SCRANTON FINAL REPORT RE GUATEMALA 1954 COUP

Created: 7/29/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

i tur]cal review program releaseas sanitized

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Synopsis Basic Wlssi on and Reo.uirements Sites

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A*

Carlos

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Personnel

Program

and Training

Plans

Briefing Of

Of

Of

Socurity

Paper

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Annendicitis (

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CA66

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I. Synopsie

SCRANTOH waa the official crypto nym used to designate the indigenous agent radio operator training pro gran under sub-projectf Projectotal ofO*e,eaidents (RRO)acticalnd one cryptographer were trained and graduated from training sitea In BMPLUSHtareb f theae were launched from WSHOOFS against tbe target byune, tbe remaining operator being sent to SAHARA for use in sub-project Present records indicate thatf theO's came up on tbe air, although onlyostly TOO'a, managed to remain active throughout the entire period. Ofne was interned by DTTROGSost theirthrough enemy action. Theanaged to rejoin friendlyarn* back oa the air, and the third vso> about to be relaunched when tbe Project termlneted. Incomplete records lndloste the RO'sini aa an ofeasages fromo the field.

II. Basic Mission and Requirements

a. The original basic Scranton mission is detailed in Scranton file SGR/l. In brief it consisted in producingotal ofSBURNT operator agents, includingRO'S andPRO'S. These were to be deployed according to the tactics and strategy of unconventional warfare againstajor WSBURNT targets. In general, the RRO'S were to be in contact with "inner forces" at each target, while the TRO'S were to accompany "shock forces" directed against each target. Both RRO'S and TRO's were to furnish secure coirnao between their respective forces and their supreme RRO'S originally were to live "black" and furnish commo upay at which time they were to go off the air and remain silent This was toeans of reconstitu-tlon of inner forces and organizations in the event of failure. The TRO'S were to be ready to follow the shock troops Into guerrilla type warfare if need be. With the controls thus envisaged, the supreme commander would possess highly flexible assets against most contingencies.

original basic requirements ofRO'ShadedRO'SRO'S when it became evidentthe principal indigenous agent, was unable tocandidates in the time desired. The new requirementsby elimination of targets considered to be of lesser Fulfillment of these requirements is discussed inof this report.

the new basic R0 requirements, newin the form ofryptographers were added in anincrease the flexibility of the training program by relieving

last minute ItO trainees of the necessity of learning crypto work end thus shortening the period of training necessary. Colligeris proved to be just as unsuccessful in obtaining crypto candidates andrypto operator was graduated as

such.

t

in. sitoo

- The original training site at : J > V waa obtained bySeekford (pa) Jonanuary. Gear was flownonanuary, and the Tamarindo sito waa activatedF. Morton (ps) and John F. Middlecott (ps)n the next day,anuary, before any trainees hadthe site was blown when the WSBURNT government publishodmentioning inter alia, theocation and purposesite. The site waa deactivated the same day and thegear stored ^pending policy doclsion by ebruary, following indications by hatsite would be forthcoming after tho storm blew over, Mortonto return to Lincoln, while Middlecott was to sit tightwhen able. omplete report on the above events isin the Scrantonile. Aerial photos ofsite taken by Jacob R. Seokford are includod in the

nentative site was aolocted

at San Carloa, approximately Dut was

C

- fflsf'ilf_jts boo-publie. No photos are available of San

Carloa.

view of time limitations, it wastoite located onof

ile from the

Saranac training camp. No facilities were available and it waa necessary to construct living and training quarters in the open

jungle, the first week in March. Trainees began arrivingFebruary and were usod in camp construction. Traineescompartmented from the Saranac camp. Actualarch and continued at this site untilpril, atactivltios wero transferred to tho Saranac 3ito. It shouldthat living conditions were of the

I, as were road communications. Photos are contained In Scranton flloart I.

