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Dickey Chapelle

John Simkin

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Guest Tom Scully

You're welcome, Robert. I don't have much time, so I'll reply quickly and provide documentation later,

Cord Meyer related info in this post is almost all documented in other threads on this forum.

The Chapelle's family was well known in Milwaukee :

The Voyagers: a history of Geuders and Paeschkes, 1600-1940

books.google.com Julianne Ruetz - 2004 - 328 pages Their father, Franz Neukirch, came to Milwaukee in 1839, and engaged in farming, and his family followed a year later. ... Mrs. Meyer is the widow of John B. Meyer who came here from Boston upon the invitation of Solomon Juneau in 1833, ...

John B. Meyer invested in a brewery and defended against bankruptcy and loss of his brewery in the early 1840's by

orchestrating a much criticized but often repeated maneuver of transferring ownership to his father-in-law, Neukirch.

After his creditors accepted that Meyer had protected himself from them and the financial health of the brewery was

restored, Neukirch ceded ownership back to Meyer and returned to farming. John B. Meyer died in 1847 and his

father-in-law Neukirch again took control and appointed his son-in-law, Charles Melms as manager. By the 1860's, Melms

was the largest brewery in Milwaukee and was recognized nationally. Under Melm's son the brewery experienced another

financial crisis in 1869 and was bought out by competitor Pabst. There is a landmark property law case settled by the

Wisconsin Supreme Court titles Melms vs. Pabst. Meyer's widow and her sister, Mrs. Charles Melms are described as

atttempting to prove that John B. Meyer was the first German in Milwaukee to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen.

Dickey Chapelle's uncle was a municipal systems engineer, (electrical, water, and sewage systems) partnered with Francis

A. Vaughn (Meyer and Vaughn) and later with Charles Pillsbury.

Cord Meyer's brother married Jock Whitney's niece (the daughter of Joan Whitney Payson). Charles Bartlett's brother Davis was

an usher in that wedding, as was Cord Meyer and his first cousin, S. Willetts Meyer. S. Willetts Meyer was the best man

in Edward Gordon Hooker's wedding and GHW Bush was an usher.

ANDRA H. PAYON MANBASSBT-BRE; Has 9 Attendants at ...

New York Times - Dec 19, 1948

18-The marriage of Miss Sandra Helen Payson, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Shipman ... The usher were Cord Meyer Jr., another brother; Willetts Meyer. cousin of the bridegroom; David F. Bartlett of Hobo Sound, Fla.; Robert Watts .


New York Times - May 24, 1946

The marriage of Miss Marion Therese Butler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Bryant Butler of ... of New York and of Roland Mather Hooker of Miami Beach, Fla ., took place yesterday morning in the ... Willets Meyer of New York was best man. The ushers were George Herbert Walker Bush of Greenwich, Conn. and John Clark ...



19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

April 24, 1961




After reading your article on distance runner Fred Norris (The Oldest Freshman, Jan. 23) I contacted seven friends of mine—J. Bogert Tailer, Donald B. Tansill Jr., Garrick C. Stephenson, Richard T. Frick Jr., O. J. Anderson, Robert S. Coleman and S. Willets Meyer—who I felt might be willing to share in providing the necessary funds to enable Mr. Norris to compete in the Boston Marathon. Although none of them is a runner, every one of them became enthusiastic about the project.

I know you'll be glad to hear that because of their support Mr. Norris will be running in Boston this Wednesday.


Mill Neck, N.Y.

Ault, Jr. is a CFR member, his son married a woman born in Cuba, her father was a WR Grace V.P. :

Navarro, Ault Plan Wedding . - Google News


... their daughter, Avis Elizabeth Navarro. to Courtlandt Bromwell Ault, son of Mr. Bromwell Ault Jr. of New York and Mrs. George Gilmer Meredith of Palm Beach.

