Archive for the 'Wings of Denial' Category

Alabama Air National Guard’s role in Bay of Pigs recalled in Wings of Denial, reissued for 50th anniversary

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 by Lisa Harrison

April 19, 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion. In connection with the anniversary, NewSouth Books has reissued Wings of Denial: The Alabama Air National Guard’s Covert Role at the Bay of Pigs by Warren Trest and Don Dodd.

Told within the larger story of bureaucratic bungling and indecision at the highest levels in Washington, Wings of Denial is a tribute to a group of unsung Alabama heroes — Air National Guard volunteers who trained the Cuban freedom fighters and then flew into combat in a desperate attempt to save them when the CIA-backed invasion failed. Four of the guardsmen made the ultimate sacrifice, a closely guarded secret these many years. This is their story.

Colonel Haas, a retired US Air Force colonial, calls Wings of Denial “a superb account of one of the darkest tragedies of the Cold War era” that “describes in chilling detail the bloody impact of JFK’s personal intervention . . .”

Says author Trest, “Wings of Denial is a favorite book of mine. I am glad to see it back in print because it honors a valiant group of Alabama warriors at a critical time in our nation’s history.”

Warren Trest and former Alabama Governor John Patterson, who was governor at the time of the Bay of Pigs incident, will be speaking throughout the year commemorating the events of April 1961. Among other engagements, they are the guest speakers at the Alabama Department of Archives and History ArchiTreats lunchtime program on April 19th.

Wings of Denial is available from NewSouth Books, or your favorite online or retail bookseller.

Remembering Bay of Pigs Veteran Joe Shannon

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 by Lisa Harrison

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.