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Cryptonym: AMHINT-22

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AMHINT-22 was Frank Bernardino Babot.
A cable from JMWAVE on April 4, 1961, stated "please assign cryptos series 176 Frank Bernardino Babot (2512), Jose Raffo Barrera (2509) and Victor Espinosa Hernandez (2771). Subjects being issued docs, trained (shortwave) and briefed WAVE on infil of Igor assist in DRE uprising Las Villas."

A cable from BELL on the same day stated that "SUBJ refs assigned AMHINT-22 thru 24 respectively." They were to be infiltrated for Operation IGOR. Therefore, AMHINT-22 was Frank Bernardino Babot. AMHINT-24 was Victor Espinosa Hernandez.

A cable on April 11, 1961, stated that the DRE leaders to be infiltrated into Cuba were Frank Bernardino Babot, Jose Raffo Barrera, Victor Espinosa Hernandez, and Carlos Duquesne Wylryez (AMHINT-8). Raffo, Bernardino and Espinosa were each described as a "raider", while Duquesne was described as a JMWAVE trained general sabotage operations member. The cable requested approval to run Operation JORGE II.

A dispatch in August of 1962 stated "by the advent of the April 17 (note: 1961) abortive assault, the DRE had infiltrated AMHINT-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. Ironically, AMHINT-22, 23 and 24 were to infiltrate on the evening of 16 April and their boat Captain suddenly fell victim to a lack of intestinal fortitude."


"On 1 March 1961, the following men arrived (at) JMWAVE from JMMOVE/Belle Chasse Louisiana Ammunition Depot: (Victor Espinosa (AMHINT-24) is highlighted) Miguel Alvarez Jiminez, Luis Grillo, Carlos Hernandez, Frank Bernardino, Francisco Canizares, Benito Clark, Victor Espinosa, Mario Jiminez Rojo, Carlos Lopez Ona, Jorge Navarro, Jose Raffo, Pedro Acebo, Jorge Senviella, Lazaro Ugarte, Manuel Vivos, Francisco Garcia Zayas." On 3/18/61 Frank Bernardino was moved back to JMTRAV/in Guatemala from JMWAVE (3/27/61 status report from Chief of Base JMWAVE to Chief, WH.)


04/01/61: Cable from JMTRAV to BELL: JMZIP: "1. AMBIDDY-1 (Manuel Artime Buesa) now at TRAV to join with strike force. He urgently requests his infiltration team members join him TRAV soonest to be employed by brigade infiltration role benefit brigade. Team members are: A. Garcia Martinez. B. Frank Bernardino. C. Jorge Rodriguez Fleites. D. Carlos Hernandez. E. Nestor Izquierdo. (they were in Mexico). TRAV concurs request hoping members available." "TRAV concurs" - that sounds like Carl Jenkins speaking.


4/4/61 cable from JMWAVE to BELL, slugline JMZIP PSYCH IGOR: CITE WAVE 5209: "Please assign cryptos series 176 Frank Bernardino Babot (2512), Jose Raffo Barrera (2509) and Victor Espinosa Hernandez (2771). Subjects being issued docs, trained (shortwave) and briefed WAVE on infil of Igor assist in DRE uprising Las Villas."

104-10169-10249: CABLE REF WAVE 5209 ASSIGNED AMMINT 22 THRU 24.

04/04/61: Cable from BELL to JMWAVE (Orig: J. Piccolo, WH/4/OPS SUPPORT): Slugline JMZIP/PSYCH/IGOR: CITE BELL 3841: REF: WAVE 5209 (IN 1586): "SUBJ refs assigned AMHINT-22 thru 24 respectively. WH Comment: Ref requested cryptos on subjects who to be infiltrated for operation Igor." Releasing Officer: R. Drain for J. Esterline, C/WH/4. Coordinating Officers: WH/4/PROP: (Signature). WH/4/PM: R. B. Moore. Authenticating Officer: (Signature) for J. S. Douglas, WH/4/SECU.


04/11/61: Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: Slugline JMZIP PSYCH JORGE II: "Request approval run Op Jorge II per format WAVE 2174: A. DRE. B. Askatuta, 45-foot air-sea rescue type. C. Beach landing-DRE reception. D. 121900Z Islamorada...H. Infiltrate DRE leaders: Frank Bernardino Babot (raider) (201-281263), Jose Raffo Barrera (raider) (201-281271), Victor Espinosa Hernandez (raider) (AMHINT-24 - 201-285147), Carlos Duquesne Wylryez (WAVE trained general SAP ops) (201-283951). No cargo. I. Ship-shore radio telephone."


08/14/62: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Task Force W: Page 2 of Attachment A: BACKGROUND AND STATUS OF INTERNAL AND EXILE ELEMENTS: ..."6. By the advent of the April 17 abortive assault, the DRE had infiltrated AMHINT-1 (Alberto Muller Quintana), 2 (Juan Manuel Salvat Roque), 3 (Miguel A. Garcia Armengol), 4 (Antonio Garcia Crew), 5 (Isidro 'Chilo' Borja), 6, 9, 12 (Jose Antonio Gonzalez-Lanuza Mena), 13 (Ernesto Fernandez Traviesa - or Travieso), 14 (Julio Hernandez Suarez), 16, 17, 18 (probably George Nobregas aka Jorge Nobregas), 19 (probably Raul Villaverde), 20 and 21. Ironically, AMHINT-22, 23 and 24 (Victor Espinosa Hernandez) were to infiltrate on the evening of 16 April and their boat Captain suddenly fell victim to a lack of intestinal fortitude..."