D.npril, Saranac (PK) training ac-

tivities closed and Scranton moved to the Saranac quarters inranch house of Training continued

at this site until Scranton closedune. atrine, and two cookB (c the situation although the road communications systemprimitive. With the advent of the real rainy season in practically cut off from civilization and it

was actually necessary In two instances to use horses for esult of the road conditions, one more sitecontemplatedoint aboutm fron. c- j, butthe lack of control over the landlord of the proposed site,decided to purchase enough stores to tideover

until the end of the training period. Photos of the

site are included in tho Scranton PileartJI. omparison of tho scale of living related to eivilJxod standards may bewhen it is recorded that rats often ran over tho sleeping bodlos of tha trainees and instructors andoot boo constrictor was kept by one trainee in tho attic of tho main building

IV. Indigenous Personnel.

Program

Itinimum ofeeks of instruction starting from scratch to turnatisfactory communicator, according to past experience. ay was limited only by the rainy season, which in the target country normally begins in Way and Juno. Thus, without interruptions andullof basic trainees on hand byanuary, sufficient time just existed to fulfill requirements.

A training program was thereforo set up in baro outline based oneeks, which divided the available timeally basis between technical instruction and agent instruction. The technical section was modeled after examples contained in commo files, while the agent soction waa writton up in the Spanish language by Andrew P. Uerton (ps) who extracted and paraphrasedsections from the Basle Tradecraft manual. Additional material was kindly made available by the Director of Training. This training outline and lossons are contained in Letter ofSoranton Pile SCR/l.

and Training.

A total ofralnoes (Seeiles) wereprocurod by Calligerls, thorriving aboutob-ruary and tho last one arrivingay. Obviously, the procurement of trainee candidates wasmooth operation, nor did It make the fulfillment of the training mission any easier.

Apparently dueasic misunderstanding by Calligerls, tho latter at first sought to exflltrate only exper-

Sonced men from tho target country. As tho delay in procurement began toource of apprehension, investigation by Cadick (ps) and Lugton (ps) corrected the situation, and byrainees were on hand In Scranton ofere experienced. By this date, the above apprehensions had led Lincoln to reexamine the situation,esult of which instructions were sent to the field to attempt to obtain mercenaries in KMPLUSH, WSHOOPS, LCPANGS,

requirements wore reexamined and porodRO'SRO'S. In another effort to remedy the situation, it wao decided to ask forlaterrypto trainees to relieveinute RO trainees of learning crypto work. However, neither the mercenary nor the crypto recruitment idea prospered. Towards the end, it was necessary to rely upon Calligeris' ability to exftitrate trained personnel. ucceeded, anday the requiredO'S were trained and ready, nine of whom had had previous experience. Fortunatelyyros were among the first to arrive. The re-

n

rainoes were scratched for various reasons including

security, illiteracy, inability "to grasp anything except generator

cranknd lack of time. One man was graduatedrypto clerk only.

3. th regard to training problems apart from trainee

recruitment difficulties, delays caused by moving the training sites contributed to tho overall difficulties. actor following Morton's return to Lincoln was MIddlecott's inability to speak Spanish. The baalc levels of the trainees variod from intelligent to slow. All could read and write the Spanish language and most

displayed commendable perseverance. A$ partial confirmation of a

the needeeks training period is seen in the fact that the tyros, who receivedeoks of training and were the last to graduate, wore considered to be barely adequate communicators.

4. Training aids included blackboard lectures, coda training tables, recorded tapes, field trips, training lectures from Director of Training, and, most important, an actual training circuit set up between Scranton and Sherwood. The latter circuit proved Invaluable since it provided actual communication conditionsistance of aboutilometers. Beoause of the necessity for compartmentation. It was necessary to let the trainees believe that the base station was in It Is safe to say that tho

training circuit was the single most important factor in producing

"

cranton graduates, and for this^it Is accessary to point out the contribution made by the Sherwood operators who maintained the base end of theeek.

