Wings of Denial

The Alabama Air National Guard’s Covert Role at the Bay of Pigs

Title Details

Pages: 160

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 03/01/2001

ISBN: 9-781-5883-8021-0

List Price: $19.95


NewSouth Books

Wings of Denial

The Alabama Air National Guard’s Covert Role at the Bay of Pigs

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  • Description
  • Reviews
After nearly four decades of government denial, the deeds of four Alabama Air National Guardsmen who died at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 have been made public and their names memorialized at the CIA’s Wall of Honor in Langley, Virginia. Their stories can now be told. The four guardsmen who died flew with a group of Alabama volunteers to secret CIA bases in Guatemala and Nicaragua to train Cuban exiles to fly B-26 bombers in support of the invasion forces. When the small group of exhausted pilots could no longer sustain the air battle, seven Alabama Guardsmen flew with them into combat on the final day of the invasion in a futile attempt to stave off defeat at the embattled beachhead. The body of one of these men, Thomas W. “Pete” Ray, remained in Cuba until 1978 where it was frozen as a war trophy and as evidence of U.S. complicity in the failed 1961 invasion.
A superb account of one of the darkest tragedies of the Cold War era. Describes in chilling detail the bloody impact of JFK’s personal intervention.

—Colonel Michael E. Haas

A well-deserved and heartfelt testimony to the patriotism and bravery of the Alabama Air National Guardsmen who paid the ultimate price for their country.

—Timothy N. Castle, PhD, associate professor, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base

A well-written and informative account of the covert role played by Alabama Air National Guardsmen—employed by the CIA as civilian contract personnel—in the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion. It sheds new light on the Air Guard's hard-to-document involvement in the murky world of clandestine operations.

—Charles Gross, chief, Air National Guard History/National Guard Bureau

About the Author/Editor

Warren Trest (Author)
WARREN TREST is a former United States Air Force senior historian. A combat reporter, writer, and air power historian in the Korean, Vietnam, and Cold Wars, he has published numerous articles and authored and coauthored more than 50 histories and studies. His book Air Commando One was nominated for the Bancroft Prize for distinguished works in American history. Other recent works include Wings of Denial, Nobody But the People, and Once a Fighter Pilot, and the hard-boiled Jake Falcon mystery novels Missing in Paradise and Requiem for a Flower Child.

Don Dodd (Author)
DON DODD is Professor Emeritus of History at Auburn University at Montgomery and the assistant director of the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham, Alabama.