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Pseudonym: Ogden, Vincent

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Vincent B. Ogden was possibly a pseudonym used by CIA officer and Chief of Station (COS), Guatemala, Collins Almon.
Richarsd H. Immerman, in The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention, stated that Collins Almon was replaced by Birch O'Neill as COS, Guatemala. Historian John Prados believed that John Doherty then replaced Birch O'Neil as COS, Guatemala.


07/07/52: CIA document: "Here is my stand at this point. Believe it reflects views of (REDACTION). 1. Calligeris' (Carlos Castillo Armas) plan is basically sound, can succeed, and is approved with minor variations as follow: a. Coordination between Calligeris, (REDACTION) and KMEGGCUP is essential and must be arranged. (a cable to Ogden on 3 July pointed this out and asked if coordination could be accomplished from his end)..."


10/15/52: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to Chief, WHD (ATTN: Oliver G. Galbond): Subject: General - Operational. Specific - Attitude in Department of State Re Guatemalan Situation: (Handwritten note at top of page: "Read by JCK 22 Oct 1952"): "1. Attached is a copy of an official informal confidential letter dated 25 September 1952 from Mr. Edward W. Clark and a copy of the attachment thereto which is a memorandum from Mr. (Charles) Siragusa to Mr. Miller (Edward G. Miller, Jr.) dated 12 September 1952. Also attached is a copy of a memorandum prepared by Mr. John Calvin Hill, Jr., dated 2 October 1952. Mr. Hill is Second Secretary of the Embassy, Guatemala City. 2. These came to my attention and it being thought their contents would be of interest to Headquarters, I am taking the liberty of forwarding them although I have not advised anyone outside of our organization that I am doing so. 3. In discussing the contents of these memoranda with Mr. Hill and the Charge d'Affaires, Mr. William L. Krieg, I gained the impression that they both have the opinion that the Ambassador is coming around to the view that more and concrete action should be taken in order to tip the scales in this country. Although he has on several occasions indicated his willingness to accept suggestions with regard to more concrete action, I regret to state that my opinion is that he is so security conscious and such a chronic criticizer of every idea that members of his staff have made that it will be virtually impossible to prepare a program which would meet with his full approval. (REDACTION) Vincent B. Ogden."


10/15/52: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to Chief, WHD: Subject: Operational ESQUIRE: "1. ESCONSON has advised that ESQUIRE was in contact with him on 7 and 8 October 1952, and during the course of their conversations he learned that ESQUIRE had recently arrived from QKCIGAR (since 1 October) and that his principal interest in contacting him was to determine if ESCONSON had, in fact, a means of communicating with Bob Jackson. ESQUIRE furnished ESCONSON the telephone number of Jackson. 2. ESQUIRE advised ESCONSON that a 'timetable for action' was to be sent to him by Bob Jackson some time between 16-25 October. ESCONSON ascertained that ESQUIRE's principal preoccupation has been the fusing of the opposition groups which he identified by code names which are apparently those used within the groups but are herein referred to by cryptonyms used in DYCLAIM (CIA) communications. We have recorded in our files the referred to code names. One is the KMEGGCUP group headed by RNDINDLE and the other the group lead by (REDACTION) and John H. Calligeris, the latter stated by ESQUIRE to be presently in WSHOOFS (Honduras). ESQUIRE explained to ESCONSON that the (REDACTION) Calligeris group claims considerably more men and arms than the RNDINDLE group, but all or almost all of their support is outside the country, whereas the RNDINDLE group has its men and materials inside the country. He said the principal difference between the two groups is that the RNDINDLE group cannot accept Calligeris as the future president and the (REDACTION) Calligeris group is insisting that Calligeris should have sole power after the revolution takes place. He said that both recognize the advantages of working together, but the RNDINDLE group want a junta of 5-7 men...Vincent B. Ogden." DYCLAIM can be found on page 26 here: https://www.archives.gov/files/iwg/declassified-records/rg-263-cia-records/second-release-lexicon.pdf


04/27/53: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to Chief, WHD: Subject: PBFORTUNE: "1. Of possible interest to Headquarters is the attached copy of the last three paragraphs of a memorandum prepared by Ambassador Schoenfeld and dated 4 March 1953. The memorandum conversation took place shortly prior to the Ambassador's departure to Washington, D.C., for consultation. 2. The memorandum was called to my attention by the Ambassador on 24 April 1953. (REDACTION) Vincent B. Ogden." - - - Page 3: "EXTRACT: Memo of Conversation Between Ambassador Schoenfeld and President Jacobo Arbenz on 4 March 1953 in Guatemala City: He was aware of the opposition to his program. There was the case of Colonel Castillo Armas. They had, he said, been fellow officers and friends. They had both been quite poor and had lived on their modest pay. As Minister of Defense, he had helped Castillo Armas obtain a grant to take a course in the United States. After his return, they had resumed their former relations. Suddenly he turned. He was now living in Honduras. From being quite poor, he had suddenly become well off, with money, a car and a stream of persons visiting him. One wondered where the money came from. He did not think it came form the Government of Honduras, or Nicaragua, or Costa Rica, or El Salvador. I told President Arbenz I hoped the problem of American opinion and the things that gave rise to it would eventually be met. Basically there was every reason why the two countries should be friends: reasons of geography, of economics and of political destiny. If the disruptive elements which occupied certain key positions disappeared from those positions, I had no doubt that United States-Guatemalan relations would quickly take on a different aspect..."