06/07/78: HSCA deposition of Victor Espinosa Hernandez: Pages 14-15: ..."Mr. BLACKMER: Did you ever go in any infiltration raids into Cuba as part of this? Mr. ESPINOSA: Yes. Mr. BLACKMER: Can you recall any of the specific details of any of the particular raids? Mr. ESPINOSA: Yes. One time we went to a raid about 20 kilometers in Havana and we were supposed to knock out this Navy installation somewhere, and all of the raids were a different nature, like if we went into the country, and getting information of the country and bringing people out of the country. Mr. BLACKMER: Do you recall any specific individuals that you went on these raids with? Mr. ESPINOSA: Yes, I recall a few. Mr. BLACKMER: Could you give us their names? Mr. ESPINOSA: Miguel Alvarez; Calcie Nundez was another, and Frank - and I can't remember Frank's last name. Mr. BLACKMER: Was he American? Mr. ESPINOSA: No, Cuban. It was Ugarte, and I can't remember his first name. Mr. BLACKMER: Approximately, when were these raids, before or after the Bay of Pigs? Mr. ESPINOZA: They were before and after the Bay of Pigs. Mr. BLACKMER: How many raids did you go on after the Bay of Pigs? Mr. ESPINOSA: After the Bay of Pigs, I think I went in two or three times..." - - - Page 40 (41 of PDF): ..."Mr. BLACKMER: How large were the groups that you infiltrated with? Mr. ESPINOSA: Small groups, three or four. Mr. BLACKMER: And were you parachuted in or were you brought in by sea? Mr. ESPINOSA: We were always taken in by sea. The name of that Frank I mentioned before it Frank Bernardino. Mr. BLACKMER: This was an individual you knew? Mr. ESPINOSA: He was a good friend of Artime. Mr. BLACKMER: And Cubela? Mr. ESPINOSA: No."


April 2020: Reseach paper by Larry Hancock and David Boylan: Titled: The Wheaton Lead: An Exploration: ..."Carlos Hernandez began his CIA paramilitary training under Carl Jenkins at the CIA's Panama camp (JMRYE). Training included infantry combat, guerrilla operations, and sabotage as well as radio communications. Following training in Panama, Hernandez was moved into an advanced group, ultimately receiving special training in the use of explosives and infiltration skills, at a CIA camp operated outside Belle Chasse, Louisiana (JMMOVE). [xvi] A number of the earliest Cuban exile volunteers went through Panama training and moved on to Belle Chase - that list includes Nestor Izquierdo, Carlos Hernandez, Victor Espinosa Hernandez, Jorge Giraud, and Frank Bernardino. Those individuals were then 'sheep dipped' as malcontents and officially taken out of the program - instead they were actually moved into safe houses and then into Cuba infiltration missions (AMHINT, AMHAZE, etc.) managed out of the CIA's base in the Florida Keys (JMFIG). [xvii]... DRE (AMSPELL) affiliations and their common training and operational experiences brought several of these men back together in July and August of 1963, first in a plan to launch bombing attacks from Florida and then in a more ambitious plan to actually assemble a large quantity of bombs and stage a two-plane bombing raid on Cuba. Surplus bomb cases were purchased, dynamite was bought from a source in Illinois and it was all carried to a rural area outside New Orleans (LaCombe Louisiana) for assembly. When the bombs were ready, the B-26's were to fly in (reportedly from the Houston Texas area), stop only briefly for weapons loading, and be on their way. The Cuban exiles participating in both these summer, 1963 projects were Student Directorate (DRE) members, and the financing for their efforts reportedly came from former Havana casino figures, primarily from Mike McClaney, via Sam Benton." (CONTINUED BELOW)


"The FBI conducted an extensive investigation of the bombing efforts (the FBI summary report runs to 112 pages) but in the end no charges or other legal actions were taken against any of those involved. The effort had been quite serious, involving a massive amount of material, some 48 cartons of dynamite alone plus other bomb making materials. Enough so that after the FBI raid confiscated them the materials had to be housed in a military storage depot for explosives...Several of the names in the LaCombe project are familiar from Cuban maritime operations and the special group requested by Manuel Artime for his Cuba Project commando operations. They include Carlos Hernandez, Victor Espinosa Hernandez and John Koch Gene (AMHINT-26) as well as Frank Bernardino and Antonio Soto. Both Soto and Herrera had flown Brigade 2506 aircraft in support of the Bay of Pigs landings. At the time of the project, Soto was on leave following a six-month tour of duty in the CIA-organized Makasi air group operating in the Congo. He would return for a second tour at the end of November, 1963...Appendix D: Operational Associations...Cuba Project/Artime's commando team: Requested for operations before and during the Bay of Pigs landings but unavailable due to ongoing maritime operations into Cuba: Carlos Hernandez, Victor Hernandez and John Koch Gene...as well as Frank Bernardino, Antonio Soto and Gonzolo Herrera..."

Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich • Larry Hancock • David Boylan

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