147. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)0
Washington, April 19, 1961, 11:57 a.m.
JCS 994382. Bumpy Road. Exclusive for Adm Dennison and Adm Clark from Gen Gray.
- Confirming phone conversation with Adm Burke1 send 2 destroyers off Blue Beach to determine whether there is any chance of evacuation or not.
- Fly reconnaissance over beach to determine situation.
- CEF ships have been ordered to move to beach.
- Fly air cover for destroyers, CEF shipping and own air reconnaissance. This means active air to air combat against any aircraft in the area. You will be notified of time of any future friendly B-26 aircraft in area. No attack against ground forces authorized.
- Report immediately by fastest means possible results of reconnaissance. Final instructions will be sent later.
- Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report. Top Secret; Operational Immediate; Limited Distribution; Exclusive. Repeated to CTG 81.8. A chronology maintained in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations indicates that the instructions in this telegram resulted from a conference at the White House. (Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials) It is not clear from the Presidentʼs appointment book which conference at the White House produced these instructions; President Kennedy was busy throughout much of the morning of April 19 in meetings with the visiting Prime Minister of Greece, Constantine Karamanlis. No meeting that might be interpreted as dealing with the crisis in Cuba was listed for the morning of April 19. (Kennedy Library, Presidentʼs Appointment Book)↩
- The chronology cited in the source note above indicates that this telephone conversation took place at 10:20 a.m. between Burke and Dennison.↩