"On the morning of October 27, 1962, a super secret high altitude U-2 spy plane flown by Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr., USAF, left McCoy AFB, Florida, on one of a series of Cuban overflights. A few hours into his flight two of three Soviet SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missiles slammed into Anderson's U-2 killing him outright."
The Cuban Missile Crisis has traditionally been said to have fallen between the dates October 16 - 28, 1962, with the formal blockade not ending until November 21. Because of the crisis the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, stationed in the geographical center of the United States at Fort Riley, Kansas, for quick and easy deployment to anywhere in North America, was put on its highest level of alert. Because of that alert, part of the Divisions's 121st Signal Battalion was sent to forward positions in Florida, actually establishing communications back to Division and from there to 6th Army Headquarters and beyond in preparation for an assault on Cuba. B Company was stationed at McCoy AFB (now part of Orlando International Airport) to put into place those communication efforts before the public was even aware of a problem. When it became known, the 1st Infantry Division and the world stood on the brink, then stood down. For the record, because of being totally off the record as the case may be, the government has never recognized that the 121st had been deployed to Florida.
"For a vast number of young men growing up around the same time I did, after reaching a certain age, they were uprooted from whatever they were doing by the then in place friendly Selective Service System, otherwise known as the draft, and plunked down into the military. And so it was for me. Following a crowded ruckus-filled overnight 400 mile train ride from the induction center in Los Angeles to Fort Ord I, along with several hundred other potential GIs, at 4:00 AM in the morning, was herded into one of a whole line of cattle trucks and taken to what they called the Reception Company Area. Then, after being issued two pairs of too large boots along with several sets of too large olive drab shirts and pants, and having the good fortune of completing eight weeks of basic without incident I was sent to Fort Gordon, Georgia to attend the U.S. Army Signal Corps School for what they called Advanced Individual Training, or AIT."(see)
The above quote, written by me, shows up in any number of places. In it I state that after arrival at Fort Ord, California for Basic Training, but before being sent to Fort Gordon, Georgia for Advanced Individual Training, I had the good fortune of completing eight weeks of basic without incident. The thing is, there is a slight caveat to that statement I leave unsaid most of the time because I just don't want to get into it, a caveat related to both the Cuban Missile Crisis and the mob.
During my eight weeks of Basic Training I actually had a four week gap that required me to be a hold over for completion of training before being sent to Fort Gordon. Almost before I was able to break in my first pair of brand new combat boots or anything else I was called out of muster one morning and told to report to the First Sergeant. After quick introductions a man in a civilian suit said he heard I was highly versed in Morse code, could type, had a clearance, and was familiar with the U-2. I told him yes to all four. Then he asked me what my connection to Johnny Roselli was. I thought oh shit, here we go again --- I'm done. I told him Roselli was a friend of my Stepmother and that I had known him since I was around ten years old. He asked me if I knew anything about Roselli and a connection to Cuba. When I said no he said don't lie to me son. Again I said no. The man handed some papers to the sergeant and told him they were orders to "borrow" me. Which he did.
Before sundown of the next day, sporting brand new Sergeant E-6 stripes on my nearly as new, basically just issued fatigue shirt, the private slick sleeve that I was, without having even finishing Basic Training and with nobody knowing it but with almost VIP treatment, I was taken to where several 1st Infantry Division 121st Signal Battalion radio rigs were set up at McCoy Air Force Base, Florida. There, in front of a rig that wasn't set up for operation, but instead road ready with a generator trailer and all, I met several high ranking officers, of which one, in civilian clothes I recognized immediately but was waved off as if I didn't. The man was introduced as Colonel Rawlston, but who I knew as Johnny Roselli. After the introductions a sergeant took me over to the driver of the rig and two radio operators. The whole show I took to be to intimidate the G.I.s as to my "importance." We were being sent down to Key West (or possibly Key Largo or Marathon Key) to provide communication between McCoy and the Key and between the Key and somewhere else. That somewhere else involved Colonel Rawlston, that is Roselli, and he personally wanted me to be a member of the radio rig crew, but since I had no actual rank or time in grade, he wanted me to at least have status. The radio operators were told they were in full control to run the rig. The only time I was to intercede was if anything had to do with Colonel Rawlston.
