History of Tampa II - History

History of Tampa II - History


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Tampa II

(Coast Guard Cutter No. 48: dp. 1,955 (f.), l. 240', b. 39'1"; dr. 17'9" (max.), s. 15.5 k.; cpl. 122; a. 2 5",1 3", 2 6-pdrs.; cl. Tampa)

Tampa (Coast Guard Cutter No. 48)—a steel-hulled, single-screw cutter-was laid down on 27 September 1920 at Oakland, Calif., by the Union Construction Co. launched on 19 April 1921, sponsored by Mrs. Joseph P. Conners; and commissioned on 15 September 1921 Lt. Comdr. M. J. Wheeler, USCG, in command.

Tampa got underway for the east coast, transited the Panama Canal on 28 October, and arrived at New York on 7 November. On the 23d, the cutter shifted to Boston Mass., her home port. In the ensuing years, Tampa operated as part of the International Ice Patrol established in the aftermath of the Titanic tragedy in 1912. Between March and July-the peak months in which icebergs were regarded as a menace to the northernmost transatlantic sea lanes-Tampa conducted regular patrols, alternating with Modoc (Coast Guard Cutter No. 39) on 15-day stretches. At the end of each patrol, the cutter would put into Halifax, Nova Scotia, for stores and fuel. Between these cruises in the frigid waters at the northern end of the Atlantic, the cutter operated on exercises and maneuvers sharpened her skill with target practice and battle drills, and patrolled sailing regattas.

Shifted to the New York division, with headquarters at Stapleton, N.Y., in August of 1932, Tampa arrived at her new home port on the 27th of the month. She operated from this base until the late 1930's. During this time, she participated in the drama which accompanied the tragic fire on board the Ward Line steamer SS Morro Castle.

At about 0230 on the morning of 8 September 1934, a fire broke out on board the passenger ship as she was returning from a Caribbean cruise. The fires spread rapidly, and incompetent seamanship on the behalf of her captain-who had only taken command after the ship's regular master had died earlier that evening— resulted in the loss of many lives.

Moored at Staten Island when Morro Castle caught fire, Tampa received word of the disaster at 0436 on the morning of 8 September. She hurriedly recalled her

liberty party, got up steam, and put out to sea at 1540. It took two hours to reach the scene of the holocaust

but when she arrived, Tampa assumed direction of the rescue operations which, by that time, were already well underway. Suriboats from the Coast Guard's Shark River Station-the first help to arrive-had rescued some 120 people before the New York pilot boat and boats from the Sandy Hook Station appeared and joined in the effort. The cutter Cahoone had also been on station for some time.

Tampa passed a towline to the stricken ship, but it soon parted with the sharp crack of a pistol shot and fouled the cutter's screw. Tampa, herself, drifted perilously close to shore before the cutter Sebago towed her out of danger. When conducted in smooth seas, operations to save lives are difficult enough. The gale raging off the New Jersey shore on the morning of 8 September made matters markedly worse. Nevertheless, the Coast Guardsmen performed feats of great heroism in rescuing the liner's passengers and crew from the stormtossed waves. During the rescue, Tampa had accounted for 140 survivors.

Shifted to Mobile Ala., in the late 1930's, Tampa operated in the Gulf of Mexico into 1941. The cutter came under naval jurisdiction in November 1941, a month before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Apparently shifted back to the North Atlantic for coastwise convoy escort runs in the Greenland area Tampa departed Narsarssuak, Greenland, on 3 May ;942 to escort the merchantman Chatham to the Cape Cod Canal. The ships stopped briefly at St. John's, Newfoundland, and then pushed on toward the Massachusetts coast. Tampa lost track of Chatham in dense fog on the 16th but regained contact near the eastern entrance of the canal and safely conducted the merchantman on her way. Tampa then searched, unsuccessfully, for a German U-boat reported in the vicinity before she put into Boston on the 17th.

