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Pseudonym: Stevens, Robert

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Robert C. Stevens (AMDENIM-2) was the captain of the Tejana. Cuban exile Captain Juan L. Cosculluela alleged that Robert C. Stevens (also Stevenson) used the alias Bob Burke. Robert C. Stevens may have been an alias used by Bob Simon.
According to a cable in December 1960, Stevens was born on June 29, 1929, at Durant, Mississippi. A cable in February, 1961, assigning crypts to the crew who maintained the Tejana mentioned Robert C. Stevens as being the captain of that vessel. The cable stated that Mickey Kappes was the engineer and operations officer of the Tejana.

A memo in July, 1967, stated that Cosculluela was among a group of CIA agents who had had contact with Emilio Santana Galindo. Cosculluela in his memoir claimed to have worked with Robert C. Stevens as mentioned above. The former said that Bob Burke was an alias for Stevens. Cosculluela claimed that Stevens was the maritime advisor of Grayston Lynch. On page 99 of his memoir, Cosculluela described a scene, before the Bay of Pigs, where Robert C Stevenson and Grayston Lynch moved with authority in the Terminal in which the yacht the Tejana was also docked. Cosculluela also stated that Stevens and his companions from the U.S. Navy joined the CIA after completing their Navy service, and included "Rudi, Don, Mike and others." Rudi was probably Rudy Enders, Don was probably Donald Hogan (alias Mickey Kappes), and Mike was possibly Mike Nolan. On page 185 of his memoir, Cosculluela claimed that prior to the Bay of Pigs The Black Cat (vessel) successfully exfiltrated two high ranking members of the Castro Government, Raul Chibas and his wife, from Cuba. He also stated that the crew who operated the boat were all Americans, ex-UDT personnel, as the CIA at that time did not trust the Cubans for this type of mission.

This is corroborated by a cable on 19 September, 1960, which stated that Kappes (presumably as operations officer) exfiltrated Chibas from Cuba. In 2010, Rudy Enders, in a series of articles on the Vietnam War, mentioned that "Bob Simon was a former Navy underwater demolitions team (UDT) officer and a product of Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He was the one who convinced me earlier to stay aboard during the Cuban show."


05/02/78: HSCA document by Betsy Palmer: ..."2. Cable to Director from MASH: 19 September 1960: Increasing suspicion Raul Chibas a Castro plant. Since exfiltration by Kappes, Chibas has laid low but back in picture as representative of Ray. Common knowledge that Chibas brought Kappes out of Cuba, but should be noted that Kappes has since been in and out of Cuba three times with no apparent difficulties. Chibas's source of information: Mason in U.S. Government. Manuel de Jesus and Bender (Gerard Droller) as FRD representatives. Nino Diaz as Alianza representative. Don Hogan Kappes as Alberto Fernandez representative. This should get a good picture of the U.S. anti-Castro activities..."


12/30/60: Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: REF BELL 0077 (IN 5233)* "1. Per ref, request authority, utilize Robert Clark Stevens Jr. born 29 June 29 at Durant Miss and George Michael Kappes born 6 Dec 32 at Bronx, New York as captain and engineer on WAVE boat 'Seagull' until such time additional crew can be hired. Stevens and Kappes will be utilized on Alberto Fernandez Hechevarria new boat after competent crew for 'Seagull' located. Both men have crewed Fernandez boats during past few months and considered highly competent. 2. Kappes already has POA. Request POA Stevens ASAP. Plan contract each for approx $700.00 per month straight salary. C/S Comment: *HQs concurred to the use of Cubans as crew members on WAVE boat ops, but desire at least captain and one mate be PBPRIME (U.S.) contract for control and competence." For unredacted cable: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/2021/docid-32408017.pdf


02/22/61: Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: Slugline JMZIP TEJANA: "1. Request crypts be assigned FOLL individuals who now crew and maintain the Tejana: A. Alberto Fernandez Hechevarria, owner. Will go on first few operations. B. Robert C. Stevens Jr., Captain. C. George Michael Kappes, engineer and operations officer. D. Lawrence J. Laborde (note: became AMDENIM-4) 27 Aug 09 New Orleans, Port Captain. Has been with Tejana for eight years and invaluable its upkeep...I. Eduardo Antonio Baez Ayala, 6 Aug 20, Havana, Cuba. Will be trained as gunner. J. Pedro Ernesto Diaz, 7 Nov 31, Santa Llora, diesel engineer. K. Eduardo Perez Gonzalez , 18 March 27 Santiago de Cuba. Ordinance man. Responsible for armament of boat. L. Rafael Casals y Fernandez de Cueto, 6 Oct 06, Cienfuegos, Cuba. Cook. M. Joaquin Powell Rubio, 7 Dec 24, Sancti Spiritus. Small boat operator (catamaran and/or raft from Tejana to shore) and gunner. N. Antonio Cuesta Valle (note: became AMDENIM-14), 13 June 26, at Santiago de Cuba. (Same duties as M above). 2. Request POA's SUBJ I thru N. Local ODENVY (FBI) checks negating..."

