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Pseudonym: Salvack, Lester

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Lester H. Salvack may have been a pseudonym used by Edward Korn-Patterson, Bronson Tweedy, or Glen Fields.
Salvack worked closely with Robert B. Guthman (probably Lawrence Devlin) and WIROGUE (David Tzitzichvili) in the Congo in the 1960's. In a SSCIA interview in August of 1975, Devlin, using the pseudonym of Victor S. Hedgeman, recommended Edward Korn-Patterson, Bronson Tweedy, and Glen Fields, as CIA employees who could testify on the Congo issue.

104-10182-10052: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

03/16/61: Dispatch from COS, Leopoldville to Chief, Africa Division: Subject: Review of WIROGUE Project to Date (unintelligible) WIROGUE's New Position in Congolese Air Force: "1. This dispatch is to inform Headquarters of the main developments and problems concerning WIROGUE to date, and to set forth in detail Station thoughts and plans concerning WIROGUE. 2. WIROGUE, in his contacts with Robert B. Guthman (probably Lawrence Devlin), and in the last two weeks with Lester H. Salvack, has always presented a multitude of ideas which include a strong element of violence, mayhem or just plain larceny...WIROGUE typically referred to Pierrot as 'the major'...Pierrot is interested in developing his own cadre of instructors, both for flying and mechanical work, to develop further the embryo group of 150 cadets currently more or less ready for flying training. 5. At meetings held 5 and 6 March WIROGUE supplied the following details concerning his new job: he was to meet the Minister of National Defense ad interim, Fernand Kazadi, on 7 March to sign a contract...9. Attachment C (note: page 7 of this file) provides some information concerning Paul Arnold Pierrot and the Congolese Air Force which was provided by the Air Attaché, Leopoldville, and which has already been reported through their channels. Pierrot is obviously trying to develop a training program and build up the Congolese Air Force from several sources at once, and if several of these sources provide the desired aid it is debatable if his own program (with WIROGUE) would become very extensive or even be implemented...We believe WIROGUE may develop into a worthwhile asset, if the time and attention he requires can be spent on him, however...Lester H. Salvack."

104-10182-10052: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

04/05/61: Cable from Leopoldville to Director (Bettelheim Acting): WIROGUE RYBAT: "1. Wilco. WIROGUE (David Tzitzichvili) not going Europe using alibi Swanson visit here precludes need. Re para 4 Ref A WIROGUE reports Col. Stahl cancelled trip LEOP last moment for unknown reason. 2. Contact with Swanson (note: CAJEEP-2) delayed until Ref A received. Long initial discussion between WIROGUE and Swanson held 4 Apr with Salvack as TPELIDE (probably at least through 4/64, used by the Mexico City station as a generic term for "embassy" and also used for a CIA team conducting surveillance) rep. Discussion centered on straight business deal concerning instructors needed, payments, contracts, life insurance, availability, working conditions, etc. Biggest stumbling blocks now are method signing contracts and cost plus claim on Swanson's part. Swanson willing negotiate and make deal but does not wish appear too early. WIROGUE discussing points with Pierrot 5 Apr and will meet Swanson for further discussion 5 Apr..."

104-10182-10052: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

08/28/61: Cable from Leopoldville to Director: RYBAT WIROGUE: "WIROGUE/1 (David Tzitzichvili) knew very little re station activities. He aware Guthman (probably Lawrence Devlin) and Salvack true names and addressees. Knew Bettelheim only be first name. Aware Guthman in contact with WIZARD/4. Was used pass money to WIBOTTLE in hospital. Station using apartment W/1 rented as safe apartment and has post office box under W/1 name."

104-10182-10069: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

09/23/61: Cable from Leopoldville to Director: Slugline RYBAT WIROGUE: "1. Salvack met WIROGUE (W) when he crossed river on special ferry from BRAZ evening 22 Sept. WIROGUE friendly though considers many PBPRIME (U.S) actions senseless. W carrying KUBARK (CIA) provided false documentation and on producing old ministry defense pass was let into Congo after long argument with GOC (Government of Congo) immigration officials. 2. Regret HQs did not pick up WIROGUE's false passport. Main reason for his recall was fear WILDCAT-5 would trace him and discover no such person existed. Only change now is that KUBARK no longer has obligation to him. 3. W states he told HQs contacts he returning Congo so should be no surprise. Has some letters he wishes Salvack forward to his HQs contact 'Dan.' Said he was going to call either Guthman (probably Lawrence Devlin) or Salvack immediately to let them know he in LEOP. Swore he would never do anything against PBPRIME and if he could be of any help any time was willing. Realized fully he on his own in Congo and KUBARK, under no obligation to him. Says he intends remain Congo and make living here. 4. W will phone Salvack in few days. CS Comment: *Stated WIROGUE being terminated and required to leave PBPRIME. **Re Zappleey meeting with WIROGUE BRAZ."