She remained there for repairs and alterations until the 30th when she sailed for Argentia, Newfoundland. While escorting SS Montrose, Tampa picked up a sound contact and dropped depth charges but could not claim a "kill." On 3 June, Montrose ran aground on Moratties Reef. Tampa, assisted by two naval vessels, soon floated the merchantman free; and the cutter continued her
escort mission, routed onward to Greenland. Arriving at Sondrestromfjord on the 10th, Tampa conducted harbor entrance patrols before proceeding to Ivigtut. There, she guarded the cryolite mine-which provided ore vitally needed for the production of aluminum-from the 16th to the 26th.

During the last half of 1942, Tampa-designated WPG-48 in or around February 1942—conducted 12 more convoy escort missions between Iceland, Greenland, and Nova Scotia. She departed Argentia on 1 January 1943, in company with Tahoma (WPG-80), bound for St. John's where she arrived soon theresiter. Moored until the 6th, Tampa then got underway to escort a convoy routed to Greenland and then screened two groups of merchantmen-GS-18 and ON-161—to Newfoundland

On 29 January, she got underway, with Eseanaba (WPG-77) and Comanche (WPG-75), to escort Army transport Dorchester and merchantman SS Biecaga and SS Lutz to Greeland. Bad weather soon hampered the convoy's progress; and the flank escorts, Comanche and Eecanaba, soon experienced difficulties keeping station. Icing had increased their displacement and reduced their speed accordingly. This fact, in turn, slowed the whole convoy. By 2 February, the weather had somewhat improved, but a radio direction finder had discovered the presence of in enemy submarine. Tampa accordingly screened ahead, some 3,000 yards from Dorchester, while Eacanaba and Comanche were deployed on each flank, 5,400 yards from Lutz and Biscaga, respectively.

Convoy SG-19, as it was known, soon came into the periscope sights of U-22S, which maneuvered astern to bring her tubes to bear. The U-boat fired her deadly "fish" which struck Dorchester astern at 0355. Tampa observed the transport veering hard to port and showing numerous small lights. Bis¢aya quickly fired two green signal rockets and executed an emergency turn to avoid fouling the mortally stricken Dorchester.

Three minutes after Dorchester had been struck, her master ordered her abandoned. As the ship went down four Army chaplains gave up their life jackets to soldiers who had none to ensure the survival of others at the expense of themselves. Meanwhile, Eseanaba and Comanche searched for U-228, while Tampa escorted Lutz and Biscaga to Skovfjord before returning to assist in the hunt for survivors. Tampa subsequently searched for survivors on the 4th, but sighted only numerous bodies; two swamped lifeboats manned only by corpses, and seven life rafts. She found no signs of life before she returned to Narsarssuak on 6 February.

Tampa resumed convoy operations, performing local escort in the Greenland area for the remainder of February 1943. She continued these operations through the spring. On 12 June 1943, she departed Narsarssuak with four other escorts escorting a three-ship convoy for Argentia. The next lay, at 0508, she observed smoke on the horizon, and received a report that Eecanaba was afire. In fact, Escanaba had been blown to bits by an explosion of undetermined origin. Only three survivors were picked up by Raritan (WYT-93), and one of these died. The other two could not explain what had destroyed their ship.

Tampa escorted convoys for the remainder of 1943 before returning to Boston on the last day of the year for an overhaul which extended through January 1944. She resumed convoy escort operations in the North Atlantic, between Boston and Greenland-primarily in the Argentia and Narsarssuak vicinities-and continued the task through 1944 and into 1945.

With the cessation of hostilities in Europe in May 1945, Tampa resumed ice patrols off the Grand Banks in June through August, alternating with Modoe (WPG-46) and MoJave (WPG-47). Departing Argentia on 6 September 1945, less than a month after the war against Japan ended, Tampa operated between that port and Boston, receiving a 30-day availability at the Coast Guard yard in Boston in November and December.

Tampa subsequently cruised on North Atlantic ice patrol duties into August 1946. She was decommissioned late that year and turned over to the Maritime Commission's War Shipping Administration which sold her to Charles M. Barnett, Jr., on 22 September 1947.


The ship at the center of it all: A history of the Jose Gasparilla II

Gasparilla began on horseback in 1904 as a way to add a little pirate-themed fun to the city’s May Day festivities. Starting in 1911, though, the event’s founders, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, switched to an invasion by sea. 

