SPECIAL COMMENDATION - THORNTON J. ANDERSON, JR., WALTER SZUMINSKI

Created: 7/7/1964

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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FOB: Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Director of Peraoanel

hornton J.

Anderson,elter acta ins* 1

ICI

I wish to submit the highest possiblefor tbe nagnlficent performance and conduct of nr. Apdereoa and Mr. Sxualnakl la tbe coarse of Tbe CIA and. Cover r, -neat clno* supremely proud of their dedication, couraje and resourcefulness inelieve to be one of tbe most unusual and trying testa ever faced by CIA operators.

Background:

men, with myself, vere capturedHavana la Septemberprisons anteleased Is eriod of two years and seven sontha.'cl

as tbe supervisor responsibleenlisting tbest la this operation,tbem daring this period, feel costs*liedthis evaluation sf tbslr performance.

X did not prepare oss la tbe past for two reasons: liimi, XIt mid be done by tbe CX Staff/ DDPesult of their extensiveslt tnat ay preparation of it Bight be cosstrwadelf-ssrvlna; device. ars never read tbe CX report,a ad it oaly analysed tbe reasons for tbe operational failure, and determined whether or not tbe

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part lcipMU had bM> doubled or bad labeccnw security risks. As avers found to be secure and returnedstatms. Tbs record win sot bethis, my peraoesl

c. Tblaointprepared on behalf of both asm, ainee it is difficult to apportion credit. Inch acted and contributed completelyeas effort; each aided and inspired tbe act lone and sorale of tbe other a.

J. Anderson, Jr.

Innderaon,ears ofand father of two children, bad been ineight years. BeS1 graduate,

IMS. Rearine Keserve ccenalsslonaptain. Bis Agency service continuously Involved

rreearcL and development with

DP. Be bad alwaysf^eWWrTSlTWWlRr'

vorfcsr la tbe BAD field, particularly with respect to meeting operational requirements. Be bad alwayshance to participate in field operations to better know bis field. Be accepted with alacrity theto take part la this, bis first one.

B. Bsnmlnnhl

At thin tins, Ixumlnakl saaears of ags, and single. Bis parents lived is Bostoe, Mass. Be had been in CIA for ten years, seven of which were spent is tbe Office of- nost of it overseas. Be bad served is. Amy as an enlisted saa. Tor three years be bad been assigned PCS

(CI

a leave

Boa tonbe stopped by tbs office la

besltstlos, be went along oa this operation. Be did sot get boss for almost three sore years, and never did see bis mother again, tbs died while be was In prison.

S. This thaneen composed of members wbo la the normal course of events, and according their basic responsibilities, would not nave participated la

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tss operatic*. ImrtkUm, each accepted it viUlsgly, with hi* itm open to the aasards Involved, and sro-eeeded to Iatui. k applied bias*If completely Bad competently In the BOSS* Of attaining another fWCMiful

operation.

0. Wbem catastrophetruck oa land they vara seined by Cuban Iatalliganceot panic. With renrage aad coupon trrs tbay icata4 andar tba direct ayes of the guards. Tbare vara fav opportualtlea to do area this, since they vara kepta ted oaa from another la asperate calls. sever-tbelass, tbay vara abla to exchange eaoagb lnformatlOD, and with good jBdgnsst and great lackight cover aad develop Itover story vhlch vaa to bold op tbroach oaa aosth of latarrogatlon, the trial, aad two aad oaa ball* years of priaoa life- Tbay vara tbvs abla to protect the Agency and tba vast amount of aaasitlvs information posaaaaad by tba troap

7. Durlac tba interrogation, tbay maintained

their composure and coyer despite lntlmidatlon and threats of violence aad daatb. Tbay aasvarad guest ions clevariy, and classed-ap completely at tba point where further information would have bean damaging. nitially bcliavad that thay vara CIA or TBI paraonaal, thay incredibly, bat obviously, sold tba cover atory. Although tbay loatobs. dor lag this or deal daa to tba beat, bad food, and nervoua etraia, thay did aot valvar.

