Pseudonym: Kelly, Mickey
A link was provided to an article by Mickey Kappes in the February 2014 edition of Buddy Line: Newsletter of Fraternal Order of Underwater Swimmers School, Key West, Florida. Kappes discussed his CIA and diving career. Mickey Kappes mentioned his diving and CIA friend, Rudy Enders, as well as stating that he departed Cuba in October of 1960, after receiving an urgent message and warning from a good friend in the U.S. Embassy in Havana.
1960-62: "It was my impression that during 1960 WAVE and HQs considered the activities of (Hernandez) and his sidekick and 'public relations man', Donald Hogan, somewhat unscrupulous and hazardous from a security standpoint. "Hogan is a young (33) US newspaper man of unsavory background, whose purpose in life seemed to be to promote Fernandez as the future president of Cuba, or to persuade the US government to so promote him. He divided his life alternatively between trying to get a job with CIA and attacking CIA viciously in the press and otherwise; I notice from the latest volume of his file that Hogan and Fernandez were always inseparable (sometimes referred to as the Siamese twins), but Mr. Matt tells me that Fernandez has dissociated himself from Hogan in recent months and has become a much more reasonable person to deal with... "...under Fernandez's guidance, and with the help of CIA (Pekich of HQs PM), the UR has made an all-out attempt during mid-1961 and attained some success, in gaining control of the other six important internal groups (MRR, MRP, DRE, 30 Nov, MDC, RESCATE). However, this effort at an internal merger fizzled, in the early fall of 1961, as did subsequent efforts at internal unity, as far as I know... "Fernandez has always maintained high-level official and personal contacts in Washington. His wealth and reported friendship with the Kennedys make this inevitable...These factors...make it impossible for CIA to maintain anything resembling an agent relationship. Our relations with him in the past have been rocky and will probably continue so..." June 1962 bio of Alberto Fernandez/AMDENIM-1, sent from TFW-PA/PROP Martha Tharpe to C/TFW/PA-PROP Seymour Bolten, requested by Bill Harvey.
9/18/60 cable from MASH to Director: "Increasing suspicion MASH that Raul Chibas may be a Castro plant. Since exfiltration by (Mickey) Kappes has lain low for long period of time but now getting back into picture as Manolo Ray rep. Though fact that he brought out by Kappes common knowledge (in) MASH area and thus presumably by opposition, Kappes has been in (and) out of Cuba on at least three occasions with no evident difficulties...Chibas now in position (to) have everything filter through him at some point. He in contact Manson as (Washington DC) rep, with Manuel de Jesus and Bender/Gerard Droller as (FRD) reps, with Nino Diaz as Alianza reps and with Don Hogan Kappes as Alberto Fernandez reps...Have no reason this stage to doubt Kappes' courage and desire to do job (in) his particular field, but recognize that he most naive and not at all trained (in) clandestine ops. Also most indiscreet in current anti-Castro activities..."
May 1961: In case MS-11895, Michael P. Kelly of the Domestic Contacts Division is monitoring the FPCC office in NYC and observing the bus driving these activists to protest with antiwar leader David Dellinger in Washington DC (also see 104-10114-10148) Almost certainly the same man as "Mickey Kelly" aka George Michael Kappes.
Circa June 1963, TILT operation - Mickey Kelly: "Graduated from Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Four years experience as marine engineer on merchant ships. Two years U. S. Navy, UDT (diving, "frogman"). Two and a half years in Cuba. Background in diving, treasure hunting. Diesel engineer. (Daniels Towing)."