Various boats were borrowed or rented through the years, but in 1954, YMKG commissioned the construction of a 165-foot fully rigged pirate ship, which has led the annual invasion of Tampa ever since. 

A luxury cruise liner, she is not. The steel ship’s amenities are pretty basic: Bathrooms, a place to store safety equipment, plenty of pirate perches. But though she be sparse in creature comforts, the Gasparilla II is always well stocked with necessities. 

The Jose Gasparilla II pirate ship at Gasparilla, 1955 (State Archives of Florida)

“There’s plenty of provisions on board: Fried chicken, Cuban sandwiches, and of course, grog,” said Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla member Frank Smith. 

And loaded with hundreds of salty scalawags, she’s long been the heart of this ever-growing festival. 

”It seems to get bigger and bigger and bigger every year, and the better the weather, the bigger the flotilla,” said Smith. 

From 1987: Gasparilla pirate invasion

The last weekday Gasparilla parade, as seen by WTVT.

In his 50 years with this motley krewe of miscreants, Smith has been a part of some pretty wild rides. 

“They used to have a tight-rope walker that would walk in between the two masts. The ship used to go up the channel before the Crosstown was built and then dock at Curtis Hixon Park. It kind of twinged the bridge just a little bit there at Kennedy Boulevard and it sent the tightrope walker flying!” said Smith. “Luckily he landed in the water and was OK, but we don’t do that anymore!” 

The Jose Gasparilla II cruises past the Gasparilla Kids Parade in 2014.

Like horses and actual gun-toting pirates, the tightrope act is a thing of the past, but the legend of Jose Gaspar and his raucous bunch of merry makers is alive and well in Tampa.


History

On Aug. 2, 1933, Tampa Junior College was transformed into The University of Tampa when its headquarters moved from the local high school to what is now known as Plant Hall. Leading the new institution was Frederic H. Spaulding, the former principal of Hillsborough High School and the man who had been the motivating force behind establishing the first local university for Tampa&rsquos high school graduates.

Plant Hall, the main academic and administrative building for the University, already had an extraordinary history. Formerly the Tampa Bay Hotel, the building represented, and still remains, a symbol of the city and its history. Local historians credit its builder, railroad and shipping magnate Henry B. Plant, with the transformation of Tampa from a sleepy fishing village to what would become a vibrant city of the 21st century.

Built between 1888 and 1891, the hotel was designed to surpass all other grand winter resorts. At a cost of $3 million, the 511-room giant rose to a flamboyant height of five stories, surrounded by ornate Victorian gingerbread and topped by Moorish minarets, domes and cupolas.

The rooms that once hosted Teddy Roosevelt, the Queen of England, Booker T. Washington, Stephen Crane and Babe Ruth (who signed his first baseball contract in the hotel&rsquos grand dining room) are now classrooms, laboratories and administrative offices&ndashthe heart of The University of Tampa and a landscape for state-of-the-art student learning environments. Today, The University of Tampa serves more than 9,605 undergraduate and graduate students, and Plant Hall remains the foundation of a 110-acre, 70-building campus that successfully blends the historic with the modern.

Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, University of Tampa students come from 50 states and 130 countries. There are over 200 programs of study, including 19 master's degree programs, one doctorate and numerous study abroad opportunities. From its humble beginnings in Plant Hall, UT boasts a $ 335 million annual revenue and a $1.1 billion estimated annual economic impact.

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UT Archives

Take a look back in history via digitized issues of the Minaret, Moroccan and the UT Journal. This database will give you a new perspective on the rich history of the University through the lens of University publications.


Drew Army Airfield

This site is located in the WestCentral region of the state.

DIRECTIONS

Tampa International Airport is located five miles west of downtown Tampa on the east shore of Tampa Bay.

Drew Field Municipal Airport opened in 1928 on land previously owned by land developer, John H. Drew. With the prospect of war, the U.S. Government leased the field for use as a sub post to MacDill Army Airfield. Heavy bombers began operation at Drew Army Airfield in May 1940. With the completion of MacDill, Drew became a separate base and headquarters for the III Fighter Command.

