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'Hank Gordon' & Redbird Airport

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  • 4 years later...

The following is from Larry Hancock's book Someone Would Have Talked pp 206-207:

November 19, 1963

At Red Bird Airfield in South Dallas, Woburn Incorporated had been in the process of selling off a small fleet of DC3 transports that it had purchased to fulfill a contract that ended in 1963. The last of the aircraft was sold in November and the new owner had arrived at Red Bird to collect his aircraft on November 18. As part of the deal, Woburn had agreed to completely check the aircraft and perform any required repairs. They had contracted with Wayne January, a partner in an aviation company at Red Bird, to meet the new owner and the pilot that came with him. The pilot spoke English with no accent, but told January that he had been born in Cuba, and eventually revealed that his boss was an Air Force Colonel. The Cuban pilot was extremely proficient with the DC3 and later told January that he had flown that type of aircraft in Cuba as an officer in the Cuban Air Force.

During the next few days, the two men became friendly with each other and the man made remarks which January kept to himself over more than two decades, finally contacting and communicating with a JFK researcher/author only in 1992. Matthew Smith gives the details of the Red Bird incident in Chapter 7 of his book Vendetta.

By Thursday, November 21, January and the Cuban had become close enough to talk somewhat freely. During their lunch break after a period of silence, the Cuban looked at January and said: “They are going to kill your president.” January could tell the man was not joking. He had shown no sign of being less than serious before this in any conversation. When January asked him why he was saying this, the Cuban talked about being involved in the Bay of Pigs and about being told how his friends had died because Robert Kennedy had talked John Kennedy out of sending the air support they had been promised for the invasion. He talked about the pain and the embarrassment of those involved. “They are not only going to kill the president, they are going to kill Robert Kennedy and any other Kennedy who gets in that position.” January knew the man was serious, but it was too much for him to believe and he said so. The Cuban closed the conversation with, “You will see.”

The DC3, its new owner, and the Cuban pilot departed Dallas the afternoon of November 22. January saw the Cuban again briefly right after the initial report of shots being fired at the motorcade. The Cuban, appearing rather sad, simply said, “It’s all going to happen like I told you.”

We do know that Manuel Artime was acquiring transport aircraft in the second half of 1963. A memo copied to “AM/WORLD Aircraft” discusses chartering a C-47 transport through Sociedad de Responsabilidad. The memo is from AM/WORLD CIA officer Raul Hernandez in regard to a conversation with Artime. It is also interesting that the C-53 was resold by Houston Air Center after approximately 18 months, at the point in time in which the Artime off-shore exile initiative had finally been shut down by President Johnson. It may also be relevant to point out that a CIA proprietary airline (Southern Air Transport; crypt ZR/CLIFF) had flown out of Houston. Reportedly, while flying a Douglass 553 transport for Southern Air Transport, David Ferrie kept his plane at the ZR/CLIFF facilities in Houston.

Below is the LIFE photo of Manuel Artime (right) and Hector Varone (left) with a DC-3 / C-47 in the background.


An image of Mr. Wayne January:

post-6350-005455400 1308352473_thumb.jpg

-- Zach

Edited by Zach Robertson
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