111. Telegram From the Chief of the Subsidiary Activities Division (Gray) to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)0
Washington, April 17, 1961, 4:22 a.m.
JCS 994221. Bumpy Road. Exclusive for Adm Clark & Adm Dennison from General Gray.[Page 258]
- On 17 April CEF aircraft will be limited to defense of beachhead from air and ground attack. Limited Cuban aircraft patrol activity in area expected.
- Be prepared to execute on order following missions as soon after first
light as practicable throughout daylight hours 17 April:
- Provide Air Cap for CEF shipping outside territorial waters. Rules of engagement as stated in your OP Plan1 apply as applicable.
- Provide EW2 for CEF ships to include LCIʼs for purpose of warning ships of approaching aircraft.EW ships should remain maximum distance off shore consistent with capability to communicate with CEF ships.
- This is a warning order.3
- Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report. Top Secret; Limited Distribution. A chronology of the Bumpy Road Operation, maintained in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, indicates that this telegram grew out of a 1 a.m. meeting on April 17 at CIA headquarters. CIA Deputy Director Cabell invited General Gray to the meeting to discuss air support for the CEF. Cabell stated that the dawn strikes planned by CEF planes had been disapproved owing to objections from the State Department. An air CAP for the force by U.S. carrier based fighters was therefore urgently needed. Gray relayed the request to General Wheeler and General Lemnitzer and informed the CIA at 3 a.m. that an air CAP and early warning for the CEF ships would be made available if CIA obtained the necessary higher approval. (Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials)↩
- Reference is to Operation Order 25-61, April 10, Document 87.↩
- Early Warning.↩
- According to the memorandum for the record prepared by Commander Mitchell, which outlined the evolution of the rules of engagement for Operation Bumpy Road, at 5:30 a.m. on April 17, Bissell called the Operations Center at the JCS and stated that the White House had only approved the employment of an Early Warning vessel. (National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Box 12, Cuba Paramilitary Study) Accordingly, General Gray sent a message to Admirals Dennison and Clark countermanding the authorization to provide an air CAP for CEF shipping. In JCS telegram 994222, sent at 5:50 a.m., Gray, on behalf of the JCS, instructed Dennison and Clark to execute only the mission set forth in paragraph 2b of JCS telegram 994221, subject to the limitation that EW vessels were not to approach any closer than 30 miles from the Cuban coastline. Gray stipulated that an air CAP was not authorized. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report)↩