Encompassing fifteen square miles and hosting a complement of as many as 25,000 personnel, this facility provided large signal air-warning training and engineering aviation training for heavy bombers. One thousand ten-man combat bombing crews trained at Drew during the war.

In August 1944, German POWs arrived from Camp Blanding to work in quartermaster workshops, kitchens, canteens and warehouses. This camp, three miles from Drew Field, held 395 Germans between August 1944 and March 1946. Internal conflicts resulted within the camp as a result of the unusually high Nazi spirit among the prisoners.

Returned to the City of Tampa in 1946, Drew Army Airfield became Tampa International Airport.


The Role of Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base During World War II

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the number of military installations in Florida increased tenfold.

Even before statehood, the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy had of strong presence in this natural jumping-off point to the Caribbean and South America, but when World War II broke out, military planners realized that Florida would also be an ideal place to train badly needed pilots for the European and Pacific theaters.

Greetings from MacDill Field - Tampa, FL.

- United States Army Air Forces, Public Domain

B-17G Flying Fortresses taxiing at MacDill AAF, Florida, 1944

- Photos by United States Army Air Forces, Public Domain

By the war’s end there would be more than 170 different bases scattered across the peninsula. Nobody knows for sure exactly how many men and women were stationed in Florida, but a safe estimate is tens of thousands. The very thing that made Florida attractive to the military brass -- good weather year round -- prompted many veterans to return after the water, triggering one of the state’s great population booms.

The Army Air Corps had Valparaiso's Eglin Field, Tallahassee’s Dale Mabry Field, Panama City’s Tyndall Army Airfield and Tampa’s MacDill Army Air Field, close to where soldiers had camped before leaving for Cuba during the Spanish American War. At one point, more than 60,000 troops were stationed at what was then called Port Tampa City. Luckily, the war with Spain lasted only a few of months.

World War II, however, would drag on for years. For the first war in history where aviation played a major role, the need for pilots increased steadily from 1942 to 1945. It’s thought that more Army and Navy pilots (the United States Air Force was not formed until after the war) learned how to fly in Florida than any other state.

Construction on MacDill Field began in September 1939, the same month the Nazis invaded Poland, launching the bloodiest war in human history. Southeast Air Base, Tampa, was formally dedicated on April 16, 1941, and later renamed MacDill Field in honor of Colonel Leslie MacDill, a World War I hero and pioneer in military aviation.

Pilot training, especially during the early months of the war, was short, intense and often dangerous. So many crashes occurred at MacDill that there was a common expression among the fliers: “One a Day in Tampa Bay.” While historians are quick to point out that accident rate was most likely an exaggeration, it was not uncommon for a young, inexperienced pilot to end up in the water.

At first, most of the training focused on getting pilots and crews comfortable with the B-17 “Flying Fortress,” the heavy bomber that helped win the war. At one point, more than 60 B-17s took from MacDill via the south Atlantic and Africa to Australia.


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The pride of Eufaula, these brothers dominated opposing offenses while playing football at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Lucious II (born March 15, 1951), Dewey Willis (born November 19, 1953), and Lee Roy (born October 20, 1954) Selmon, all born at Muskogee, were three of nine siblings who grew up outside Eufaula. Eufaula High School coach Paul Bell coaxed Lucious into running track in the seventh grade and eventually interested him in football. The two younger Selmon brothers, born eleven months apart, belonged to the same class and followed their older brother into football.

University of Oklahoma assistant coach Larry Lacewell traveled to Eufaula to recruit Lucious and, although he had some apprehension about the youngster's size, he noticed the younger brothers and offered the scholarship. Lacewell hoped he would eventually have Dewey and Lee Roy wearing OU crimson. Lucious exceeded the expectations of Lacewell's first visit, becoming an All-American and three-year starter. Dewey and Lee Roy did follow Lucious to Norman, and both skipped the freshman squad to play varsity football their first season. Lucious earned All-American honors in 1973, and Lee Roy and Dewey achieved All-American status in 1974 and 1975, the years that Oklahoma won national championships. Lee Roy also won the Outland and Vince Lombardi trophies in 1975. All three brothers were also accomplished students, and Dewey eventually attained a doctorate in philosophy.

