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Crop Dusters

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Question: How many other of these crop duster pilots defected to the U.S. ?

If anyone has any information on other crop dusters, I would appreciate hearing about it.

In the Senate Select Committee files, aka the Church Committee Boxed Files, there is a document numbered 157-10014-10120, dated 1/19/76 from Paul Wallach, entitled “Oswald in New Orleans. (This is on page 2 for those of you who go looking for it).

On page 93 of this document, there is a memo from Dan Dwyer to The Files dated 9/23/75. In this memo, Dwyer describes looking at the Department of Justice Anti-Castro files from the late 1950’s to the early 1970’s.

One of the files that Dwyer examined is dated 1/22/60, entitled Anti-Fidel Castro Activities. The summary of this file reads,

“January 12, 1960, Raul Cross, pilot for Arbana Airlines. The Cuban Government was having thirty pilots trained in Mexico, (using cover that they were being trained as crop dusters). They were using instructors from Chile at $700/month.”


Warren CD# 1085 is a letter from the Director of the FBI to Jay Lee Rankin dated June 11, 1964 with attached memos and reports.


One of the Reports included is a memo from Dallas SA Wallace Heitman dated April 29, 1964. This Report discusses the residents of an address in Garland, Texas and the sighting of a Rambler station wagon parked in front with a bumper sticker that says, “Kill the Kennedy Klan.”

While Heitman’s memo is heavily redacted, other research has revealed the two residents of 806 E. Monica in Garland, TX were Raul Castro and Juan Quintana.

Manuel Rodriguez Orcarberro had revealed that Raul Castro and Juan Quintana were members of Alpha-66 and the SNFE.

For Bill Kelly: In 1963 the former resident of that address was Harold E. Yoder and his wife Rosie… He worked for Collins Radio.

On page 6 of his memo, Heitman says this his source told him that the two unnamed subjects of the memo had been employed by him (the source) for approximately one year. He said they were Cuban citizens and who were trained as duster pilots in Mexico for the Cuban Government and later defected from the Fidel Castro Government and came to the United States.


The two subjects were known to be violently anti-Castro and had attended the speech by Adlai Stevenson in Dallas when he got bonked on the head by a picket sign.

The wives of both subjects of Heitman’s memo were Mexican citizens.

One of the two subjects of this memo entered the U.S. illegally by swimming across the Rio Grande at Lightner’s Pump (sp?) about five miles east of Brownsville, TX. He crossed with his friend who was apprehended. Records of the INS revealed to Heitman that the subject had left Cuba in blank, 1960 and went to Mexico, which he left on December 26, 1960.

The INS files reveal that the subject stated that many of the students attending the two airline schools he attended were Communists and Fidel Castro supporters. He named several students (redacted) studying to be air traffic control operators were known Communists.

Just some food for thought: What if Raul Castro and Juan Quintana were double agents, sent to Mexico to ostensibly to train as crop dusters and then told to defect to the U.S. and infiltrate the anti-Castro Cuban exile community?

They talked the talk, and went to anti-Castro rallies. Bought a John Birch Society bumper sticker for their car that read, “Kan the Kennedy Klan” that they changed to “Kill the Kennedy Klan”.

They were discovered however, and the Rambler that one of them owned had a part to play in the JFK assassination, and they became patsies to blame the murder on Castro?

Just speculating.

Steve Thomas

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