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Allen Lawrence Pope


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In doing some research, I've run across info on one Allen Lawrence Pope, the pilot of a B-26 which was shot down during a CIA-sponsored coup attempt on Sukarno of Indonesia in 1958. Pope was captured and held by Indonesia until the JFK administration negotiated his release in 1962. Part of the fallout from the failed '58 coup was that Nixon fired Frank Wisner at the CIA, according to one account [Prouty?]...a move which, I suspect, came back to haunt Nixon during Watergate.

Interesting fellow, Pope...452nd Air Police Squadron based in Puson...then c. 1954, flying for Civil Air Transport (CAT), a Claire Chennault outfit...on May 6, 1954, was in the lead aircraft for a French resupply attempt at Dien Bien Phu, which led to the shooting down of what became the first two casualties of US forces in Vietnam, James B. "Earthquake McGoon" McGovern Jr. and Wallace Buford...then the shoot-down of Pope himself during the failed '58 coup attempt...which mirrored the Francis Gary Powers U-2 event a couple of years later.

Found listings for a couple of articles on Pope from TIME magazine, but I can't manage to pull 'em up. One was from the June 9, 1958 issue, and the other was from the May 9, 1960 issue.

Perhaps coincidental, but interesting to me nonetheless, is that, about this same time in 1958, there are some strange incidents beginning to show up on Oswald's military records. Maybe no story here...and maybe there is. Anyone have anything on Mr. Pope in their files?

Edited by Mark Knight
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Mark,

Yes, Pope is an interesting character. His cause wasn't helped when the pro-government newspaper 'Pemuda' was urging that Pope be given the death sentence. Pamphlets also appeared on the walls of St. Paul's Church in Tamon Suropati Square, which faced the residence of U.S. Ambassador Howard Jones. Jones had previously apologized for Pope's connection with the rebels.

The pamphlets had slogans like, "Death sentence for Pope, bandit adventurer", and "Prevent U.S. intervention".

It is also worth noting that during this time, Robert Mahau faked a pornographic film which was designed to show Sukarno having sex with a young woman. The idea was to discredit him but it backfired badly when the Indonesian population at large now considered him a stud.

FWIW.

James

Edited by James Richards
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