Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 by

Bay of Pigs veteran Joe Shannon of Birmingham, who died on January 5, was remembered in an Associated Press article carried by the Montgomery Advertiser and According to the story, Shannon was “one of the few surviving American pilots who participated in the failed invasion of Cuba in 1961.”

From the article:

Shannon was among about 60 Alabama National Guard members who were recruited to help in the invasion. He both trained Cuban pilots and flew a last-ditch mission into Cuba before the invasion failed…

Speaking in an interview with The Associated Press in 2006, Shannon described turning his B-26 bomber into the path of a Cuban T-33 fighter and staying out of the pilot’s sight by hugging the ocean…

“It was the only way I had to escape,” said Shannon, who was barred from publicly discussing his role in the invasion for years because of national security…

Wings of Denial, published by NewSouth Books, reveals the complete story of four Alabama Air National Guardsmen who died in the invasion. After nearly four decades of government concealment, the names of these airmen were made known and memorialized at the CIA’s Wall of Honor in Langley, Virginia. Military historian Warren Trest tells their stories in a book sure to spark the interest of readers seeking information about Alabama soldiers’ roles in this important episode of American history.

Wings of Denial is available from NewSouth Books.