After college Lucious played in the World Football League for the Memphis Southmen. After one season he returned to OU as an assistant coach. In 1995 he left the Sooners and became the linebackers coach for the National Football League's Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Lee Roy as the first pick of their new franchise and the first selection in the 1976 National Football League (NFL) draft. While Lee Roy was with the Buccaneers, the league named him All-Pro six times, and he became the first Tampa Bay player to have his number retired. For thirteen years he held the club's team record for quarterback sacks, before Warren Sapp broke it in 2000. In 1986 Lee Roy retired from football because he had injured his back. Two years later he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He also became the first former OU football player elected to the NFL Hall of Fame. In 1993 the University of Southern Florida hired him as associate athletic director and then promoted him to athletic director in 2001. In 2000 he opened Lee Roy Selmon's restaurant in Tampa, Florida, which has an expressway named in his honor. He died on September 4, 2011.

In the second round of the 1976 draft Tampa Bay selected Dewey, making the Selmon brothers the first two picks of their organization. Dewey played for the Buccaneers until 1982, and then the team traded him to the San Diego Chargers. After one year with the Chargers Dewey returned to Norman and worked as an oil and gas consultant. He served on the Norman Housing Authority board, and in 1993 he opened his own construction business.

In 1988 the Selmon brothers began marketing their Selmon Brothers Fine Bar-B-Q Sauce. Their older brother, Charles, developed the sauce for his Selmon Brothers Bar-B-Q restaurant in Wichita, Kansas. Brothers Chester and Elmer also lived in that city at the end of the twentieth century.

Bibliography

J. Brent Clark, Sooner Century: 100 Glorious Years of Oklahoma Football: 1895–1995 (Coal Valley, Ill.: Quality Sports Publications, 1995).

Mary Forbes, Gentle Giants: The Selmon Brothers (Tampa, Fla.: Mariner Publishing Co., Inc., 1981).

"Selmon Brothers," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

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Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Larry O'Dell, &ldquoSelmon Brothers,&rdquo The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=SE009.

© Oklahoma Historical Society.

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University of Tampa runs out of comebacks in Division II World Series

CARY, N.C. — The University of Tampa baseball team overcame plenty of obstacles on its way back to the Division II College World Series this season, from a shortened regular season to the COVID-19 protocols that made even the most routine exercises seem unnatural.

In the end, though, there was one thing the Spartans couldn’t play through.

Central Missouri All-American Mason Green.

The left-hander silenced UT’s potent lineup for seven strong innings, including five on Saturday after the suspended game was resumed, to pitch the Mules to a 3-1 victory in the Division II College World Series semifinals at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

The loss denied coach Joe Urso’s team an opportunity at defending the national championship it won on the same field the most recent time the tournament was held, in 2019.

“Great pitching equalizes great hitting,” Urso said after the game, which ended UT’s season at 23-5. “My hat’s off to him. They have a great club.”

As impressive as Green’s 15-0 record coming into the game may have been, the Spartans were anything but intimidated by his presence on the mound.

They put two runners on in the first inning and scored in the second on a single by J.D. Urso and a Jose Cadenas sacrifice fly before play was halted by a lightning storm. They picked right up Saturday, getting a double by Jamarcus Lyons immediately after the game restarted and putting runners on base in all but two of the final seven innings.

But unilike the previous meeting between the teams Friday, won 8-1 by UT, the Spartans were unable to deliver timely hits to get runs home.

“We needed that clutch hit, but (Green’s) backdoor breaking ball was the key to his success,” Joe Urso said. “That’s what great pitchers do. They pitch and when they get into a little bit of trouble, their velocity jumps a couple miles an hour, you’ll see their breaking ball sharpen up. He’s one of the best in Division II I’ve seen all year and we’ve seen some good ones.”

Although UT wasn’t able to fashion another one of the comebacks that has become its trademark throughout this postseason, right-hander Braydon Nelson did everything he could to keep the game within reach until the final out.