June 1963: Based on the undated list of four names above, all of the names on that list appear to be aliases. "Pawley 65 foot yacht Flying Tiger will depart Miami 1800 hours 5 June. Aboard yacht will be Pawley's captain Luis Paez Guerra who Cuban national but long time trusted employee. (CIA) will have Donald F. Mazutis alias Mike Kelley (note: true name Mickey Kappes) and Marvin A. Laurenkus alias Alan Barton (note: true name Rudy Enders) on board Pawley yacht. This yacht due arrive Hogsty reef 0600 hours 8 June. Yacht will anchor reef area...(CIA PBY - PBY is an abbreviation for 'US Navy medium to heavy twin amphibious aircraft - used for maritime patrol, water bomber, and search and rescue') under dry lease to Pawley will arrive Hogsty Reef 0630 hours 8 June and land in protected area Hogsty Reef. (Aircraft) will contain Pawley, Martino, Spencer from LIFE, Irving G. Cadick alias William Rutherford, Oliver Fortson alias Maximo de Cordoba and eight Cubans. Party will be transferred by RB-12 from (aircraft) to Pawley yacht. Entire party will board Pawley yacht, take Cuban craft in tow, and head for launch point. (Aircraft) leaves area. Pawley yacht, surveilled by LEDA radar...goes from reef to launch point which 25 miles off Cuba in commercial sea lanes...Here Cubans loaded into their craft. Once they in their craft they passed ammo in boxes and while being covered by arms on Pawley yacht Cubans are then cut loose at 2200 hours 8 June for trip to Cuba. Cubans on mission will be Ernesto Duenas (201-298397), Eduardo Perez/AMDENIM-11 (201-294665), Rene Lamoru...Dennis Rigal....Luis Cantin...Rolando Rodriguez...Tomas Vaguero...Francisco Hernandez. Once Cubans hit Cuba they go exfil point pick up Sovs...once pickup (with Cuban craft)...(aircraft will) bring Sovs, Cubans, Pawley, Martino, Life rep, Cadick and Fortson back to Miami. Fortson will then debrief Sovs in Russian to extent possible once they on Pawley yacht and (aircraft)...if no show 10 June op aborts."
June 1963: This memo for "Operation T" (T is for TILT) shows "Rutherford and Kelly and Barton" all working together at sea. Rutherford was Rip Robertson; Kelly was Mickey Kappes; Barton was Rudy Enders. I believe "the fourth man" involved in TILT, Oliver Fortson, is yet another pseudo for Tony Sforza. Fortson's alias is identified as Maximo de Cordova.
Article on the Air America website headlined: Reunion Articles and Stories: ..."DDMBC Letter February 2006 By Walt Ranallo...We had a terrific turnout for breakfast on the 11th. We held this breakfast meeting at Kay’s Bar-B-Q in Cocoa. Steve Stevens showed up and actually ate. Kathleen Clair from NYC, who is visiting her brother, was also there. It was Judy’s first breakfast since returning to Florida and she’s looking much better. Bruce Burke was there for the first time in several weeks and he sat with Ben, Maury & Emma Meisner and me. Jim Roberts came over from Orlando for the first time in several months. Jim advised he’d been tied up for the past few months, but hopes to get over more often. Tom Jenny was also down from Deland. Tom still registers travel time block to block in minutes; he made the trip from his house to Kays in 59 minutes. Claims it takes 64 minutes to the Island Bar-B-Q in Merritt Island. Mickey Kappes who came to a breakfast a few months back also joined us and brought along four friends. Mickey was a SKY guy for 32 years (back on contract for the last six). He was the AA customer in Pakse and Long Tien. He brought Chuck Kleebauer, Rudy Enders, Dick Amos and Bill Amos. Chuck was a Special Forces combat vet in Nam and a SKY guy for over 20 years and was the AA customer in Savannaket, and former Chief of Ground Branch. Rudy was a SKY guy for 30 years including seven in Vietnam. His wife of many years was evacuated from Hue by an AA bird during the TET fighting while the HLZ was under hostile mortar fire. Rudy is also a former Chief of the Special Operations Group. Dick Amos was a former Marine combat jet pilot who won two Distinguished Flying Crosses in Viet Nam. Afterwards, he served 20 years with the DEA flying choppers. He currently flies medevac choppers on a part-time basis. Dick’s brother Bill, a dentist visiting from Indiana, had previously served in the Navy..."
08/30/2008: War of Wits website: Rudy Enders eulogy at Grayston L. Lynch's memorial service at MacDill Air Force Base: ..."It's no wonder Gray was selected by the CIA to be one of only two Americans to assist the brave Cuban Brigade at the Bay of Pigs. We all know this story, especially those that languished in Castro's prisons after the ill-fated disaster. The eye tooth of the invasion plan was extracted when the Kennedy administration cancelled the promised and critically needed air support, thereby leading to assured failure. It was a decision an honorable soldier like Gray could never accept. The Brigade was let down -- betrayed -- by the very people that sent them into battle - not only were the Cubans, but Gray himself and fellow officer Rip Robertson. After this horrific catastrophe, a flicker of hope emerged when Gray and Rip were again called upon to help spark a flame of resistance within Cuba. It is then that he recruited and trained an elite commando force (Command Mambises) where many of you served. It is during this period when case officers like me, Mickey Kappes, Bob Stevens and others had the privilege of working alongside Gray and the brave, freedom loving commando teams. We too believed these efforts would eventually lead to a free Cuba. Besides having great respect and admiration for our fine Cuban friends -- dedicated as they were to the cause -- we were granted the rare privilege -- first hand -- to see how really special Gray and Rip were. They demonstrated leadership qualities that elevated them to 'role model' status for every subsequent agency paramilitary officer..."
