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Pseudonym: Bender, Frank

Definition:
Frank Bender was a alias used by CIA officer Gerard Droller.
Category:
alias
Status:
Documented
Sources:

104-10110-10207: MEMO: MEETING WITH MRR, MIAMI UNIVERSITY MOTEL COURT, 19 JULY

07/22/60, Memorandum from Gerard Droller, C/WH/4/PA to C/WH/4: "1. Selection of Meeting Places: a) The undersigned, using the alias Frank Bender, has used the University Motel for meetings with JMARC-connected Cubans three or four times in the past..." Page 2: ..."f) There was a somewhat bulging connecting door to the room located at the right of the undersigned's room. The safely lock was checked. (It was now understood that there was a large crack on the bottom of that door. If there is, the undersigned must admit that he did not notice it).."

104-10113-10325: MEMO: INFORMATION ON JERRY DROLLER

07/25/60, Memorandum for the record from Raymond J. O'Mara: "1. On Friday, 15 July, a telephone call was received from Jerry Droller, at which time he requested reservations be made at the University Court Motel for a meeting of Cubans that had previously been scheduled. At that time a reservation was expressed to Droller as to the advisability of the selection inasmuch as during the previous week a considerable amount of Cubans were known to have been utilizing the premises. These Cubans were connected with the oil companies, the majority married to Americans who had been forced to leave Cuba as a result of the expropriation of the refineries by Castro. Inasmuch as Droller was not planning to meet at this time members of the Frente group and stated the same, he stated this would be the last time he planned to use this site as a meeting place. A reservation was subsequently made for Droller under alias by a member of the office staff using the fictitious name Paula Ross, without leaving a contact address or phone number. 2. Monday evening Droller arrived in the Miami area and was taken to the apartment-hotel of the writer where he met with various member of the office for a briefing, and subsequently was dropped off at the University Court Motel at 2:30 a.m. by William Kent, who proceeded there via a circuitous route. Telephone communication was maintained by the office with Droller during the meetings he transacted that day, and calls were received from him on the office unlisted number, setting up and changing a luncheon meeting. 3. On 19 July it was prearranged that Droller would remain at an inconspicuous place at the motel at 1345 hours and we would drive by and park, at which time he joined the writer and proceeded to a Howard Johnson restaurant located on Dixie Highway approximately a mile from the motel. The luncheon was attended by William Kent, Droller, and the writer, and lasted approximately one hour." (CONTINUED BELOW)

104-10113-10325: MEMO: INFORMATION ON JERRY DROLLER

07/25/60, Memorandum for the record from Raymond J. O'Mara: "4. Shortly prior to the end of the luncheon this group was joined by Bernie Reichhardt as a result of previous arrangements made by he and Droller, and who subsequently dropped Droller off in the vicinity of the motel. 5. Subsequently, the writer departed from Miami on National Airlines flight 201 enroute to Washington on the same plane as Droller, but no contact was made with Droller on the plane due to the fact acquaintances of the writer made it unfeasible. The writer explained to this group that he was enroute to Johns Hopkins Hospital for medical treatment. He then stayed in the Washington airport until all his friends departed, then walked to the parking lot where Droller had waited and the latter took him to the Hotel Washington and remained there until approximately 12:30."

104-10110-10204: SYNOPSIS OF SECURITY INVESTIGATION

08/02/60, CIA document: File No.: #219000: Synopsis: "Investigation disclosed that on 19 July 1960 three separate meetings were held at room number 209, University Court Resort Motel, Coral Gables, Florida. Mrs. Clark Valentiner, who is the wife of an executive for Continental Can Corp., in Cuba, overheard and took copious notes of the second and third meetings. During the meetings in question, two staff employees and three Cubans were present. The meetings were held in order to 'iron out' internal dissensions within the MRR. The two staff employees were interviewed and insofar as they recall no Government or CIA interest was divulged during the course of their meetings with the three Cubans. Interviews with Miami FBI representatives reflected that Mrs. Valentiner had told the FBI that one of the conferees stated that he was hired by the United States to do away with Castro. The FBI, at the request of staff employee Bernard Reichhardt, told Mrs. Valentiner that incident reported by her was under FBI investigation and for reasons of security, it was desired that she refrain from discussing incident with anyone and that she also counsel her friends to do likewise. Physical survey of the University Court Resort Motel revealed that the room selected for the meeting was vulnerable. Attached to the original of this report are Exhibits 1 through 8." Page 2: ..."Mr. Brown, alias (REDACTION) stated that Jerry Droller, alias Frank Bender, came to Coral Gables on Monday evening, 18 July 1960, from Washington D.C...."

104-10110-10203: LETTER RE INVESTIGATION OF SECURITY LEAK.

08/02/60, Memorandum from Sheffield Edwards to Chief, WH Division (Attention: Joseph Langan, Room 1013, Barton Hall, Director of Security): Subject: Project JMARC (Security Leak) #219000: "1. Reference is made to your verbal request of 21 July 1960 wherein this Office was asked to conduct a limited investigation of a security leak which occurred at Coral Gables, Florida, on 19 July 1960. 2. Attached herewith is a copy of our investigative report, together with the statements of Fravel Brown, (REDACTION), John J. Sullivan, Bernard Reichhardt and Gerard Droller. 3. Attention is invited to the fact that Mrs. Clark Valentiner did take copious notes of the meeting. Consideration should be given as to how these notes should be recovered or destroyed. 4. This Office contemplates no further action in this matter unless requested by you."

104-10193-10351: CONTACT REPORT: MEETING WITH RICARDO LORIE ON 16TH NOVEMBER 1960 FOR BREAKFAST AT THE COLUMBUS HOTEL IN MIAMI, FLORIDA

11/21/60, Contact Report from Gerard Droller, C/WH/4/PA: "1. Lorie again asked me when he could join the Frente. Again, I temporized because I had in mind the difficulties Artime was causing Varona in this regard. Lorie must have read my mind because he said that if I, Bender, did not want to fight with Artime about this matter why did I not finance the MRRD separately from the Frente to the token of $25,000 per month. I said that this amount was out of the question and that he, Lorie, should sit down and prepare a budget which I might consider; I could not make a decision one way or the other until such budget and the definitive OPS plan would be in my hands. (Comment: I feel that if we can accept Lorie's operational plan we should be prepared to finance his up to $19000 per month. 2. Lorie asked me whether we could make a 'lipstick camera' available to him; he said that he had an important female contact in Cuba who could take pictures of documents. 3. Lorie asked whether we could issue a visa to (Unintelligible) Jurado Horta who is currently in Havana."

104-10119-10182: COMMENTS ON MANUSCRIPT "GIVE US THIS DAY"; "CIA AND THE BAY OF PIGS INVASION" BY E.J. HAMILTON.

02/16/70, Memorandum from Walter Pforzheimer to Director of Security: Page 4: ..."3....We also meet Droller about whom there is some 'diversity in attitudes' among CIA officers. Droller's operational name of Frank Bender is noted (p. 13), and he is referred to as Bender throughout the rest of the manuscript. (This is not the first time Droller has been identified as Bender; his name was blown by Arthur Schlesinger in his book A Thousand Days in 1965). Bender's cover telephone arrangements in Miami and New York, which allowed him to answer local calls there at his Washington desk, are disclosed (p. 14). Hamilton states that Bender told him that as far as he knew 'Richard Helms, Chief of Operations for the Clandestine Services, had not been cut in' (p. 14)."

Contributors:
Arthur Schlesinger • John Newman • MFF

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