5. Factors affecting the morale of the trainees were.

on tho posltivo side, tho professional ability and competence of the KUCLOB Instructors, their willingness to undergo the same hardships as the trainees, their ability to speak Spanish, the

he messageslligerls, the presence of and occasional use of firearms, and the graduation ceremony Itself,

the ceremonial openingottle of champagne and toasting the

departing graduates. On the negative side wore tho presence of agitation, the dislike of mercenaries, the enforced isolation, the lack of women und hard liquor, and the lack of communication with

home. That morale was very high Is probably best demonstrated in the field performance of tho operators whore it will be rooallod thatut ofperators launched were eventually heard from.

6. Graduation of operators was not announced until immediately before their departure. Minimum time was given for packing, saying farewells, show down inspections,o as to accustom the individual to frequent changes and uncertainties. It also precludod most of the last minute message-bearing to friends so contra productive of security. The champagne graduation referred to bofore added tho proper note of solemnity to the occasion.

C. Signalhese were prepared bygeneral they consisteduard channels withide frequencies. porformed the

necessary photographic work. Assignment of the plans was made by Ontrlch (pa) in WSHOOPS. Assif-nmentn may bo found in the Scranton filo SCR/ll-iionsolidated list in SCR/ll. Due to the relatively poor quality of the graduates, much of the actualtook place on the guard channols, since the risk of losing the poorer operatorsrequency change was too great.

f. Launching,

TheO's wore launched aa followa by Ontrlch:

June

June

(Equlpnent sbo&ajp In action; rejoined and avaltlnpJune

June

(unable to get to Frank; Interned by DTFROHS; released and rejoined troops; converted to TRO with Danny Shook)

JOCOTA

June

June

June

oar

June

(Advance CP)

June

(arrived Bond,

equlpnent captured;

rejoined at TOROHJA)

June

June

8. PorfoiTiancc.

following incomplete flgurea will indicate general performance:

6 autga from;aga to.

7 mags from/ (laot oneage to.

2 megs from;isgs to.

3 mags from;aga to.

ags from; 9auga to.

1 msgs from (laat oneage to.ags from;age to.o show.

eard once onure. Kb contact.

1 nags free;aga to.

sg from.

0 msgsags to.

e usages were handled from the fieldo tbe field.

f

aT. ndigenous personnel at Scrantonthe traineos wore limitedM FLUSH nationals whocooks and orderlies. These

ational Guard privates who were apparently normally stationed with Palace troops.

V. Security

security was maintained by compartmentationScranton oporation from Saranac and Sherwood, the latterpercent. Phyaical isolation was the secret of the

- all graduate trainees but one took andLC FLUTTER examination, the remark being made that thiathe best of all groups tested. The one operator, Gasolina,at Scranton too late for examination, was treated ason this account and because possibly pertinent derogatorybeen uncoverederson bearing his name. Theto use Oasolina was vindicated when he turned out to be

one of the more active operators. It is realized, of course, that this alone would not guarantoe Gasolina's bona fides.

- Tho Office of Security, Headquarters,for uncovering trainee Juan Luis Alvarado Valverdeone time memberommunist cell In the Costa RicanVanguardla Popular. is information was conflrmod by

LCFLUTTER. The case of Oasolina was referred to in sub-paragraph B. above. In general, clearances wore obtained in time to be of value to the oporation and due credit must be given to Security for an all out successful effort. It should be added that in case there waa the least suspicion of an operator, he was assignedRO, under the constant supervision of trusted Calligeris mon.

afreets of the WSBURNT "white paper"oon referred to previously in this report.

t. One incident which might haveecurity hazard

was tho arrival ofKM FLUSHtate of such

intoxication he could not remember hisreturned

K00FS and no damage roaulted.

possible security hazard was theon Middlecott for appendicitis. Hnndling andthe incidentindicate that norosulted.

incident of fwejiblc interest security-wise wasby an ex-UN employee,for employment ull security investigation at the time failed todefinitely derogatory information, but subject'sHaulho'failed twice to pass LC FLUTTERpoint to one answer.

une,the KUFLUSH cook,to the Capital for hiaonth home. Hemeet the return truck and after two days his absenco wasto Salamander. He was presumably drunk and listed AiTOL.

