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Pseudonym: Kerschen, Melvin

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Possibly Jake Esterline. Melvin D. Kerschen was possibly Chief of Station (COS), WH/Miami in 1970.
William Sturbitts told the Rockefeller Commission that Esterline was COS, WH/Miami, from 1968-1973. Kerschen signed dispatches in the name of the COS, WH/Miami throughout 1970.


Re 1968-1973: "The Miami Station (JMWAVE) was established in 1961 not 1960. Robert K. Davis served as COS from October 1961 to February 1962...Theodore Shackley served as COS from April 1962 to June 1965. John Dimmer served as COS from June 1965 to March 1967."


04/16/75: Rockefeller Commission document: Page 6: ..."Q: During the nine years you were with DDO's Cuban operations, who was - who were the chiefs of the Miami Station? A: I think in 1963 Ted Shackley was the Chief and he was followed by - I can't think of his name. I should know it. Well, I will come back to that. Then, the next Chief of Station was Paul Henze. Q: What years was he Chief? A: I think Paul was there about a year and a half. He left in 1968 when we reduced the size of the Station. Let's say Henze was there from 1966 to 1968. And then Jake Esterline. He was Chief of Station from 1968 to 1973..." - - - Page 7, explaining that it answered in Langley to Task Force W formed (September 1961), it became Special Activities Staff and subsequently the Cuban Operations Group - at that point leadership returned to the WH Division. Page 8: As to JMWAVE, it was formerly a small forward operations base in Coral Gables in 1960. Page 9: Cuban operations terminated gradually about 1972-1973.

104-10183-10355: CIA FILE ON AMMUG-1

01/13/70: Telepouch from COS, WH/Miami to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division: Subject: Request for Assistance on Citizenship for AMMUG/1: Signed Melvin D. Kerschen.

104-10181-10011: CIA FILE ON ORESTES RUIZ-PEREZ, VOL 11.

02/04/70: Dispatch from COS, WH/Miami to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division (Info: Chief, European Division; COS, Madrid): Subject: TYPIC QUDOZE AMAUTO-1: "WH/Miami has been unable to develop any leads or traces to Alexander Samko, the individual for whom AMAUTO-1 (Orestes Guillermo Ruiz-Perez) worked in the States. Local LNERGO (FBI) was also queried with negative results. (Signature) Melvin D. Kerschen."

104-10178-10000: POSADA, LUIS CLEMENTE

02/12/70: Cable from WH/Miami to Director, Caracas: Slugline CIFLUTE CIFENCE: REF: DIRECTOR 009340: "1. Kerschen available to meet CIFENCE/4. Have him call AMANSWER (IDEN A) and identify himself as IDEN B. He should ask for IDEN C and leave telephone number where he can be reached. Kerschen will return call and arrange meeting. 2. Director: To avoid pouch time lag, please forward address where we can mail registered letter containing CIFENCE/R's forms and check. 3. File: 201-300985." - - - Page 238: "1. IDEN A: Answering service available 0900 thru 1600 hours Monday thru Friday. Number 379-9624 repeat 379-9624. IDEN B: Mr. Luis Clemente. IDEN C: Mr. Grady..."

104-10183-10355: CIA FILE ON AMMUG-1

03/02/70: Dispatch from COS, WH/Miami to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division: Subject: Status of AMMUG-1: "1. Forwarded herewith is the most recent contact report from Henry S. Pachankis (probably Jack Stewart) concerning AMMUG-1 (Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez). 2. As indicated, Pachankis broke the bad news contained in Reference B on AMMUG-1's citizenship. AMMUG-1 apparently took the news as well as could be expected. Nevertheless, the Station would appreciate periodic notice on the status of AMMUG-1's case so we may keep him informed on any progress. 3. In regard to Reference C, Pachankis probed in the area of wife problems and never really resolved the situation. Pachankis seemed to think, however, that the wife is still living with AMMUG-1. (Signature) Melvin D. Kerschen."

104-10183-10355: CIA FILE ON AMMUG-1

03/03/70: Dispatch from COS, WH/Miami to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division: Subject: Information from AMMUG-1 on Hector and Roberto Rodriguez Llompart: Page 3: Signed Melvin D. Kerschen.

104-10181-10011: CIA FILE ON ORESTES RUIZ-PEREZ, VOL 11.

04/29/70: Dispatch from COS, WH/Miami to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division (Info: COS, Madrid; Chief, European Division): Subject: TYPIC AMAUTO Interview of Alexander Samko: "1. Forwarded herewith are two contact reports submitted by Henry S. Pachankis (probably Jack Stewart) on his interviews with Alexander Samko (201-866054) concerning Orestes Guillermo Ruiz Perez (201-735296). Both contact reports are self-explanatory and were summarized in References B and C. 2. Please advise if WH/Miami should pursue the matter of contact between Samko and Ruiz in Madrid. If so, the Station suggests that Pachankis accompany Samko to Madrid as his handler. Melvin D. Kerschen."


08/05/70: Dispatch from COS, WH/Miami to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division (Info: COS, Madrid; Chief, EUR): Subject: AMAUTO/Follow-up Interview with Alexander Samko: "1. Forwarded herewith is a contact report from Pachankis (probably Jack Stewart) on his follow-up interview of Alexander Samko (201-866054), which concerns Samko's contact with AMAUTO/1 (201-735296) in Madrid. As can be seen from the report, Madrid Station's defensive briefing of Samko apparently took effort and he has been cautious in avoiding the many suspicious characters that have appeared since his trip to Madrid. 2. The question of his writing to AMAUTO/1 (Orestes Guillermo Ruiz-Perez) was mentioned by Samko. He was told that AMAUTO/1 was back in Cuba and we did not know when he would return to Madrid, if ever. WH/Miami believes we should wait until AMAUTO/1 returns to Madrid, or some other post in the Free World, and then have Samko write to him. 3. Despite Samko's newly self-discovered James Bond talents Pachankis enjoyed handling him. It also appears that our primary objective, contact with AMAUTO/1 for a face to face assessment, has been met. (Signature) Melvin D. Kerschen."

Gavin McDonald

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