104-10182-10052: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

10/19/61: Dispatch from COS, Leopoldville to Chief, AF: Subject: ZIBET/WIROGUE Request for documents: "1. On 2 October 1961 WIROGUE telephoned Lester H. Salvack and said that he had something important to discuss with him...2. WIROGUE (David Tzitzichvili) had two requests. The first was to ask 'Dan' to forward the two laissez-paissezb which WIROGUE states he turned over to Dan and never got back. WIROGUE was quite emphatic that he needs these documents...3. WIROGUE then showed Salvack a model of a one man submarine on which he had been working in conjunction with a Belgian engineer (Identity #1) who is also a Congolese Air Force advisor...WIROGUE said he had discussed this model and his plans fully when in Headquarters, and had made a full request concerning all details. Salvack said that (1) he was not an engineer and (2) was in no position to make any promise or commitment...Lester H. Salvack." - - - Identity 1 was Peter de Groeve (see page 74 of file).

104-10182-10052: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

04/02/62: Dispatch from COS, Leopoldville to Chief, AF (Info: Withheld; COS, Munich): Subject: Major Peter de Groeve: "1. The recent purchase of three DC-3's and DC-4 by the Congolese government is having continuing repercussions. This deal has been reported in detail through both TPELIDE (probably at least through 4/64, used by the Mexico City station as a generic term for "embassy" and also used for a CIA team conducting surveillance) and ODUNIT (U.S. Air Force) channels including the accusations of substantial graft which accompanied it...2. Stahl reported to Heston in a meeting 28 February that WIROGUE (David Tzitzichvili) is back with the Congolese Air Force. Stahl described him as an Austrian with a Belgian passport, formerly with the German commandos, who knows nothing about aviation. Stahl continued to say: Major Peter De Groeve (advisor to Congolese Air Force). February 61 - March 62. Involved in purchase three DC-3 planes from Iran Airways at price $125,000 per aircraft...left the Congo with 14,000 pounds...3. On 30 March WIROGUE informed Salvack that the GOC (Government of Congo) had put him in charge of investigating the above airplane purchases. His first real task is to arrest de Groeve and bring him back to the Congo...4. Both WIROGUE and Stahl said de Groeve is wanted for rape in Belgium. WIROGUE said he had also stolen some money there, although Stahl's version was that de Groeve had debts amounting to 400,000 Belgium Francs...Lester H. Salvack."

157-10014-10185: THE CONGO

08/22/75: SSCIA Interview and Meeting Summary of Victor S. Hedgeman (Lawrence Devlin): Page 4: "Hedgeman stressed that in this period, 1960-1961, the Congo was fraught with utter confusion; he said that what they were running was a Scotch tape and baling-wire operation. As for paramilitary operations, Hedgeman said they began seriously in the end of 1962 with the arrival of a number of T-6's that he and Ed Gullion had asked for. He said that these aircraft were not intended to be used in combat, but only to reassure the Congolese that the United States was with them and provide them with a bit of black magic. Hedgeman professed that the paramilitary combat missions of 1963, in support of anti-rebel activities, were really quite minor affairs. Some specifics. Hedgeman contended that he had no knowledge of the approval of funding of South African mercenaries and tribal leaders capable of resistance as approved by the 303 Committee. He also said, though, that he had important contact with Mike Hoare mercenaries, they gave no direct or indirect support to them. He also said there was no, repeat no, complicity or support on the part of the CIA in the ouster of Kasavubu by Mobutu in November of 1965. Throughout the conversation, Hedgeman interspersed the most hair-raising tales of his and his daughter's brushes with death in their dealings with unruly mutinous Congolese, ranging from being placed before two different firing squads during one day and his evening as the selected victim of a hit contract given by the Union Miniere. As for CIA employees who might testify well, should the Committee handle the Congo issue in executive session, Hedgeman recommended Edward Korn-Patterson, Bronson Tweedy, and Glen Fields."

Gavin McDonald

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