ROSELLI IN UNIFORM WORLD WAR II, 5TH ARMORED DIVISION
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"Johnny Roselli was a high ranking member of organized crime, also referred to as the mob, the Mafia, the syndicate, the outfit, and any number of other names and titles. Call it what you will, Roselli was an integral part of it all most of his life, from a young teenage boy in the 1920's to his ultimate demise under their aegis in 1976. Even though he was never a don in the classical sense, he carried a huge amount of sway, influence and stature ahead of himself in the mob, most certainly well beyond his made-man status. His position was totally different and unusual in the organization, a role that did not exist before him and that has not been duplicated since."
JOHNNY ROSELLI: Mafioso
Roselli and the Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana had their own huge personal and financial motivations for eliminating Castro when he came to power. One of the first things Castro did was shut down all the Mafia's very lucrative brothels and casinos in Havana, costing Giancana and Roselli --- and those associated with them --- dearly. They still hoped to revive the swank Sans Souci resort and casino that they had run in Cuba with Spanish-speaking Mafia boss Santos Trafficante, Jr. As they saw it, elimination of Castro, then paying off or putting the old regime back in place would be a big step into getting things back to the way they had been.
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According to FBI reports, Trafficante gained a controlling interest in the Sans Souci nightclub in the mid-1950s, maintaining a small apartment there. On December 31, 1954, Trafficante put Eddie Cellini in charge of the casino, meaning basically the casino floor. Rosselli spent time in Cuba representing Giancana's "hidden interests" in the 1950s. Rosselli worked as a "manager" at the Sans Souc, meaning the whole operation. He also organized gambling junkets to Cuba for wealthy North Americans.
Eight years later, at the time of the Cuba Crisis Roselli was roughly age 57. Because of a personal interest and connections in certain highly sensitive areas, he was recruited a year or so before to serve the U.S. government, participating in a series of highly covert related activities put into place against Fidel Castro and his regime. I know towards the end of May 1962 the CIA had constructed a small base for Roselli's unit on Point Mary, Key Largo to operate out of, clearing an acre or more of thick mangrove forest to build a couple of sheds along with a couple of more habitable structures as well fueling facilities and a floating dock anchored to a coral reef. Using the code name Colonel Rawlston, Roselli made midnight raids to the northern coast of Cuba, offloading U.S. trained anti-Castro Cuban commandos and weapons using twin V-bottom double-hulled aluminum high speed powerboats. On one of his raids a Cuban patrol boat caught the boat Roselli was on in its searchlights, blowing a hole in the bottom and sinking the boat almost immediately. Roselli was pulled out of the water by the other boat as they machine gunned the searchlights and anything else they could hit of the Cuban boat leaving it dead in the water, all the while, slipping away into the night.(source)
During World War II, on December 4, 1942, Roselli was inducted into the United States Army at Fort McArthur, California. On December 23, 1942, after four weeks of accelerated basic training at Fort McArthur he was transferred to the Fifth Armored Division, Camp Cooke, California for completion of the other half with an armored division emphasis. The very last time I came in contact with Roselli himself personally in any fashion was during the late summer of 1973. Reminiscing about old times, we both had to laugh that when we were in Florida that October/November he actually had more real time and grade in the Army than I did. Plus, he said, at least he was a real colonel and he didn't think I ever made it to E-6. For me, that's true. For him, not sure.
JOHNNY ROSELLI: MILITARY SERVICE
"For the record, because of being totally off the record as the case may be, the
government has never recognized that the 121st had been deployed to Florida."