02/05/2009: Article in the Washington Independent: Headlined: Obama's Openness v. CIA Secrecy: ..."The sheer fact that Panetta’s nomination has gotten further than either Sorenson or Lake is testament to changing times and Obama’s political skill. As Spencer Ackerman of The Washington Independent has reported, the clandestine service has been placated by the retention of career officer Mickey Kappes. As the son of a career CIA officer, Kappes was literally born and bred in the Agency. If Panetta has paid his taxes, Obama may get the independent leadership he seeks..."
USS Skagit Guest Book: "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile...can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, 'I served in the United States Navy'." President John F. Kennedy, 1963, Annapolis, MD...Mickey Kappes (LTJG)...Onboard: 1956: Dept./Div. Engineering/Small Boats Officer Rate/Rank: LTJG (Kings Point Grad) I was amazed to find a 1956 letter posted (in the Nov. '06 box) on your site which I wrote to Playboy. Wow! After the Skagit, I went to EOD and then after leaving the Navy, into the CIA for an interesting 32+ year career. I remember getting the Skipper's approval to take a LCM with crew members and some civilian divers off Pt. Loma for abalone diving. Of course the highlight of my Skagit tour was when we went to Pearl for extended drydocking and could bring our cars aboard. Those were the days! Posted: 01/09/2010..."
02/00/2014: Buddy Line: Newsletter of Fraternal Order of Underwater Swimmers School, Key West, Florida: Page 5: "A Diver's Story: In remembering the past and all the good and exciting times, I wrote this short biographical sketch and included a relevant and historical spear fishing contest banner. Mickey Kappes - Merritt Island, Florida. I started skin diving and spear fishing in Long Island waters in 1951, and in 1953 while a cadet at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, I founded the 'Trident Club' with life-long diving buddy Rudy Enders who went on to be UWSS/XO. The club was active for almost 40 years and many Kings Point cadets enjoyed their first introduction to the wondrous undersea world that existed beneath the hulls of the ships they would sail as Merchant Marine or Naval Officers. As part of my active duty Navy time in EOD, I graduated from the Underwater Swimmers School (UWSS) in Key West on 12 October 1956. As a civilian, in late 1958, I accepted a contract to try to determine the cause of a crash of a Cubana Airlines flight which went down in shallow waters off the Cuban coast. The Batista government blamed it on a bomb planted by Cuban (Castro) rebels while the rebels claimed a Cuban Air Force fighter shot it down. It was believed that if the aircraft could be located and photographed, it would be evident that either an onboard bomb went off or that incoming bullet holes would prove an aircraft shoot-down. However, immediately after my arrival in Havana, I learned that the Cuban government had already located and raised the aircraft remains and put out the story of a rebel bomb planted aboard. Being single and unemployed, I decided to stay in Cuba and was in Havana when Fidel and his bearded guerrillas marched into town a few weeks later. I met several Cuban divers and started a diving and salvage business. For the first year under Castro, before the communist flag was raised high (the honeymoon period), business was good." (CONTINUED BELOW)
02/00/2014: Buddy Line: Newsletter of Fraternal Order of Underwater Swimmers School, Key West, Florida: Page 5: "A highlight of my first year residing in Cuba was participating in the first post-revolution 'Campeonato Nacional de Caza Submarina' (National Spearfishing Championships) held in Varadero Beach on 20-21 June 1959. Each 3-man team was assigned a 100 meter wide zone running from the beach out to deep water. No SCUBA allowed – total team weight of anything speared counted. I was quite amazed to observe that the 3- man team to one side consisted of bearded fellows including Fidel Castro himself. We came in second but happily beat Fidel’s team. By the end of an almost two-year stay in Havana, life was getting economically difficult and politically dangerous. In October 1960, heeding an urgent warning from a good friend in the U.S. Embassy, I made a hasty departure from Havana. While transiting Miami on my way to ship out again in the Merchant Marine, I was contacted and recruited by the CIA. A promise of four months employment evolved into a rewarding 47-year Agency career which included an exciting operational 125 ft. dive with a Navy SEAL in unfriendly waters during an extended paramilitary assignment and recreational diving in many parts of the world during my 20 years overseas. At age 81, it may be time to hang up my flippers, and if I can’t shoot my age on the golf course, I may try to free-dive my age (feet not fathoms) down in the Keys."