at the National Press Club. Job Is To Makel All Year For Peace : VATICAN CITY (Radio, N) --His H o I i n e s s Pope Join XXIII said at a general audi- ence that the Pope is a man of peace and it is his job to make the yearning for peabe felt by all. Pope John said February : 7 that even in his meetings with heads of state and leaders bf nations the Pope cannot blat stress the peace of the Loll, good agreement, and obedicace to the laws framed by Chris. tian civilization. Calling attention to the har- mony and unity of intention of the more than 2,000 Fath- ers of the Second Vatican Council, the Pope said that although they might have had differing points of view tLey worked to complete and to clarify positions and con- cepts. He stated that if all men show love for God. and for one anothers as brothers, they will have even on earth some peace, some quiet and the blessings of God.