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

Pseudonym: Tigun, Garr

Definition:
Gar (Garfield) M. Thorsrud, who was described in the Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, Volume I, as the Air Operations Commander at JMTIDE.
Category:
alias
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Gonzalo Herrera Y Cabrer's CIA contact was known to him as "Garr Tigun." Garr Tigun was described in FBI documents in 1962 as the Chief of Operations at the Guatemala training camp (in reports on the Bay of Pigs invasion, Garr Tigun appears to have been called "Gar Teegen"). Herrera would later meet Garr in the latter's Washington, D.C. office. Garr had a secretary named "Patty." In addition, Herrera also knew alleged CIA employees "Saunders", "Simpson" (Note: Connie Seigrist), "Doug" and "Larry." Herrera told the FBI that "Simpson" was a pilot instructor, "Doug" was also an instructor, while "Larry" was a mechanic at the CIA's training camp in Guatemala, prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion in April of 1961.
Sources:

Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, Volume I: Air Operations, March 1960 - April 1961 Current Section: D. JMTIDE: Strike Base, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua

Pages 75-76: ..."As a final note on the Agency's relations with OSO/DOD, it should be emphasized that without exception the air operations personnel - and others familiar with the air operations - who were interviewed by the author were universal in their agreement that Col. Fletcher Prouty, the DOD/OSO USAF representative, was (REDACTION) particularly as the decision was made to withdraw USAF personnel from the overseas base in Guatemala. Gar Thorsrud put it in the following, rather explicit terms: There was a guy over there (at DOD/OSO) by the name of Fletcher Prouty - who was (REDACTION) - and he did everything he could to put stumbling blocks in front of the Agency, all through that operation...There were some situations with our liaison with the Air Force through Fletcher Prouty that I think were (REDACTION) 93/..."

Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, Volume I: Air Operations, March 1960 - April 1961 Current Section: D. JMTIDE: Strike Base, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua

Page 172: ..."*In discussions the author had with principal air officers regarding the change of the target from TRINIDAD to ZAPATA, the question was asked if this change in location made any significant difference in terms of air operations. Both Cols. Beerli and Gaines suggested that this did not make any particular difference, and Gar Thorsrud, who was the Air Operations Commander at JMTIDE (Strike base for the Bay of Pigs at Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua), recalled only some of the maintenance problems about the actual use of the air strip at Playa Giron - the need for pumping equipment and ground support equipment was more difficult than would have been experienced had the air strip at TRINIDAD been available. Thorsrud, as well as Gaines and Beerli, apparently forgot about the difficulties that were caused to the logistics support effort at TIDE with the dispatch of the B-26 items intended for Playa Giron mentioned in the discussion above."

Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, Volume I: Air Operations, March 1960 - April 1961 Current Section: D. JMTIDE: Strike Base, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua

Pages 185-186: ..."Unlike Cols. Beerli and Gaines, Gar Thorsrud, who was Air Commander at JMTIDE, and would be responsible for setting the tactical air operations into motion, was far more optimistic about what might have been attained by the single D-Day air strike using the full force of B-26's as originally intended. Thorsrud said: The tactical strikes - as if you want to call them strategic - really didn't matter whether it was TRINIDAD or Playa Giron, because we had to knock out the air - the enemy air capabilities, and I was in on the tactical planning on how we hit those fields. The time of day, and the type of weapons that we were going to use. That was for the first day of the operation. That was to go in simultaneously with the invasion, and we had napalm earmarked for the 75 tanks that were lined up on the soccer field, and we had. 50 calibers - the 8 gun nose B-26's, which was a helluva lot of fire power - to hit the parked aircraft...There was just no doubt in anyone's mind that, with the element of surprise, at the crack of dawn that first day, that there wouldn't have been anything left on those...on any of those fields. 8/*...*It was not until he was reviewing this volume that Thorsrud learned of the origin of the D-2 effort. He was highly incensed to learn that such a strike was being considered even as he was being appointed air commander for TIDE and MADD (Retalhuleu Air Base, used for air training at the time of the Bay of Pigs. Also known as Rayo Base or as MADD) on 24 March 1961. Thorsrud claimed that the first he heard of the plan was when notification of its approval was cabled to him as a fait accompli. As the only Agency staffer who had first hand experience in a similar air effort - (REDACTION) - Thorsrud said he was either ignored or forgotten by the Headquarters planners. To say he was unhappy to learn how the decision was made is an understatement!"

Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, Volume I: Air Operations, March 1960 - April 1961 Current Section: Part II: Acquisition and Training of Air Crews

Page 472: "52. Memo for Gar M. Teegen (Garfield M. Thorsrud) from REDACTION (Stanley W. Beerli), 24 Mar 61, sub: Letter of Instruction..."

