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Operation Pepe


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I’m wondering if anyone knows what Operation Pepe was?

probably unrelated, does anyone have a clue to what US Intelligence agent used the name Caravel?

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15 minutes ago, Paul Brancato said:

I’m wondering if anyone knows what Operation Pepe was?

Paul,

This might help you out a little:

https://www.maryferrell.org/php/cryptdb.php?id=PEPE

There's a couple of documents there like this one:

104-10074-10390: CABLE - REQUEST AUTHORITY MOUNT OPERATION PEPE

12/15/61, cable from JMWAVE to Director, slugline JMZIP PEPE COMMO: "Request authority mount Operation PEPE. MRR/DRE...(destination) eastern tip Cayo Jutias...infiltrate five men 1000 pounds cargo. Exfiltrate four men... Infiltrees are Rafael Aureli Quintero Ibarbia aka Roberto Quesada Gonzales aka Jose M. Hernandez Valdes (AMJAVA-4); Juan Manuel Guillot Castellano aka Renato M. Lopez Zamoka aka Rubin Hernandez Ortega (AMBRONC-5); Manuel Salvat Roque (AMHINT-2); Julio Hernandez Rojo (AMHINT-40); John Koch Gene (AMHINT-26). Exfiltrees are Luis Comellas, Carmelo Gonzalez, Manolo Alzucaray, and Emilio Martinez. BARR will provide 1000 pounds weapons ammo..." 201 numbers listed include 201-306319 (AMHINT-26); 201-281270 (AMJAVA-4); 201-281397 (AMFOX-1); 201-286051 (AMHINT-2); 201-310721 (AMHINT-40); 201-281268 (based on process of elimination, maybe AMBRONC-5)

 

Steve Thomas

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That's one of the pre-BOP infiltration/supply operations that David and I write about in the Wheaton Lead paper...there were a couple of dozen of them at least, each with their own code name.  Most either aborted or failed to connect and deliver.  I'm sure David has more details or could give a larger list.  Those missions were carried out by the maritime cadre that had trained under Jenkins and then were given advanced training and inserted on missions from bases in the Keys.

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Larry - isn’t this post Bay of Pigs? The cable above which Steve posted is dated 12/15/61.

its interesting to me that Rafael Quintero used the name Roberto Quesada Gonzalez. You might recall that In a thread I started called ‘Interesting Interview with a Cuban Exile’ that the exile being interviewed mentions someone he only knew as ‘Gonzalez’. You responded to a query of mine that you thought that David Morales used the alias Dr. Gonzalez, but that it was unlikely he was the one being referred to by the Cuban exile, since there was no way Morales could have been in contact with Otto Skorzeny regarding arms sales to the Cuban exiles. But perhaps with Quintero? What do you think?

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Duh, I should have said post-BOP Paul, my mistake.  The CIA kept running missions like that into Cuba though 1961,  with pretty much the same lack of success.  As a matter of fact some of the same maritime mission folks that participated in them pre-Bay of Pigs continued in the operations for much of 1961 and into 1962.  Victor Hernandez was one of those and he complained bitterly about how badly they were organized...in instances finding the ammunition supplied did not even match the weapons being issued.  In Operation Pepe for example John Koch Gene was one of those post BOP volunteers . 

JMBARR was one of the operations bases used for the missions, at Key West - everyone should check the MFF crypt list,  Bill has been adding numbers of new crypts:

 https://www.maryferrell.org/php/cryptdb.php

The supplies mentioned in the document Steve posted were definitely coming from the CIA - I have still seen no sign of any involvement of Skorzeny with the folks we are exploring in the Wheaton leads or for that matter in anti-Castro activities from 59-63. Which is not to say independents may not have met with him. 

As far as Morales goes, I have him using aliases of Dr. Menza, Nelson Raynock, Henry Benson and Henry Beckoff, but David and Bill may have more, they are working the pseudonyms and aliases in a major fashion and I can't say I'm keeping up with them. 

They are posting their work in a brand new section on MFF titled "Pseudonyms and Aliases" - that should be mandatory reading for any one following this subject - its ground breaking work:

https://www.maryferrell.org/php/pseudodb.php

 

 

 

Edited by Larry Hancock
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John Koch Gene was a post-BOP recruit. His brother was at the BOP and was killed. Koch was one of the first recruits for AMWORLD. He was one of Quintero's Commandos along with Carlos Hernandez and Acelo Pedroso. Obviously, he and Quintero worked closely together on Operation Pepe.

Koch, Carlos Hernandez and Pedroso were some of the exiles that were at Lake Pontchartrain when it was raided by the FBI in July 1963. Others were Antonio Soto, Victor Espinosa Hernandez and Miguel Alvarez.

Juan Manuel Guillot Castellano aka AMBRONC-5 was very close to Manuel Artime, Rafael Quintero and Felix Rodriguez. Guillot was captured and killed in 1962. Castro had Guillot put to the wall (firing squad).

The first AMWORLD camp in Costa Rica (Oct 1963) was named Camp Guillot after him. Pictured below.

 

quinteroFelix.PNG

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  • 2 weeks later...

David...This thought ties back to your work on the Wheaton names as well as this post. The coincidence of timing of that group being physically so close to New Orleans at Lake Pontchartrain in July 63 may just be a coincidence, but...

And of course this does seem to include a lot of connections to DRE people.

just thinking of the practical logistics of how connections could have been made with LHO who was interacting with the DRE in New Orleans at that time. Have I imagined it or is there some indication that David Ferrie was involved with Lake Ponchartrain in some way too?

