Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Pseudonyms / pseudonym: SAMBORA_RUSSELL

Pseudonym: Sambora, Russell H.

Definition:
USAF Lt. Colonel Manuel Chavez, A U.S. Air Force Officer (ODUNIT) who was assigned to the AMWORLD project. Also known as "The Mexican" and as "Manuel Gomez/Major Gomez" in AMWORLD communications. Sambora's AMWORLD responsibilities were security and recruiting Mexican pilots.
Category:
pseudonym
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Much background in 2010 Chavez interview with Aubrey Kintop: https://fau.digital.flvc.org/islandora/object/fau%3A13165/datastream/OBJ/view/Interview_with_Bernice_Butler_Chavez_and_Manuel_J__Chavez_Jr_.pdf
Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923808.pdf

04/06/54: Memorandum from Jacob D. Esterline to CWH: Subject: Progress Report - PBSUCCESS for the Period 30 March 5 April 1954: "I. Operational: The following events of operational significance occurred during the reporting period: A. On 1 April 1954 (REDACTION) travelled to Headquarters from Lincoln to assist in the debriefing of Maj. Manuel J. Chavez, USAF, former Air Attaché in Central America where he was accredited to five republics. Maj. Chavez' information on personalities in Central America will be useful to (REDACTION) on his defection mission in Guatemala. (REDACTION)..."

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923767.pdf

05/04/54: Memorandum from Jacob D. Esterline to Withheld: Subject: Progress Report - PBSUCCESS for the Period 27 April - 3 May 1954: ..."C. (REDACTION) USAF, returned to Washington on 30 April 1954, from Guatemala where he is unofficially persona non grata. Chavez's debriefing is currently in process..." (Note: Part A mentioned Catherine Taaffe).

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/32193

1957-1961: Interview by Mel Ayton with Lt. Col. Manuel Chavez: "Manny Chavez is a former air force intelligence officer who served in Venezuela as a military attaché in Venezuela during 1957 -1959 while Dave Morales was assigned to the CIA office for a year during the period 1957-58. After examining the photo clips of the LAPD film footage used by O’Sullivan Chavez stated, “I was assigned to the CIA Office in Miami from 1960 to 1964. Dave Morales worked in my office (we shared desks) during a 4 month period (1961), until they moved to their own JMWAVE location in Southwest Miami. We often socialized."

104-10071-10355: MEMO OF VISIT TO CLARANCE WARD BISHOP (AKA WILLIAM BISHOP)

1/31/61 memo discussing Manuel Chavez as DCD contact joining Miami CIA field office chief Justin Gleichauf to meet with Col Clarence W Bishop aka William Bishop. Bishop's CIA biography is on page 4 - the only military experience shown is as a commander with Rolando Masferrer's group from 1959-1960 and as a military aide to General Tabernilla. The previous decade, Bishop had worked as an electrician, in air conditioning and as a reporter.

104-10073-10079: PROCESS SHEETS FOR CESAR DIOSDADO

3/30/63 Manuel Chavez putting together Domestic Contact Service collections of Cesar Diosdado/AMSWIRL-1.

104-10178-10006: INFORMATION REPORT-GROWTH OF VIOLENCE/BELIEF THAT PEREZ SHOULD NOT BE RETURNED

6/3/63 OO-K memo by M. J. Chavez with Justin Gleichauf for the CIA's Domestic Contact Service re interview with Jose Ignacio Rasco/AMPALM-5 discussing how Marcos Perez Jiminez (former president of Venezuela) should not be returned to Venezuela, as it would cause confusion and a schism in the military.

104-10100-10443: ADVISE WHEN HQS CAN EXPECT SAMBORA'S COMPLETED COVER LEGEND

Late November 1963 memo: Per discussion Beckhoff/Choaden (Henry Hecksher/David Phillips) would appreciate Mexi contact instructions for Sambora. Shall advise ETA Mexico City.

104-10101-10247: CABLE:PLEASE ADVISE IF SAMBORA LEGEND COMPLETED AND ALL

12/19/63 cable DIR 90383 from SAS/SO/HH Henry Hecksher to Mexico City: Please advise if Sambora legend completed and all pertinent papers pouched to HQS. Memo references 201-297754.

104-10241-10092: MEMO: AMWORLD/TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN AMBIDDY-1 AND H. HECKSHER

1/3/64 Memorandum for the Record by Henry Hecksher: AMBIDDY-1 (Artime) stated that as of 3 January, "the Mexican" (i.e. Sambora) had not replied to his invitation. File has Gomez 201 as reference. So, "The Mexican", Sambora and Gomez are the same person.

104-10241-10104: MEMO: TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN AMBIDDY-1 AND R. HERNANDEZ, 9 JAN 1964

1/10/64 Memorandum for the Record by SAS/SO/HH Raul Hernandez: A-1 has employed Major Gomez. A-1 was very impressed by the major and feels he will be an asset to AMWORLD organization.

104-10162-10416: MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD:TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN AMBIDDY-1 AND HERNANDEZ, RAUL (AS MARTIN FERRER)

March 1964: This brought up the subject of Manuel Gomez. A-1 (Artime) said that Gomez will be leaving on Monday, 16 march, for Nicaragua to survey AMWORLD installations. A-1 had just a few hours previously spoken to Gomez. In the conversation, Gomez elaborated on the security measures he wishes A-1 to take concerning his own security. A-1 continues to sing praises of Gomez...10. AMJAVA-4, AMWORLD-2 and "the Mexican" will leave together for Nicaragua on March 16.

1993.07.16.11:24:42:120590: [DELETION] OOA(S) 29594 - STATEMENT OF PRINCIPAL RE ALLEGED OVERFLIGHT

"Frank Fiorini, President, International Anti-Communist Brigade, which allegedly conducted an airdrop on Cuba on 25 May, was interrogated on 2 June 1964 by Lt. Col. Manuel Chavez, USAF, and CWO Luis Rodriguez, USA, concerning his knowledge of the 'Phantom Raid' on 25 May. Fiorini all but admitted that the 'Phantom Raid' of 25 May was a hoax perpetrated by him and Jim Buchanan for publicity reasons. He hedged and contradicted himself several times during the interview..."

Contributors:
David Boylan

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