104-10231-10016: CRC FINANCE REPORT FOR 1-28 FEBRUARY 1961

02/28/61: CIA document: Page 17: "Date: Feb 1:...Cosculluela Iduarte, Juan..." - - - 06/30/61, CIA document: Page 17: "Statement of Expenses: June 1:...Juan Cosculleula Iduate..." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=161101&relPageId=17


Undated CIA document: ..."Michael (Mickey) Kelly: Graduated from Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Four years experience as maritime engineer on merchant ships. Two years U.S. Navy, UDT (diving, 'frogman'. Two and a half years in Cuba. Background in diving, treasure hunting. Diesel engineer. (Daniels Towing)."


07/09/67: Memo from Earl J. Williamson, AC/WH/COG to DC/CI/R&A: ..."3. Listed below are the staff and agent personnel, in true name, who have been in contact with Subject and may be known to him by true name, alias or nickname...B) AGENTS...10. 201-290305: Juan Luis Coscullueia Iduate...14. 201-328507: Heriberto Sardina Del Campo (note: AMLION-1)..."


My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate collected in six periods, of my life Brochures I to VI included: Page 99 (Spanish to English translation): ..."Upon returning to the ship on Stock Island, the captain agreed with my return and new faces of Americans appear on the ship. The most Robert C Stevenson (with the alias of Bob Burke) and Grayston Lynch move with authority in the Terminal in which the yacht 'The Tejana' is also docked. An old subchaser 110 feet with mixed crew but whose commander is former ship captain Armando Rodriguez Alonso whom I didn't know personally but of which I have great admiration. Because of their service sheet in the army, they in The Tejana made operations along the coast (of) Northern Cuba..."


My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate: Page 116 (Spanish to English translation): ..." The attempt to return to the beach and reaction from the endowment: The 200 men of Santana do not count for this attempt although it would have been a reinforcement to the ground troop but the reasons for not using it were based on the report of the American officer aboard Santana (Kelly) that neither the troops nor their bosses they were able to land by internal divisions and lacking discipline or organization, regardless of this much needed reinforcement on the beach..."


My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate: Page 148 (Spanish to English translation): ..."Our assigned instructor was Robert C. Stevens (aka Bob Burke) and they were two or three times per week, they picked us up at 6 p.m. in the afternoon and we returned at dawn the next day. The boat a catamaran of 18 feet in length with two Mercruiser engines of 100 HP each. They called him 'The Black Cat', the boat had a frank low board (18") that allowed the quick access of the frogmen its draft was less than 4', his painting was black with paint...For me it was a new concept of coastal night navigation identifying raisins and channels by his silhouette, Silva as a fisherman -in his village -natal Bahia Honda before joining the Navy had a sixth sense to identify them in the darkness of the night. Bob soon identified with us and offered us his experience gained as (a) frogman UDT of the Navy, also participated the frogmen (Cantillo, Pruna and Fonts), as well as the San Roman command (commando) team...Bob was a graduate of Kings Point (The Merchant Marine School of the United States), after graduating he served 4 years in the Navy as a member of the UDT (frogmen) was helicopter pilot, when completing his service in the Navy, he went to work with the Company (CIA) as others of his companions (Rudi, Don, Mike and others)...Already in the month of October they send us Silva and my person with the catamaran to the base of New Found Harbor in Big Pine Key and we were accommodated aboard the PT Susan Ann of Leslie Nobregas, since they did not want us to mix with the crews of the Air Sea Rescue 'The Barber' who belonged to Cecil Goudie, both crews shared the facilities of the Base and Bob are appointed to the front of this facility although Goudie's staff was still managing it."