08/05/53: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to Chief, WH: Subject: General - Operating. Specific - KUFIRE-KUGOWN Operating Conditions: Reference: HGG-W-227: "1. Attached is a memorandum entitled as above which we hope will give Headquarters an understanding of our problems. We welcome any suggestions and would appreciate Headquarters views on proposals made therein. 2. Wherein we mention the various personnel and activities we have not made reference to Eliot P. Razmara because we know nothing of his activities, he never having reported to this station although he was sent out on a project where in he would be under the supervision of this station...(REDACTION) Vincent B. Ogden." - - - Page 7: ..."Hediger (presently) and Hunkins (prior to his departure) have both contacted me by phone with my approval when they desired to do so or at prearranged times...There have been no reports on surveillances of ODACID (U.S. State Department) or station personnel with the exception of Hediger, and we are not certain that surveillances of him are taking place. He has been suspicious on several occasions that such was the case. On one occasion he literally chewed and swallowed one of his reports in apprehension of being caught with it, but was not picked up, and we are not certain that the person who appeared to be interested in his activities at the time actually was interested or had any authority to act against him..." - - - Page 9: "We have only one (REDACTION) at this time, namely Donald O. Hediger. For a long time Hediger has been engaged in the clipping of propaganda material and preparation of that material for possible KUGOWN (Psychological and Paramilitary Staff) dissemination with the approval of Headquarters. Much of his material has been forwarded to Headquarters as KMFORGET ('white propaganda' designed for US citizens)..."


08/24/53: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to Chief, WHD: Subject: Operational KUGOWN Activities: "1. To bring Headquarters up to date on our operational development for an anti-communist propaganda effort, it is advised that Donald O. Hediger has until recently been maintaining sporadic contact with Identities A and B of reference (b). Identity A is a person of variable enthusiasms, prone to vacillation, eager to obtain political prestige but not sufficiently dedicated to fulfil his obligations. Hediger recommended that he more or less avoid contact with Identity A and principally use Identity B, which has been our technique, although we have not divorced ourselves completely from contact with Identity A. We are endeavoring to develop Identity B because we feel that he is more aggressive and has the proper mentality to carry out a program. Contact with Identity B has been infrequent until recent date because, as Identity B states, there have been certain circumstances with regard to his activities which made it wise that he avoid contact...Vincent B. Ogden."


08/28/53: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to Chief, WHD: Subject: Covert Personnel in WSBURNT: "1. As Headquarters is aware, this station has only one (REDACTION) in the subject category. His permit is to remain in this country will expire on 2 February 1954, (REDACTION) was previously assigned to this station in a covert capacity but returned to QKCIGAR on 18 June 1953, and this station has not been advised as to whether he will return. Eliot P. Razmara was expected to be able to do work for us in this country but for reasons known to Headquarters, he has not reported to us as yet...Since Hediger will of necessity have to leave prior to 2 February 1954, plans must be made at the present time for his replacement approximately one month in advance of his required date of departure...We feel that with the high degree of Communist influence in the present government and with the considerable publicity given to that situation, this is a place where a full time correspondent for the International News Service, or some chain of newspapers in QKCIGAR, could be stationed without causing suspicion that he may be primarily engaged for other purposes. We believe that a highly competent newspaper man would be of inestimable value to us and could probably successfully develop and run a KUFIRE (Intelligence) net. It is believed that at the same time we could afford such a correspondent considerable background information for press release, thus effectively carrying out our propaganda campaign. It would be preferable that such agent represented a wire service furnishing material to newspapers in other Latin American countries...4. We recommend that Headquarters explore the possibilities of arranging for the assignment of (REDACTION) as indicated, and we would appreciate receiving the reaction of Headquarters to our proposal concerning such an agent in addition to the other (REDACTION). Vincent B. Ogden."


12/07/54: Routing and Record Sheet: "FROM: RI/Analysis. TO: 1. WH. 2. 3/Davis. 3. Guata (?). 4. Candon. (?). 5. Mexico. 6. Ogden. 7. Ledbetter."

104-10291-10014: BIRCH D. O'NEAL.

02/12/70: Supplementary Information: ..."December 1951 - April 1954 - U. S. Department of State, Foreign Service Staff, Washington, D. C. During this period I served as Attaché, Political Officer, American Embassy, Guatemala City, Guatemala. In that capacity I gathered information concerning the legal system, laws, and enforcement thereof and counselled and advised the U. S. Ambassador on matters of a legal and political nature. In this work I employed legal knowledge and experience as related to the laws of the United States and the Republic of Guatemala. I resigned from this position in Guatemala to return to the U. S. for personal and family reasons..."

Richard H. Immerman, The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention (1982)

Page 134: ..."The CIA station chief in Guatemala, Collins Almon, had placed a bug in the headquarters of the Guatemalan Labor party that was discovered by the party's workers. When Ambassador Rudolf Schoenfeld, Patterson's successor, found out, he ordered Almon to keep a low profile and transmit all messages through the embassy. Almon, an aging FBI retread with little experience or interest in paramilitary endeavors, complied with Schoenfeld's wishes and, Hunt alleges, censored CIA missives. Birch O'Neill eventually replaced Almon, but he proceeded just as cautiously..."

John Prados, Safe for Democracy, The Secret Wars of the CIA (Ivan Dee, Chicago, 2006)

Page 110: ..."For Guatemala the CIA preferred a strong ambassador to work with the agency. Some also thought CIA station chief Birch O'Neil too cautious for a swashbuckling covert action, so pressure developed to transfer him also. Criticized as too ready to accept the ambassador's dictates, objecting to the use of propaganda created elsewhere, deficient in reporting on labor, and tolerating poor security, O'Neil's days were numbered. He would be replaced by John Doherty, cryptonym 'Tranger'..."

John Prados • Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich • Richard H. Immerman

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