- The lightcover given to

the staff Instructors apparently servod the purpose. Major use of

the cover waa for overt commercial travel betweenEFUL and

Lincoln. Travel from FJHOPEKUL to and residence in KMFLUSH was black.

Movement in KM FLUSH was facilitated by special travel permits Issued

by Salamander. Tho only time these failed to serve the purpose was

during the assassination attempt against hich time all

movement waa restricted. The isolation of tho Scranton sites

served to ease thtsi strain on cover. Details of individual covor A

ero on file in Security and Commo.

VI. Staff Personnel

instructors included John P. Mlddlocott,

Andro" P' Morton' bulk of the in-

struction was carried by tho former two and too much creditgiven them. Middlecott spoke no Spanish although trainingdelayed on this account.was more than

adequate for the Job, while Morton's Spanish may be classified Difficulty was experienced in getting

RMPLUSH, which may have contributed to overall problems in meeting deadlines.

and Middlecott activated the first ScrantonToraarindo on Following the expose of thisreturned to Lincoln since his service in WSBURNT wouldPBPHIME lntorosts^. Middlecott carried on with the oldPivallpanish speakingpril to shore theload. Middlecott was recalled to Lincoln overpril -

3 May for consultation and briefing. After Middlecott's return to Scranton, he was stricken by appendlcltls^and!uccessful operation, remained thereafter at Sherwood where he assisted the training notScranton. It should be remarked that Middloeott's

A

service following his operation wasolunteer basis, ahis professionalism. Ho was unable to serve further atroad communications wore too rough for his safo21was aided by Morton who returned from

Lincoln to Scranton for the short pui'ludtime remaining. doparted for headquartersune, leaving Merton to finish training

and close Scrantonune.

C. Other staff personnel, not assigned to Scranton but who-worked closely thepsith, were Vincent Pivall, and Shorwood personnel, particularly DOMHAVAHTho was top ooramo man in tho aroa and who was responsible for preparation of signal plans and equipment. It la regretted that time and space does notadequate description and recognition of the part played by each of these.

VII. Gear- While reporting of gear performanceechnical natter, the following remarks may bo made. Signal strengths wero adoquate and In some casos, depending upon favorable propagation conditions, excellent. watt andwatt equipment was used over rangos extending upiles at the most. attwas handicapped by tho lackreak-in feature. Noise levels were high. The best operating hours appeared to be in the early .evening, and the indigenous operators tended to coma up mora at this time. Early morning hours were also used extensively.

VIII. Kstimatodosts of gear will havo to bo obtained from commo. otal of about^^ as expended for quarters, subsistence, supplies, etc. of the training camp and personnel. Of this sun, approximately^ Jwas lost In tho events following the WSBURHT white paper expose. omplete report has beento Financeopy in Scranton file SCR/3.

X. Conclusions: - Following conclusions are set forth inform, with explanation where necessary:

procurement problems should be resolved atpossible moment, once the relative role of agenthas been determined. It Is batter to plan for 4training boglnning with raw rocruits who are in-thacount upon the doubtful resultsearoh for

important with A. above is the placing ofcaao officer in direct contact withindigenous agent, or if thisot possibleat least as an assistant to tha case officer. In PBSUCCESS, Ontrlch (ps) was obviously sowith problems on so many different levels, he could notgive proper attention tondividual agent operatorlaunching problems. This Is to bo construed only as praiseIn that he was ablo to accomplish the Job under theimposed by the circumstances. However, recordsas early aaebruary, direct radio commQ withrequested and same was not obtained until the first wook ub-conclusion would be to get radio commo with the

third and self-evident conclusion is thatoperators should be launched and planted well in advancePP efforts which may bring crackdowns in their wake. It

is regretted that trainee procurement and other difficulties did not make this possible in PBSUCCESS.

unted In an isolated location inemark that may well

bo applicable to Saranac and other activities. The travel and

documentation problems would have been simplified, as would have

coordination and liaison with.

RRod f

I. ayfai limine. P

iJ+dbcua. eZce-j Za^fo

/Wu^a%

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