124-90139-10021:

04/13/62: FBI report from Miami Office: Titled: Anti-Fidel Castro Activities, Internal Security - Cuba: "On April 12, 1962, Gonzalo Herrera y Cabrer, a former Cubana Air Lines captain, who participated as a pilot in the April 17, 1961 invasion attempt against Fidel Castro's regime, furnished the following information: He said that a short time prior to March 19, 1962, while at the Royal Poinciana Motel, Miami Springs, he met two men whom he knew only as 'Simpson' and 'Larry.' He explained that he had first met these two men when 'Simpson' was a pilot instructor and 'Larry' was a maintenance mechanic at the training camp near Retalhuleu, Guatemala, used by the Liberation Air Force, under supervision of the Central Intelligence Agency. Both of these men were closely associated with individuals whom Herrera knew as 'Gar' (phonetic), and 'Saunders,' both known to him, through common knowledge and understanding to be CIA representatives at the camp. 'Gar,' 'Saunders,' 'Simpson,' and 'Larry' were English speaking Americans, and were associated with each other. All were accepted by the Cubans as being CIA representatives. However, none of them ever exhibited any credentials to Herrera, nor did any of them ever furnish their full names. This was the custom among the Americans at the camp, and the Cubans did not question their authority or their official status...Herrera said that he regarded all of these men as friends, and that he maintained contact with 'Gar' and 'Saunders' from time to time, after the failure of the invasion...Mr. Herrera said he had not heard from either 'Simpson' or 'Larry' since the conversation at the Royal Poinciana Motel, and he has not heard from 'Gar' or 'Saunders' concerning this matter. He advised that his contact number for 'Gar' is EXecutive 3-2213, Washington, D.C." (CONTINUED BELOW)

124-90139-10021:

04/13/62: FBI report from Miami Office: Titled: Anti-Fidel Castro Activities, Internal Security - Cuba: "He said he can reach either 'Gar' or 'Saunders' at this telephone number, and that he has placed calls to 'Gar' at that number, the last being some time in April, 1961. On one occasion, several months after the invasion attempt, he went to Washington, where he was met by individuals whom he assumed were CIA representatives, and he was taken to 'Gar's' office in Washington. He was certain he did not possess the address of this office, and was not familiar with the city of Washington, D.C. He expressed admiration for and confidence in 'Gar' and 'Saunders,' whom he believed to be able and responsible men."

124-90139-10020:

04/13/62: FBI airtel from SAC, Miami to Director: Titled: Anti-Fidel Castro Activities, Internal Security - Cuba: ..."2. Miami airtel to Bureau dated 6/6/61, entitled: 'Cuban Situation, IS-CUBA,' setting forth information furnished both by Roberto de Cardenas and Herrera. In that instance, on 6/1/61, Herrera confidentially advised that during the past few days, he had been in contact with the person who had acted as Chief of Operations for the training camp in Guatemala. He knew this person as 'Garr Tigun,' (phonetic), an employee of CIA, whose Washington, D.C. telephone number is EXecutive 3-2213, and whose secretary was named 'Patty.' 'Garr' told Herrera that CIA desired to keep the best of the FRD (Frente Revolucionaria Democratica - Democratic Revolutionary Front) maintained organizationally, and to maintain their flying proficiency. He proposed that Herrera and three other pilots be placed directly on the CIA payroll and prepared to go to various Central and South American to assist in the training of the air force in those countries. 3. Miami letter to Bureau dated 6/28/61, entitled: 'Cuban Situation, IS-CUBA,' advising that on 6/14/61, Herrera said he had received several telephone calls from 'Garr', his CIA contact in Washington. 'Garr' disclosed that in the immediate future, CIA would start training B-26 military pilots in Nicaragua, utilizing some 20 to 25 B-26 planes...Herrera reported that CIA has cancelled out the training project for Cuban pilots in Nicaragua and notified Herrera and 5 other Cubans...He said that a new 6-man group of Cuban pilots whom he named had been selected for Nicaraguan training. He said that CIA has a contract with the Riddle Air Lines Company, Miami, which would afford these 6 men specialized training at a base which would probably be somewhere in Oklahoma..."

124-90139-10020:

04/13/62: FBI airtel from SAC, Miami to Director: Titled: Anti-Fidel Castro Activities, Internal Security - Cuba: Page 4: ..."During all previous contacts with Herrera, interviewing agents were impressed with his apparent sincerity and conscientiousness. He is regarded as a leader and one of the most outstanding Cuban pilots who participated in the invasion attempt. He has given every evidence of being anti-Communist, pro-U.S., and has always expressed great admiration and confidence in the FBI. This office has never had reason to believe that he has furnished any false information knowingly. Gonzalo Herrera has exhibited respect for CIA and personal liking for the various CIA personnel with whom he has been in contact, but he has always indicated that he regards the FBI as the ultimate organization representative of our government..."

124-90139-10027:

06/07/62: FBI report from Miami Office: Titled: Gonzalo Herrera Y Cabrer: "On May 22, 1961, Gonzalo Herrera Y Cabrer, born September 27, 1926, Havana, Cuba, who participated as a pilot in the April 17, 1961, invasion attempt of Cuba, advised that for the preceding few days, he had been in contact with two Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel named 'Simpson' and 'Doug,' who served as instructors at a base in Guatemala. 'Simpson' told him that investigation at the Washington level to determine the reasons for the failure of this invasion and the responsible people involved would be concluded in fifteen to twenty days, and that from all appearances CIA was not being charged with any of the blame; in fact, 'Simpson' surmised that CIA would emerge from this matter with more authority than ever. 'Simpson' said that last-minute political influences had caused the nature of the operation to be changed to the point where it was no longer workable. He did not identify those immediately responsible. Herrera commented that although there were certain aspects of the training and the attack itself which he felt could have been improved, he still maintains confidence in CIA, and is of the opinion that politicians must be completely left out of any future operations. On June 1, 1961, Herrera advised that during the preceding few days, he had been in contact with the person who had acted as Chief of Operations for the training camp in Guatemala..."

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Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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