My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate: Page 181: ..."My last operation with Angelina is done on February 2 to 10, at the present return I resign as Chief in charge of the group before Bob who gave me a super-good evaluation and then I raise over official channels to reach the Navy Department, which was achieved by how much in the last test with the naval intelligence lie detector. They had knowledge of almost all my history. Bob said goodbye to me, inviting me to dinner with Rosa where I wish myself the best in me new career. I receive a revolver SW Special detective of those who were given to the infiltrators and two books of when he served in the Navy/Navy Leadership & Division Officer Guide...Robert C. Stevens alias Bob Burke: my immediate superior and faithful friend there are no words to describe the bonds of friendship that he knew how to establish..." - - - Page 184 (Spanish to English translation): "Continuation of Operational Annexes...October 24 to 30, 1962: Boats (two) Hilda Maria (nursery as a mother ship), Intermediate: V20. Mission: Infiltration of (team of two and a local practitioner, mission canceled by the base by the Rocket Crisis. Crew: J. Cosculluela, Carlos and Juan Nunez, Marcial Aguila, Osvaldo Coello, Raul Quesada and Bob Burque (Note: Probably Burke). Operating Time: 7 days...December 4 to 13, (1962): Boats: Hilda Maria boats (fishing nursery), Intermediate: Boston Whaler. Purpose: Ambush sigma enemy area of Anguilla, Sal Cay is visited. They are approached. Fishing vessels registering them, all of them they come from Miami, area of ​​the Bank, without finding enemy sigma. Canonca abandoned lighthouse where it is suspected enemy observer presence. Crew: Bob Burke, J. Cosculluela, Pepe Valdez, Raul Quesada, Mario Nodal, Rogelio Hernandez, Osvaldo Coello. Operational time: 10 days..."


My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate: Page 185: "SERVICE RECORD OF THE BLACK CAT: Previous to the Bay of Pigs the CAT was tested on a successful operation to exfiltrate two high ranking members of the Castro Government (Raul Chibas and his wife) and the crew who operate the boat were all Americans ex UDT personnel since the company at that time do not trust the Cubans for such type of mission due the difference political criteria among the Cubans (Batistiano & ex Fidelistas). After the Bay of Pigs the 'Black Cat' was assigned to work as the intermediate craft for the group under the command of Grayston Lynch (Gray) and his maritime advice Robert C. Stevens. Their base were in Big Pine Key in Newfound Harbor, who have a motel for living quarters and a large slip for docking several crafts. The place have been used by the CIA under Cecil Gaudie administration who have the crash boat ASR Barbero and the yacht Polo and after the invasion the PT Susan Ann and the yacht Wasp (a prowler 26 foot) whose owners were the Nobregas family operating under the Montecristi Revolutionary Movement. J. Cosculluela and Reynaldo Silva as skipper and assistant were the first Cubans recruited to operate the boat to work with the UDT team of veterans of the Bay of Pigs (Cantillo, Pruna, Fonts) and the commando team of Roberto San Roman (all veterans of the Brigade). At that time there was (2) commando teams, the San Roman Team and the Miguel Orozco under the jurisdiction of Rip (all members of both teams have distinguished (themselves) during the Bay of Pigs invasion and were recruited for above reason)...The Black Cat and his crew done also operations to infiltrate and exfiltrate clandestine team with other vessel of the CIA maritime fleet (The Susan Ann, The Barbero, The Seagull and later the Cuttlas) towing the cat and dropping in a pre arranged point. Reynaldo Silva continue as his skipper when Cosculluela was transfer as skipper of an intermediate craft..."


08/25/2010: Article by Rudy Enders: Titled: With the CIA in Vietnam: Page 2: ..."We were handed tickets in Miami. Our group included me, Mike Nolan, Bill Watkins, and Bob Simon. Mike was an old Southeast Asia hand. He had been recruited during the Korean War when the Agency hired all the paramilitary officers they could find. Being a former professional football player with the Los Angeles Rams, Mike met the recruiting criteria; strong, aggressive and brave. However, like all quick-start programs, most of these contract officers were axed when the Korean War ended. Mike, however, survived and was sent to Laos. Afterwards, he spent many years in hardship posts usually reserved for what insiders call 'knuckle draggers.' A term Agency Foreign Intelligence (FI) officers coined to advertise their intellectual superiority compared to rough and tumble paramilitary types like Mike Nolan. Bill Watkins came to CIA from the Marine Corps... He had been pilot and was selected for the elite spy career trainee (CT) program. Miami was his first assignment where he served as a paramilitary operations officer. Bob Simon was a former Navy underwater demolitions team (UDT) officer and a product of Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He was the one who convinced me earlier to stay aboard during the Cuban show. Although the four of us came from different backgrounds, we were now heading in the same direction." https://www.air-america.org/files/documents/reviernam_1.pdf

Gavin McDonald

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