Entering the game one batter before play was halted Friday, with his team trailing 2-1, Nelson matched Green virtually out-for-out the rest of the way. His only mistake came with one out in the fifth, when he allowed a home run to Erik Webb.

It was the fifth home run in four World Series games for the Mules rightfielder.

Nelson’s performance was similar to his first tournament appearance, a six-inning relief effort in a win against Trevecca Nazarene last Saturday.

“I love being in those pressure situations,” Nelson said. “I just want to go out there and compete. Once again, I was just trying to keep getting the offense back out there to do their thing, trying to put up those zeroes.”

Even though he did, it wasn’t enough to pull the Spartans through. Central Missouri (46-7) went on to play Wingate for the national championship later in the day.

Although Urso was philosophical about the defeat and complimentary of the winning team, he couldn’t help but think of what might have been had his side been able to scratch a few more runs across.

“Let’s just put it this way,” the veteran coach, who has won seven national titles at UT, said with tears welling in his eyes. “If we could have pulled this off, it would have been one of the best ones. This group was amazing. They fought and fought. We just ran out of gas against a great arm.”

Notable: The Spartans’ Drew Ehrhard (two home runs, six RBIs), Luke Glancy (one home run, five RBIs), Jordan Leasure (0.00 ERA, six innings, 11 strikeouts) and Flint (.545 average) made the all-tournament team.


The Amazing History of our ‘Woke’ CIA—Part II

“China & Russia are laughing their asses off watching CIA go full woke. 'Cisgender.' 'Intersectional.' It's like the Babylon Bee is handling CIA's commercials. If you think about it, wokeness is the kind of twisted PSYOP a spy agency would invent to destroy a country from the inside out," Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.

About China and Russia’s current intelligence agents laughing at the CIA’s Babylon-Bee-like imbecilities we can guess. But about Russia and Cuba’s we can actually watch, and perhaps laugh ourselves, to keep from crying. To wit:

Nikolai Leonev was the KGB’s top agent in Latin America during the 1950s and '60s. He was Raul Castro’s KGB handler starting in 1954, and must have busted a gut listening to how our crackerjack CIA officers in Cuba during the late 1950s sang Raul, Fidel, and Che Guevara’s praises as utterly untainted by any communist connections and thus quite worthy of U.S. help both moral and material. (We discussed the matter last week.)

In June 1958, upon careful instructions from his KGB handler Nikolai Leonov, communist terrorist Raul Castro dutifully kidnapped 47 American hostages from the U.S. owned Moa Nickel plant and the Guantanamo military base in Oriente. The KGB-mentored plan was to blackmail the U.S. government into further pulling the rug out from under Batista (the “U.S.-backed dictator” who was already suffering from a U.S. arms embargo since April 1958), further help the Soviet assets (the Castro rebels), and thus ease the way for the Sovietization of Cuba.

And it worked flawlessly--like an utter charm!

As soon as he got word, CIA officer in the area Robert Wiecha scurried to meet with a snickering Raul and his fellow KGB assets, whereupon they worked out a splendid little deal: the U.S. further pressured Batista to scale back his (already feeble) efforts against the rebels, and the hostages were returned. … But I mentioned watching them laugh didn’t I?

So yes. Check out Raul Castro and his KGB-handler Nikolai Leonov yukking it up during a meeting in Havana a few years ago.

Granted, we can’t be sure of the exact reminisces that provoked the yukking. Perhaps they involved how Raul’s future wife Vilma—a hard-line communist of long standing at the time—was the authority on liberal democracy gratefully accepted and believed by CIA Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick on his special visit from Langley headquarters to Oriente Cuba in 1957.

The Kirkpatrick-Espin meeting (arranged by big wheels of the Bacardi corp.) was a venue to once and for all convince the CIA that those crackpot rumors by some knuckle-dragging, deplorable Cubans were vicious and unfounded McCarthyite smears.

In fact, Vilma assured this executive officer of the world’s most lavishly-funded intelligence agency employing a shining roster of ultra-educated Ivy-League-vintage “analysts” and “experts” – in fact, she stressed to the free world’s guardians against communism, that her bosom compadres in liberation (Fidel, Raul, and Che Guevara) were the furthest thing from communists that the CIA could possibly imagine.