a. Tbay vara tbaa transferred to tba Cabana prlaoo, where tbay cooparatad completely with sysalf, tba American Coaesl, Mr. Eesslsr, and oar lawyer, Mr. Coloaer, la preparing oar defease for tba trial. (It vas at thia tineerbal coaakca-datloa oa these aaa tbroagb sr. Kesslar tot vas at this time, particularly, that thay, with iiieu, prepared tbaaawlvas for say

passtic

of tlaa or circuastasce. Tbay revolved that tbay vovld eoadact themselves slvays, aad conscl-

eatioasly sadsavor is all says possible, to rniXsct ersdlt oa tbs Baitsd itstss aad ita Coversaaat. Tbay formed assy friendships vitb tbs Cvbsa prisoners and their faalllss. As Aaerleans,nique poaltloa

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to sustain tbeof the Cubans, they were leaned on beaylly, and gave of tfcaaa lives selflessly. 1 never for cat tba0 electionsi they mat to bad on election night as staunch Bapubllrana and got up tea next noraing extolling tba virtue* of their newemocrat. This demonstration of

democracy la act Ion saa Inprees lve, particularly to tba Cuban students. Thisisple thing undoubtedly, but indicative of their orientation and dedication. During this time they sere avare that their cover could collapse at any mini

n^befcrtb-coning military tribunal. Tbe three month period prior to tbs trial saa an anxious oaa.

9. The trimig test. The awn began vltb one alightenalty ofears imprisonment van asked rather tbaa tbe death penalty. During the crcms-examinetion, they conducted themselves superbly. They acted with poise and pride. They anevered questions calmly, and cleverly. Mr. Bossierland their responses la tbe folloving manner,tbey vereuestion, tbey reapondedohn Char lea Daly kind of answer." The trialomplete farce, was completely sucoesnfal from our standpoint. Tbey wenteries of heavyat thisbey were not deported, tbeyilitary tribunal ratherivil court, therene month delay prior to sentencing, (during which time. broke diplomatic relations with Cuba and Mario nordlo was deported) tbey were sentenced toears, and then tbey ware transferred to the Isle of Pines prison. They took all this la atrlde, without bitterness, or lass of spirit.

10. Tns Zsle of Pines Prison, their horns for tbs next two years and three months was tba one moot dreaded by all Cubans. Per months on end tbey fait no sunlight, only tbs dank filthlaeme Inside tbe circulars. Pood waa incredibly bad. Bo fant lea for occupying the mind were provided or permitted except occasional communist literature. Long months of prison bare, livingtrange country with different languages, thinking and personal habits, longing and concern for tbs loved ones at bona, sore

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ear with bo word of any kUd frca lew, and then sporadic, closely-eeaeoredll tkaaa things aad voraa vara tba ordinary rovtiaa. added to thia vara unusually vlolaat sad try lag: pressad intimidations because tbay vara Americans, frequent bloody riots, emotional breakdown asd sale id ss. Than there vara tba "requisas" or searcbea, tbs attempted cecapee, tbs turbuleat, parlod of tba1 Bay of Pigs isvasloB aad tbs2 confrontation. Frequently tbaeat shots ricocheting through tba building, for an entire year tbay livedrcinedbs. of TaT; tba severe lightning storas dor lag thess algbta did aot aacouraga alaap. Jor atear they vara oa tba death llat of oaa of tba aatl-aaerlean groups. Tbara vas practically so tias daring vhlch they could really expect to gat oat of this sltaatlos sllvs.

11. Is retrospect, it is truly rsaarkabls tba meaner In vhlcb tbay ratal nod morale and eonpleta emotional atabllity. They slvays aaiatsiaad high ataadarda of peraoaal cleaeliness andheir eella and peraonsl affacta vara alvaya tba cleanest la tba circular. Tbay abared their food, drags aad peraoaal pcuaessloaa vitb tbs Cabana and other Amer leans Thay encouraged and stabilised tba 'Soldier of fortune' type Americans, eone of vboa vara considering eater-lag tba communist rehabilitation program. They adopted the mentally-ill Anarlcsn vbo oa ocoasioa became criainally laaaas. They circulated through tbs prison community sex lag friends ssd giving aaconragaaant. They vara alvaya leaned oa for aoral support vbsn tbs neva vas bad. Tbsy interpreted and explained the neva la support of Free Id estnd tba united States Goveraneat. They stadisd Bpaaiab sad taught Sagllab. Tbsy gsve lactases oa tbs Coaatitutloa, capitalism, our lagsl and lav eaforceaeat aystea, elections and other aapoets of American democratic life. Tbsy spoke os saoh subjects as. dereloaneat of saclsar electric power and coavsrslou of salt rater for iaprov-lng tbaped areea of tbs world. la essence, tbsy forgot their ova problaas by concsralng tbaasslvss vlth those of others.