HOWARD JOHNSON'S FEEDS THE 121st SIGNAL BATTALION
JOHNNY ROSELLI, SLOT MACHINES, AND THE FBI
OPERATION WHITE STAR: LAOS, 1959 - 1962
KHUN SA: THE SECOND WARLORD
NAM YU: CIA LIMA SITE 118-A
THE SAIGON TEA GIRL
PHYLLIS DAVIS CIRCA 1980
ON THE RAZOR'S
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
Advanced Individual Training training for my MOS, that is, the Morse code, radio teletype, and crypto, at the U.S. Army Signal Corps School at Fort Gordon, Georgia runs, or at least is scheduled to take or run 15 weeks for the typical student. However, a good portion of those weeks include the need to learn how to type if you don't know how and learning Morse code, usually starting at not knowing and then learning at ever increasingly speeds, as found in the following:
"To graduate, a student had to fulfill several prerequisites. He had to be able to send and receive 90 Morse code characters words per minute. He had to be able to fire up a radio ensemble, send and receive 3 messages within 5 minutes, pass Phase 2, and be able to handle the control of a self-contained RTT rig, all on his own."
"While the communications specialists of other MOS's were trained to work in large, fixed, multi-personnel stations well away from combat lines, the RTT graduate was trained to operate solely on his own as a primary or backup source of communications support for any level of command operations."
THE CODE MAKER, THE ZEN MAKER
Anything that a student-soldier was already adept at, say having the ability to type or have a good working knowledge of and/or being able send and receive Morse code in some fashion would eliminate or reduce the total number of weeks to graduate. In my case, I already had the ability to type and was able to send and received Morse code at a fairly reasonable speed. Being a hold over at basic really didn't increase or impact my projected graduation date at the signal school.
MORSE CODE, HAND KEYS, AND DA VINCI
WHAT A LITTLE TYKE OF A KID USED TO LEARN MORSE CODE
DOT 'N DASH ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH SET
WESTERN UNION STANDARD RADIO TELEGRAPH SIGNAL SET
The quote below is the follow-up paragraph to the quote that sent you here:
"Following completion of Basic Training and then Advanced Individual Training (AIT), except for a short detour to Fort Benning, Georgia, I was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas. From Riley, on TDY, I continued participating in an never ending series of so-called covert related training activities. During Christmas of 1963 I was enjoying my first two weeks of well earned leave, intended to last thru to New Years and beyond, staying mostly at my grandmother's in Redondo Beach, California. Not long into my time off than my First Sergeant called and told me to get my ass back to base. I told the Top that I had a roundtrip ticket and it would be days before I could use it. He said, 'Fuck the ticket, there will be a guy at the door any minute with a new one.' After my return to Riley and basically being kept in isolation for four to six weeks, sometime into the second month of 1964, traveling light and wearing my Class A uniform per verbal orders, I boarded a train to Needles, California, with the luxury of my own sleeping compartment and eating in the dining car before the hoi polloi got to. From Needles, in the dark of the early morning hours, after shedding my uniform, I was taken by civilians as a civilian to Norton AFB near San Bernardino and from there flew to Travis AFB. A short time later, after rout-stepping around Tan Son Nhut Air Base for awhile and visiting Saigon a few times, nearly always by myself and never having been officially assigned to a unit, found me in Long Tieng, Laos with nobody knowing I was there and having bypassed basically all military paperwork and protocol --- albeit at first in the early days at least, sometimes, depending on the situation, in fully sheep-dipped fatigues with no patches, names or identifying marks. "(source)
AN/GRC-26 RADIO RIG. MY HOME DURING CUBA CRISIS, KEY WEST 1962 AND FOR TRAINING
AT THE U.S. ARMY SOUTHEAST SIGNAL CORPS SCHOOL, FORT GORDON, GEORGIA, IN 1963
ANG/RC-26 GRAPHIC COURTESY ANTHONY DEBLASI AND KWLF
GMC M211 2 1/2 TON 6X6 WITH AN/GRC-26 RADIO RIG
121st SIGNAL BATTALION
WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND, by Jack Anderson
THE WASHINGTON POST: Tuesday, February 23, 1971, Page B-11
Roselli made midnight dashes to
Cuba with his hired assassins in
twin powerboats. Once a Cuban
patrol ship turned its guns on
the darkened boat, tore a hole
in the bottom and sank the boat.
Roselli was fished out of the
water by the other boat, which
escaped into the shadows.
CASTRO STALKER WORKED FOR CIA
------------------(original source for the above quote)