Edited by Tom Scully
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Eugene Meyer is an interesting character. He purchased the Washington Post at a bankruptcy sale in 1933. His daughter, Katherine Meyer, married Phil Graham in 1940. He joined the OSS during the Second World War. Graham was sent to China where he worked with John K. Singlaub, Ray S. Cline, Richard Helms, E. Howard Hunt, Mitchell WerBell, Jake Esterline, Paul Helliwell, Robert Emmett Johnson and Lucien Conein. Others working in China at that time included Tommy Corcoran, Whiting Willauer and William Pawley.

According to the American journalist, Edgar Ansel Mowrer, who worked closely with British intelligence in the 1930s, Eugene Meyer was a member of the media group who worked closely with first British Security Coordination (BSC) and then the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during the Second World War.

In 1946 Eugene Meyer appointed his son-in-law, Phil Graham, as associate publisher. He eventually took over business side of the newspaper's operations. He also played an important role in the paper's editorial policy. It is claimed that Graham had close links with the Central Intelligence Agency and it has been argued that he played an important role in Operation Mockingbird, the CIA program to infiltrate domestic American media. According to Katherine Graham, her husband worked overtime at the Washington Post during the Bay of Pigs operation to protect the reputations of his friends who had organized the ill-fated venture.

In the early 1960s Phil Graham began an affair with Robin Webb. Graham made a new will where he left everything to Webb, effectively depriving Katharine of her controlling interest in the Washington Post. Three times in the spring of 1963 Graham re-wrote his original will of 1957. Each of Graham's 1963 revisions reducing his wife's share and expanding the share he intended for his mistress. Ultimately, the last version cut out Katharine Graham altogether.

Katharine obviously knew something was afoot because, as Deborah Davis reports, Mrs. Graham "told [her own attorney] Clark Clifford that the divorce settlement must assign control of The Washington Post, and all of the Post companies, exclusively to her."

Matters finally came to a head when Philip attended a newspaper publishers convention in Arizona and delivered a blistering speech attacking the CIA and exposing "insider" secrets about official Washington-even to the point of exposing his friend John Kennedy's affair with Mary Pinchot Meyer, the wife of a top CIA official, Cord Meyer.

At that point, Katharine flew to Phoenix and snatched up her husband who was captured after a struggle, put in a straitjacket and sedated. He was then flown to an exclusive mental clinic in the Washington suburb of Rockville, Maryland. On the morning of 3rd August 1963, Katharine Graham reportedly told friends that Philip was "better" and coming home. She drove to the clinic and picked up her husband and drove him to their country home in Virginia. Later that day, while "Kay" was reportedly napping in her second floor room, Phil Graham shot himself in a bathtub downstairs. Although the police report of the incident was never made public, the death was ruled a suicide.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Fire In The Wind: The Life of Dickey Chapelle- Roberta Ostroff- 1992 - Ballantine Books

excerpts pages 134 &136

By August of that year [1947] Dickey and Tom were courting John Kavanaugh, the public relations director

of the Quaker’s American Friends Service Committee. They were printing up dozens of publicity photos for the Friends and refusing any reimbursement. “Let’s just say were the friends of the Friends,” Tony wrote Kavanaugh on August 26, 1947.

Cooler heads than Edna’s would have winced at the trip her daughter was setting off on. When Tony sat

down with her and showed her a map, explaining in his calm, masterful, voice that they had stored half a dozen jerricans of gasoline to have enough fuel to reach the Atlantic Ocean in the event of a Russian army invasion from Germany, Czechoslovakia, or Poland, Edna panicked. Later she would write to “atone” for her behavior. However, her hysteria was effective. During the Chapelle’s time in Europe, they stayed in their truck, with Dickey’s childhood hand puppet, Oscar, sent by Edna, swinging from the rearview mirror. Edna had wanted to include an old quilt made while Dickey was at MIT, but Dickey refused to schlepp a falling-apart, smelly old blanket through Europe. The Chapelle’s were traveling light. They turned down the comfort offered at the Quaker guest houses en route except as a last resort......

