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Belle Chasse Training Camp


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I found this very interesting memo on the Mary Ferrell site and talks about another training camp near New Orleans that came up in Garrison's investigation. I had not heard of it before. It says that 300 cubans were trained there and there was a list of who these people were at 'heaquarters' (presumably CIA) but at present appears to be lost.

The memo says that the camp was 'entirely agency controlled'.

The memo also mentions someone called 'Orlando Piedra', Archach Smith, 'Laborde' (presumably Lawrence?) and someone called 'Fowler'.

Interesting because it mentions that these trainees arrived at Moisant Airport in New Orleans which by a weird coincidence was where 'Clay Bertrand' signed the book in the VIP room.

Does anyone know anything more about this camp and whether Ferrie wa sconnected with it? He isn't mentioned in the memo but just wondered. Would be his kind of thing.

Oh and btw, the memo is from none other than D A Phillips.

The full memo is here:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=1

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Francesca,

I found this very interesting memo on the Mary Ferrell site and talks about another training camp near New Orleans that came up in Garrison's investigation.

Since it was activated on February 12, 1961 and close on April 21, 1961, I would suspect the training that took place there had to do with the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Steve Thomas

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I hate to keep doing this to you Francesca but you are going to find a good deal about

the Belle Chase camp in the second edition. It was officially part of the BOP prep and

even shows up on the organization charts for that effort. There seems to have been

considerable effort to prevent local law enforcement and media from investigating

what might have been going on there (including demolitions training).

Good reason to suspect that Phillips was aware of it and indeed he wrote a wrap up

memo on it in response to an HSCA inquiry.

Probably the most suspicious part of it may be the part it played in preparing Nino

Diaz mission folks and the fact that it appears to have been a partial cover for

at least some of the folks who were added to the OP40 roster shortly before

the BOP landings.

The good news is that it is relatively well documented - it was even picked up as

a training camp by the Miami papers prior to the invastion.

-- Larry

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Francesca,

Yes, Ferrie was connected to Belle Chasse. Check out pp. 30-31 of my book.

Bill

I found this very interesting memo on the Mary Ferrell site and talks about another training camp near New Orleans that came up in Garrison's investigation. I had not heard of it before. It says that 300 cubans were trained there and there was a list of who these people were at 'heaquarters' (presumably CIA) but at present appears to be lost.

The memo says that the camp was 'entirely agency controlled'.

The memo also mentions someone called 'Orlando Piedra', Archach Smith, 'Laborde' (presumably Lawrence?) and someone called 'Fowler'.

Interesting because it mentions that these trainees arrived at Moisant Airport in New Orleans which by a weird coincidence was where 'Clay Bertrand' signed the book in the VIP room.

Does anyone know anything more about this camp and whether Ferrie wa sconnected with it? He isn't mentioned in the memo but just wondered. Would be his kind of thing.

Oh and btw, the memo is from none other than D A Phillips.

The full memo is here:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=1

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Francesca,

I found this very interesting memo on the Mary Ferrell site and talks about another training camp near New Orleans that came up in Garrison's investigation.

Since it was activated on February 12, 1961 and close on April 21, 1961, I would suspect the training that took place there had to do with the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Steve Thomas

yes good point, which didn't occur to me :)

Thanks

I hate to keep doing this to you Francesca but you are going to find a good deal about

the Belle Chase camp in the second edition. It was officially part of the BOP prep and

even shows up on the organization charts for that effort. There seems to have been

considerable effort to prevent local law enforcement and media from investigating

what might have been going on there (including demolitions training).

Good reason to suspect that Phillips was aware of it and indeed he wrote a wrap up

memo on it in response to an HSCA inquiry.

Probably the most suspicious part of it may be the part it played in preparing Nino

Diaz mission folks and the fact that it appears to have been a partial cover for

at least some of the folks who were added to the OP40 roster shortly before

the BOP landings.

The good news is that it is relatively well documented - it was even picked up as

a training camp by the Miami papers prior to the invastion.

-- Larry

Hi Larry, thanks for the info, well yet more for me to look forward to then in your book! I don't know that much about the BOP, but it doesn't surprise me that Phillips is involved!

Going from the blurb in the recent Lancern newsletter, seems your book should be out in mid august sometime?

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While Ferrie was connected with training at Belle Chasse, it does not seem to have been the same camp referred to in the Phillips memo.

Bill says in "Let Justice..." p. 30, that "According to former CAP member John Irion prior to the Bay of Pigs Ferrie trained Cubans at a camp at Belle Chasse Naval Station just south of New Orleans", with the source listed as "HSCA interview with John Irion, October 18, 1978, document #012754."

In that interview, Irion is not describing a Cuban training camp; he is describing training of the IMSUs, an offshoot of Ferrie's Falcon Squadron. He describes one Cuban who accompanied Ferrie on one occasion to the Belle Chasse training. Irion then adds that "The training camps he went to were arranged by Ferrie and Smith but they were with North Americans at these camps, not Cubans except for the one man he described from Miami."

It is certainly striking that Ferrie was training his American IMSUs at Belle Chasse with implied State Department/CIA support, at about the same time as CIA was operating a Cuban camp at Belle Chasse. However the evidence is not strong enough to say that Ferrie was involved with the camp Phillips describes.

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