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LCI units used in the Bay of Pig Landing

The following is the exchange of Information  with the  Amphibious Force Memorial site whose president is Gordon Smith  WWII veterans in reference of the  LCI used in Bay of Pigs and
Capt Juan L. Cosculluela.
 You could enter in their web site
From: Jlcblagar
Sent: 9/13/2009 11:34:59 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
HI Gordon:
Nice to hear from you and your association
" An old salt like you  never dock,  always all ahead  "
Responding  to your inquires  this is what so far  I have found.
Both vessel were built as a Landing  Craft Infantry ,
 The Barbara J was the first unit of this type  to be incorporated to our fleet of two.
The Barbara J was properly identify by the Cuban Senior Officer  ( Commander Rene Cancio) when they boarded  on Miami on the 2nd week of December 1960 in route to the training area on Vieques Island. It shows the Number NRL-28 (Naval Research Laboratory ) On entering Vieques the NRL-28 was replace by the letters BJ  "Barbara J" /While serving with the US Navy the LCI Longspur  have the numeral LCI 884
who later was modify and classify as AMCU/MHC-28 (coastal Minesweeper under water locator ) The US Navy records show that it was sold for scrap on May 18 1960 to Mils Marine Comp
A convenient smoke screen to hide  her records .
The Barbara J continue to serving with the Maritime fleet of the CIA under the Mongosse Plan ( 1962 to 1965) under the following names  Villaro ,Explorer and finally Petrel.
Base on the info of the Barbara J and following the same line of thought THE BLAGAR
Must be a  converted LCI to and AMCU/MHC (they have already a built up / crane and space for 2 boat)the records  must shows that on 1960 sold for scrap in the area of Florida or Atlantic Reserve Fleet pool
 We came to the following (3) selection :
The LCI 869 "Gold Crest"    AMCU 24   struck Naval Register in 1960  sold for scrap
  The LCI 976   Ortola            AMCU 34        "        "         "  7/8/1960   "     "    "  to Marlene Bloise
The LCI 515  Blackbird      AMCU 11        "       "                  in 1960  Fate unknown
I with a Cuban crew boarded the vessel in Miami in January  23th 1961 sailing to Vieques.
No original plans like General arrangement and fire plans  where on board
If you could obtain more info  please share with me.
                                    Juan L Cosculluela


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