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Hi Anthony, I'll jump in but I'm sure David will join in as well.  The reason these fellows (wh0 were DRE affiliated but also were or had been operational with JMWAVE at different points) were outside New Orleans was two fold.  First Mike McClaney was funding the bombing project and they were using a rural house owned by his brother to store the materials and second they needed somewhere far away from Florida because their first effort at the bombing mission had been bused by the FBI in Miami.  This was not a camp per se, it was a house with a covered porch which housed some of the materials, the rest were in a U Haul which Victor Hernandez had rented in St Louis and used to haul the explosives from the Chicago area (all of this is in a footnote in the paper including a timeline).   There is no indication that David Ferrie was involved in this at all, the participants were all from Miami and are named in the FBI investigation.

There was a small training camp operating near there at the same time, organized by the MDC out of Miami, that is described as well....after the FBI bust at the McClaney home that camp emptied out pretty quickly and the guys went back to Miami by bus.  It has been a short term effort, very minimally funded, the trainees were expected to go to Nicaragua - where Artime was planning to open his MRR camp (a cover for AWORLD).

As to Oswald, actually the links between Oswald in New Orleans and our conspiracy suspects in Miami are becoming quite clear...both on the DRE side within DRE itself at its headquarters, but also to two different sections of JMWAVE...within both its  foreign intelligence group and the DRE case officers. We tend to think of Oswald not being well known outside New Orleans at that point in time but he was so well known in Miami that DRE sent out press releases about him, sent warning letters to Congress addressing he and the FPCC - and the same material was actually reproduced by other exile groups there.

I should add, there is only one instance I am aware of where Ferrie was definitely associated with some sort of potential training camp and that was in the later summer/early fall of 1962.  I have photographs of his meeting with and actually flying around Larry DeJoseph scouting for a location for a CRC sponsored camp.  This was during the period when Sturgis and Hemming were cooperating on their INTERPEN promotion and the CRC was looking to get out from under the FBI and INS surveillance in the Miami area. As far as I know the camp never really jelled because the Cuban Missile crisis came along and things went a lot of different directions after that. The photos do prove that Ferrie was connected in some fashion to at least LaBorde and Sturgis at that point in time - but that's all I have on it. The connection may well have been via the CRC representative in New Orleans.

 

 

Edited by Larry Hancock
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Hi Anthony,

The Lake Pontchartrain crew were not your average guys. Most had and were later assigned CIA POAs (Provisional Operational Approvals). Some were members of the 2506th Brigade and saw extensive action as part of the invasion. Carlos Hernandez and John Koch Gene were part of a group of 10 sent by the CIA to Helsinki in 1962 to disrupt the World Youth Conference and possibly help to recruit Rolando Cubela (AMLASH). If you recall, Cubela was recruited to assassinate Castro in 1963 and was visited by Desmond Fitzgerald to assure him that he had backing from the highest levels of the US Government.

Miguel "Mike" Alvarez Jimenez had been to New Orleans and surrounding areas as as a BOP trainee and leader of the AMHAZE raider team. Carlos Hernandez was also a member of the AMHAZE team but was designated as a member of a small infiltration team. As Stu Wexler has pointed out, there was a Miguel Alvarez on the bus to Mexico with LHO. There is no indication that this was the same Alvarez.

Antonio Soto was a B-26 pilot during the BOP invasion. He was also a pilot in the Congo. Harold Weisberg speculated that Soto was seen with Oswald around New Orleans.

Acelo Pedroso was an armaments guy for the BOP Invasion. He along with Carlos Hernandez and John Koch became members of Quintero's Commandos for AMWORLD.

Victor Espinosa Hernandez was a BOP veteran and close friend of Rolando Cubela often visiting Cubela when he traveled to Europe.

More later.

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4 hours ago, David Boylan said:

Hi Anthony,

The Lake Pontchartrain crew were not your average guys. Most had and were later assigned CIA POAs (Provisional Operational Approvals). Some were members of the 2506th Brigade and saw extensive action as part of the invasion. Carlos Hernandez and John Koch Gene were part of a group of 10 sent by the CIA to Helsinki in 1962 to disrupt the World Youth Conference and possibly help to recruit Rolando Cubela (AMLASH). If you recall, Cubela was recruited to assassinate Castro in 1963 and was visited by Desmond Fitzgerald to assure him that he had backing from the highest levels of the US Government.

Miguel "Mike" Alvarez Jimenez had been to New Orleans and surrounding areas as as a BOP trainee and leader of the AMHAZE raider team. Carlos Hernandez was also a member of the AMHAZE team but was designated as a member of a small infiltration team. As Stu Wexler has pointed out, there was a Miguel Alvarez on the bus to Mexico with LHO. There is no indication that this was the same Alvarez.

Antonio Soto was a B-26 pilot during the BOP invasion. He was also a pilot in the Congo. Harold Weisberg speculated that Soto was seen with Oswald around New Orleans.

Acelo Pedroso was an armaments guy for the BOP Invasion. He along with Carlos Hernandez and John Koch became members of Quintero's Commandos for AMWORLD.

Victor Espinosa Hernandez was a BOP veteran and close friend of Rolando Cubela often visiting Cubela when he traveled to Europe.

More later.

Hi David,

Another excellent post sir...   :)  can you refresh my memory?... was Acelo Pedroso also among those rounded up by the FBI along with Carlos Hernandez and John Koch Gene back in July/Aug of 1963/

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One of the special things about some in the group was that they had received advanced training in infiltration, exfiltration and a variety of covert field intelligence collection techniques - that came along with their selection for covert maritime operations into Cuba before the Bay of Pig's landings.  On their way to those operations out of the Keys, they were selected and received advanced tactical training at the Belle Chase facility in the first months of 1961, a camp very quickly scrapped together and run by Grayston Lynch.  At least one of them, Victor Hernandez, had lived in New Orleans while attending college and had family members there.

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