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Pseudonym: Notbohm

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Notbohm may possibly have been an alias for CIA officer Henry D. Hecksher during PBSUCCESS.
Historian John Prados stated in President's Secret Wars that Henry Hecksher operated "under cover in Guatemala to supply front-line reports." Prados also mentioned that Hecksher posed as a German businessman. In another of Prados' books, Safe for Democracy, a passage stated: "Heckscher, a key operative from Berlin, posed as a European coffee buyer to move covertly inside the country. Later his role expanded to inducing defections from the local military." In this latter role, Hecksher probably used the pseudonym Graham L. Page. In terms of Hecksher's role as a German coffee buyer, it is possible he used the German sounding alias of Notbohm as part of this cover.

A cable on January 23, 1954, stated that German concussion grenades would go in sample cans, and Notbohm, WHD, would furnish required requisitions and accept delivery.

Two cables on February 9, 1954, which were to be brought to the attention of Notbohm, requested that 550 sterile Spanish instruction sheets were to be added to ROBALO (Fort Clayton, Panama) equipment outlining the use of napalm.

A dispatch in February of 1954 stated that J. C. King, Chief, Western Hemisphere Division (WHD), had spoken to Notbohm and another CIA officer over issues to do with RUFUS (Carlos Castillo Armas).

Documents in September and October, 1954, mentioned that Bannister (probably John Doherty) and Notbohm were in contact with one another.

A telegram in June, 1954, indicated that Page and Bannister were working together: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=145047&relPageId=407

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: Abbreviations and Cryptonyms

Page xvii: ..."PBS, PBSUCCESS, Central Intelligence Agency covert operation to overthrow Arbenz government in Guatemala..."


01/23/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: RE: DIR 35148 (OUT 64944): "1. Feel ref cable refers to Canadian frag. German concussion grenades will go in sample cans. 2. Notbohm, WHD, will furnish required requisitions and accept delivery." - - - 02/08/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: ATTN NOTBOHM: "Query mutual friend PM/OPOT/D and T for chemical quantities S-Chlorate-Magnesium necessary to gain maximum publicity. Handwritten note: Answered 10 Feb 54 (REDACTION)." https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000913631.pdf


02/09/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: ATTN NOTBOHM: "1. Pivall (probably David Morales) states no medical or ration kits received 14 January flight. Supplies were procured and placed in logistics warehouse near headquarters. Presume still there. Please include these supplies in 25 February shipment to FJHOPEFUL (Fort Clayton, Panama). 2. Request you procure through medical section instruction sheet on use of items included in kit. Instructions should be translated to Spanish and 1,700 copies reproduced for inclusion 25 February flight."


02/09/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: ATTN NOTBOHM: "1. Request 550 sterile Spanish instruction sheets be added to ROBALO equipment outlining use of napalm and use shaped charges. Obtain data TSS. 2. Request through PM/OPOT instructions on crimping and fusing TNT. Convert to 1,000 Spanish instruction sheets."


02/15/54: Air dispatch from Chief, WH to COS, LINCOLN (Attention: Nutting): Subject: General: Specific: Remarks by CWH re debriefing of (REDACTION): "1. As per your request of 15 January 1954 the following remarks made by CWH to Jeremy T. Nutting and Notbohm relative to the Headquarters debriefing of (REDACTION) the week of 11 January 1954 are forwarded for inclusion in your files. a. (REDACTION) morale is good, and he is in excellent spirits. There is no handling problem. He is aware of the need for control over RUFUS (Carlos Castillo Armas). b. Read the four-page letter from RUFUS dated 7 February 1954. Ready to go. Galbond (J. C. King) said that he had to have time to train. This must be emphasized on 20 January 1954. c. Arenas-Ocana. The problem is how to keep them from freewheeling. Did Arenas see McCarthy? Arenas has now gone back. He met (REDACTION) gave him hell and told him to stay in line. Ocana left 14 January 1954. He will be in New Orleans for a few weeks or a month. (REDACTION) says Arenas does have the following and can put on demonstrations. Ocana is just a sidekick. d. Calderon Guardia is in Caracas with his (REDACTION) who is a member of the RUFUS group. The latter had orders to prevent any Calderon-Jimenez agreement to attack Costa Rica before Guatemala. On his return, the (REDACTION) will report. e. RByP and (REDACTION) Agreement did not have RUFUS's signature. It was taken to (REDACTION) who brushed it off because it lacked RUFUS' signature. Three or four Guatemalans signed, made separate and secret approaches to RUFUS in the last few weeks and promised allegiance. Keep appraising this. Galbond is particularly interested in this issue."


03/26/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: Page 2: ..."2. For Cadick (William Robertson): A. Do not attempt move heavy gear this flight but select cargo easily handled and storageable from RR stock. B. Make certain all kits prepared for burial are covered to disguise outside preparation. C. New SUBJ: Notbohm conducting further tests of food packages - will advise results soonest meanwhile cable specifics of ROBA 0732 (IN 30481)..."