12. Tbsir greatest performance caaa ishile tbsy vers living In circular Bo. d, vbaa

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theanybs. of TOT La each building. Taay vara approacheduban group vfao badnail accaaa hole dovn into tba tunnel vbera tba explosives vara being lastallad. Tbay vara aaked to take charge of tba operation. They knev tbay aboald protect their cover aad aot drav attention to tbeaselves; tbay alao knev that every oaa ofriaoBera In that circular vouldara of their participationav day a. Aftarne Id er at loo, tbay decldad that tba Uvea ofaa bad to ba protected, and that tbay, aa Americans,oaponelblllty la tba aattar. Tba datalla of tba spaciflc oparatloa vouldook, bat it la euff iclent to note bare that tbay successfully anbotagad tba TOT lnatallatloa and participated in planning tba suicide braakr-out operation vhlch would be required la tbs event of as invasion, and tba discovery of tbs sabotsga. Vbea tbsy vera aovad to circular Ho.bsy consulted vltb tbs Cubans to protect that circular also. Aa expected, tbs entire priaoB population rapidly became avara of their ubans avara of their activity, many of then entering the communist rehabilitation prograa, they expected to be pulled In for anothernd this one vould have been fatal.

13. There vers many other incidents and occasions vhan they took aoral stands and deaonatratad courage; they never let up. Tba following comments point up their atreagtb of character,

once in all that tlaa didtbea recrlalaats against as for leadingthis situation.

did either blame anyone orfor their fats; tbsy fslt that tbsyperforming their duty sad this van tbsbad taken.

o. Tbay biased neither CXA or. Coversment for aot trying: to gat tbea out. Tbsy fslt tbsy vers expendable and that it Just did not sake ssoss to risk additional lives to savearticularlyear had passed and tbs sensitive information vhlch tbsy posecaaed bad baccate obsolete. Tea, tbsy actuallyand believed these tbiaga.

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4. neither om peralttsdlt-liofla all that tlaa. Bach oaa had prepared himself to spend the fall ton years la prison, if sscssaary.

Thay thought and llrad their cover every hoar of every day. There vere aaay basic things coaceralag their family Uvea, avaa about tba operation itself, that tbay did aot discaaa among thesselvss for tba two aad one-haIf yaara of livingor fear of being accidentally over beard.

f. The Cabaaa aad aaay of the other Americana

Of tola experience aa aball"! tbay

auffared great pbyaical aad aeatal torture, there vera aaay vbo vaat laaaaa. aoaa coaalttad suicide. Tat tbsss two found the pressures easy toend.

g- Since their return froa prison bothconducted tbeaselves vitfa dignity aadIs las oa their organ last ions or

theor will tbsy. Both srs shovingperformance aiace being reassigned to duty-

14. Anderaoa proved to be the gung-hothe excitement started. Ha moved aggreeelvolyTBT sabotage opsrstlon. Be aold Uncle Baa vltbfervor at every opportunity. BisInexhaustible fund of xnovledge aads forhours. Bsighly moral personhigh moral standards for all about bin -other Americans. Upon his return to duty beto the |gci-jgaaAgsj^BjBBBBj*Mms/hisrated as

1B- *suslashiaa of quiet eoarags. Be participated without reservation la the TBT operatloo. Be van the pessimistic realist vbo helped keep everyone elae in Balance. Bsoadsrful sense of humor vhlch helped ease tba strains vhlch eoeve from constant close quart ere. Bis psrsonal standards vers high sador hiaself aad others. Since bis return bs baa been working vltb tbs

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bere be has par ft*vltta exceptional prof lc laacy. Ba waa recently recommended for promotion.

Xn retrospect,ot tba least bit surpr la lag: that each walked oat of prison3 proudly, vltb ao mental or emotional aberration, completely prepared to take up life where tbey had left off. s certain tbey are stronger, better man for their experience, because they played it that way.

X sincerely believe these two men to be the big beet types tbls Agency can hope to employ. They proved It before, during and since this operation.

I have been proud to know and aerve with them.

recommend that the essentials ofbe rend to their families and bacnmapart of tbeir peraonnel records. Zthat tbe Agencypecialto their high level of performance.

DAVIE L. CHRIST

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