page 317

That October, while Dickey was in Binh Hung, Hobart Lewis sent her a letter with another “urgent” request for another article on the subject of guerilla warfare, which was becoming a subject of keen interest to General Maxwell Taylor, who would be arriving that month in Vietnam to appraise the situation for President Kennedy. Sincce Dickey knew far more about the subject than he would ever hope to, Lewis declined to suggest how she write it for the general........Before Taylor left Vietnam (no doubt having read Dickey’s report) with recommendations to increase U.S. military advisers and thus create a “limited partnership” between the United States and South Vietnam, he planned to visit Binh Hung. Dickey was so excited she herself raised the American flag. Although she had met Taylor casually at the Overseas Press Club, she felt close to him “as one old paratrooper to another.”

page 321-322

Dickey Chapelle - Georgette Louise Meyer[maiden name]

Dickey After the JFK Assassination

page 365......Dickey's friend at the Pentagon, Ed Lansdale tried to help her get to Vietnam on April 1. [year 1964] He wrote to United States Air Force General Chief of Staff Curtis E. LeMay. whose "air commandos" were operating in Vietnam with the Vietnamese air force. LeMay's "Air Gorillas," as some army advisors referred to them, were a specially trained tactical force. They dressed in unusual nonregulation outfits, favoring French bush hats with red pom-poms, and had recently picked up some negative press when the Vietnamese air forcer bombed a Cambodian border village “[Chapelle is] the one reporter I know who understands guerilla warfare from having seen so much of it,” Lansdale wrote. “She is an outspoken gal who is the darling of the Marine Corps, but she does get in close and knows counterinsurgency the way Ernie Pyle knew the ground war in World War II. The real good paramilitary forces hold her in high esteem and affection.”

page 370-71

Dickey flew up to Vientiane that night, arriving late, but not too late for the marine guard at Ambassador Unger’s residence to invite her in. Ambassador Unger saw her at once and appeared “delighted” by her plans. Speaking warmly of the National Geographic, he assured her of his support and said he would so instruct his senior air attache, Colonel Tyrell and Colonel Van Bibber— both of whom were his subordinates. She was treated to a briefing by Colonel Tyrell that seemed to bear out the ambassador’s promise and then was flown by Tyrell back to Savannakhet in his personal plane so that General Ma would see she had the backing of the United States Ambassador. Call it women’s intuition, call it a rerun, but Dickey didn’t quite

trust Ambassador Unger. Could it be, she wondered, that Unger was unaware of the real military strategy in his area of responsibility? Actually, according to Christopher Robbin’s The Ravens, a book about “the men who flew in America’s secret war in Laos,” Unger knew well what was going on. After conferring with the command group in Saigon, and receiving General Stilwell’s approval of the plan that she fly with General Ma, Dickey flew back to Savannakhet. In possession of written credentials to the Royal Lao Air Force, she waited excitedly in her hotel room, as instructed, for a visit from “some American officers.” After three long days, they showed up—”crew cuts, flat guts, sports shirts—introducing themselves as ‘semi-clandestine.’ ” To Dickey that seemed consistent with the covert nature of the United States in Laos, and she resisted the

temptation to joke about being “semi-clandestine.” The three men offered to help Dickey with her assignment. After they left, she dashed off a note to the magazine to expect the photos after her delay. “I thought I had surmonted the last roadblock to getting the photos,” she later wrote Wilburn, “the last but for being shot down.” In fact she was never to see General Ma again.

When the three men returned, it was to inform Dickey that General Ma now refused to allow her to accompany him because “he suddenly couldn’t understand English and I was a woman and Buddhist warriors do not go into combat accompanied by women.” After several attempts to contact Ma, and in possession of several invitations from his pilots to fly her, Dickey realized she would never get her story. She was feeling every bit the fool, done in once again by representatives of her own government, this time in the Land of a Million Elephants. Unaware of the extent and nature of American military involvement,

Dickey was nevertheless aware intuitively of certain unsettling facts and implications. She knew that the Royal Lao Air Force was not guided by the expressed will of its commander, nor even by the U.S. Ambassador. She believed it was commanded by theclandestine types who had come to visit her.

see Ambassador Unger’s obituary below

Leonard S. Unger, 92, a retired Foreign Service officer, died June 3, 2010 in. Sebastopol, California. He joined the Foreign Service in 1958. He served as Ambassador to Laos and Thailand and was the last U.S. ambassador to Taiwan. After retiring he taught briefly at a number of universities in Washington and Boston and for several years at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. In 2000 he moved to California.

courtesy of Department of State Magazine December 2010.