05/13/54: Dispatch from Frank G. Wisner, Chief, KUDOVE to COS, LINCOLN (Attention: William D. Playdon - Note: Tracy Barnes): Subject: Charles F. Rennell: ..."2. It is my current view, having talked with him this morning for about 20 minutes and having heard from Galbond (J. C. King) and Notbohm of their conversations with him that the best thing to be done at the moment is to hold him here quietly for a time and let him cool off a bit. I have enlisted the assistance of Fletcher Knight (Richard Helms) and (REDACTION) (the latter having known him from West Point days) in this hand-holding and steam-letting-off process. I understand that LINCOLN (CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) does not want Rennell to return to his station in the near future or until some understanding have been very clearly reached with him concerning his activities upon his return. Please let me know if I am wrong in this impression..."


09/27/54: Cable from Director to Sr. Rep., Guatemala City: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: "1. $15,000 approved for September operation of ref para 1 Comite. However in making advance avoid commitment against or for continuation aid. HQs requests Bannister (probably John Doherty) in consultation Notbohm to prepare study and make recommendation re desirability KUBARK (CIA) continued aid to Comite through Group. This connection Bannister should request September budget and obtain breakdown accountings by Comite of funds passed it. 2. HQs ODACID (U.S. State Department) unwilling accede Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) request for covert aid at this time. HQs expects that some aid will from time to time be useful as lever and would appreciate local ODACID/Station views on this after Notbohm/Bannister talks."


10/14/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Slugline RYBAT: EYES ONLY GALBOND (J. C. King): "1. Have discussed refs with IDEN A consonance with his knowledgeability. He received from JMBLUG (John S Peurifoy) benefit of JMBLUG's briefing by Whiting (Frank G. Wisner) re subject. 2. Strong possibility exists Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) may not be able effect settlement for $900,000 which is less than half total of claims for damages...3. Propose up pay with Calligeris to be as follows: A. IDEN A and Notbohm to see Calligeris and advise him that ODYOKE (U.S. Government) willing to help him to extent of (whatever maximum figure HQs authorizes)... 5. IDEN A and Notbohm will attempt audience Calligeris 16 Oct. Subject your approval would appreciate knowledge highest figure which may be used prior that meeting..."


10/15/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: RE: GUAT 335 (IN 14801), Para 4: "1. In view Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) financial difficulties as indicated by ref plus sever damages caused by recent storms necessitating large cash outlay to operate government, Bannister (probably John Doherty) and Notbohm consider highly desirable that SKIMMER (the "Group," CIA cover organization supporting Carlos Castillo Armas) advance further 50,000 dollars on priority basis with signed understanding this to be used alleviate suffering stricken areas. 2. Authorization this covert advance would have beneficial result take some pressure off Calligeris and would demonstrate SKIMMER continued goodwill and confidence his govt..."

John Prados (1996): President's Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations from World War II Through the Persian Gulf

Pages 101-102: ..."Also on the team was the former Berlin station chief, Henry Hecksher, whose professionalism and skill were already legendary at CIA, and who would operate under cover in Guatemala to supply front-line reports...Operation Success entered the execution phase in early 1954 when the political action campaign kicked off. Dave Phillips checked material for the radio broadcast during a visit with Henry Hecksher, who posed as a German businessman..." - - - John Prados (2006): Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA: Page 113: ..."The CIA prepared the groundwork as quietly as possible. Henry Heckscher, a key operative from Berlin, posed as a European coffee buyer to move covertly inside the country. Later his role expanded to inducing defections from the local military..." Page 114: ..."Phillips began with a field trip where he contrived to meet Henry Heckscher...but when Phillips checked, not much of Heckscher's information proved useful..." - - - Tim Weiner (2007) Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA: Pages 110-111: ..."So Wisner hedged his bet and opened up a second front on the war against Arbenz. He sent one of the CIA's best officers, Henry Hecksher, the chief of the Berlin base, to Guatemala City with orders to persuade senior military officers to rebel against the government. Hecksher was authorized to spend up to $10,000 a month for bribes, and he soon bought the loyalty of a minister without portfolio in Arbenz's cabinet, Colonel Elfego Monzon. The hope was that more money would drive a wedge into an officer corps already beginning to under the twin pressures of an arms embargo imposed by the United States and the threat of an American invasion. But Hecksher soon became convinced that only an actual attack by the United States would embolden the Guatemalan military to overthrow Arbenz. Hecksher wrote to Haney: 'The crucial spark' has to be generated by heat-United States heat'-in the form of bombing the capital..."


11/7/55 Memorandum for the Record by Chief, WE/FI Henry Hecksher: "I first met Miss Goodpasture in the target country during PBSUCCESS, where under hazardous and trying circumstances she did in two weeks what two service attaches and one well-manned (CIA) Station had failed to accomplish in two years."

Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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