Although the above incident took place circa October, 1964, I believe it could provide an insight that might predate the Kennedy assassination. Anyone who has read John Newman’s JFK and Vietnam, is aware that intrigues and deception were in abundance regarding JFK and Vietnam, the fact that Chapelle seems to have been more in the picture regarding providing intelligence regarding counterinsurgency tactics to the JFK Administration, knew Tony Cuesta, Frank Sturgis, Gerry Hemming, Lansdale, Maxwell Taylor, and Felipe

Vidal Santiago and was a member of the Citizens Committee For A Free Cuba, might give some pause before dismissing my point.

In my last post I mentioned Roberta Ostroff’s belief that Dickey’s “suicide mission” during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution involvedrescuing Cardinal Mindszenty from captivity, I learned a factoid that makes this seem more than just an idle claim by an author trying to sell books. Due to the fact that when the Hungarian Revolt began, Mindszenty was, according to House of War author, James Carroll......

page 163

The cardinal archbishop of Hungary, Jozsef Mindszenty was charged with treason and imprisoned for life......(Mindszenty would escape his Communist prison during the short-lived Hungarian uprising of 1956 and take refuge in the American Embassy in Budapest, where he remained until 1971.)

Warrior: Frank Sturgis ---The CIA's #1 Assassin-Spy,Who Nearly Killed Castro but Was Ambushed by Watergate [Jim Hunt and Bob Risch] - Forge [Tom Doherty Associates] - 2011

page 288-89;

During the time I spent with Frank he introduced me to some interesting people. I met Carlos Prio, former

president of Cuba; Geraldine Shamma, the wife of a wealthy Cuban who operated a “safe house” for the

CIA; Manuel Artime; Macho Barker; the Diaz Lanz brothers; and, on one occasion, a lady named Dickey

Chapelle. Frank told me that she was a photojournalist who did work for National Geographic magazine.

She began her career during World War II, during which she jumped with paratroopers behind enemy lines.

Frank first met her in the Sierra Maestre mountains when he was a captain in Castro’s rebel army. He said she

was the “toughest woman” he had ever known, “braver than most men,” adding, and, she cusses like one.”

Frank did not like women who used the “f” word, but in her case he made an exception. We met her for lunch

and she was actually circumspect about her language, owing to the fact that my ten year old cousin Gale was

with us. Dickey told us that she had done work all over the world, and like Frank, she was an ardent

anti-communist. She proudly wore the wings that had been awarded to her in World War II signifying that she

was a paratrooper. She said she was planning to do a story about Frank, so after lunch, we went to a state park, where she took a number of pictures. She also took some shots that included me, my Aunt Janet, and my cousin Gale. I remember Frank showing me proofs and prints of these photos a few weeks later. I have never seen them since and my aunt believes they were lost during Hurricane Andrew. Several years later, I asked Frank about Dickey Chapelle and the planned article and he said that she had recently been killed by a land mine while on patrol with a squad of Marines fighting in the Vietnam War. She was the first journalist journalist to be killed during that war and the first female war correspondent casualty ever. As far as I know, she never finished or published the piece about Frank.

Robert: It would be pushing buttons too ascribe a sinister element to Dickey's never publishing the Sturgis interview, at any rate the fact that she was really involved in covering the early 1960's practitioners of counterinsurgency makes her a real insight into the era....Reading about her death makes me think about the death of Tom Slick see Education Forum

see thread Loren Coleman One of the Good Guy's......

Edited by Robert Howard
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