Yes, amigos: In 1957 the CIA sent its Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick (Princeton 1938) to Oriente Cuba to determine if Castro’s Julio 26 movement had any Commie connections, as claimed by many “Cuban “deplorables” of the time.

Well, the U.S. State Department and CIA’s officials on the ground in Cuba (obviously the most knowledgeable, right?) lined up a meeting between Kirkpatrick and some of the main bankrollers of Castro’s terrorist group the Julio 26 Movement. Chief among these bankrollers were members of the ultra-wealthy Bacardi Corp.

So Kirkpatrick was hosted by a Bacardi executive’s very daughter Vilma Espin, a prominent member of Castro’s terrorist group—and a closet communist, as well known among Cuban “deplorables.” This elegant and cultured Bryn Mawr and MIT attendee spoke flawless English and seemed to fit seamlessly into most CIA officers’ cultural and social set, (unlike many of the Castro movement’s opponents: those often crude, un-lettered, even mulatto Batistianos with whom typically Ivy league-educated, Eastern Establishment CIA people found little in common). In brief these anti-Castro people were typical “deplorables.”

Wait a minute, some amigos ask?! The Bacardi corporation helped bankroll Castro and Che Guevara’s rebel movement? But how can that be?

Oh, I know, I know, your professors, Hollywood, the Fake News Media, and Castro’s multifarious agents-of-influence (but I repeat myself) all told you that it was Cuba’s blue-blooded and filthy-rich who opposed Castro, and the poor workers who backed him.

Well, let’s look around our own country. Is it the “bluebloods” and “filthy-rich” who back Trump? Is it “the working class” who backs Biden/Harris/BLM, etc. You get the picture.

Now, let’s fast work a few decades. Here’s a description of a “conference” hosted by Fidel Castro in Havana in 2001 (i.e. a yukkfest for a gloating Castro to rub the faces of his (guilt-ridden if not actually masochistic) American guests in their pathetic botches:

"Fidel Castro (a mass-murdering Soviet asset and terrorist whose lifelong obsession was the destruction of the U.S.) sat across from Sam Halpern and Robert Reynolds (former CIA officers who were purportedly tasked with overthrowing him) . the atmosphere was jovial, respectful. Castro remarked at one point that (the 2001 conference in Havana) was more than respectful, it was friendly. At a final banquet, Castro used the word “family” to describe the conference participants and the frank, intimate exchanges.”

Any more questions why Fidel Castro died peacefully in bed at 90?

“Aaaw come on, Humberto!” some amigos counter. “But what about those 50 gazillion CIA assassination plans against Castro we’re always reading and hearing about?” Thought you’d never ask.

“So far as I have been able to determine,” revealed E. Howard Hunt, who, during the early 1960s served as head of the political division of the CIA’s Cuba Project, “no COHERENT plan was ever developed within the CIA to assassinate Castro, though it was the heart’s desire of many exile groups.”

Interestingly, Hunt stressed that killing Castro was his own recommendation. But he couldn’t get any serious takers within the agency.

Now let’s head over to the famous Church Committee hearings in the mid '70s when all these (so-called) assassination attempts were first “revealed.” Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho), by the way, was a notorious pinko just panting to smear anti-communists. Yet here’s among the items his (highly-embarrassed) Committee (grudgingly) discovered and reported:

“In August 1975, Fidel Castro gave Senator George McGovern a list of twenty-four alleged attempts to assassinate him in which Castro claimed the CIA had been involved… The Committee has found NO EVIDENCE that the CIA was involved in the attempts on Castro’s life enumerated in the allegations that Castro gave to Senator McGovern.”

“Coherent” is probably the key word by Hunt. All those “assassination plans” the Fake News Media transcribes and parrots from Castro’s disinformation officers (both in Cuba and in the U.S.) were probably mostly brainstorming speculations by half-drunken officials. A few might have gotten half-heartedly somewhat off the ground.

Felix Rodriguez, the Cuban-American CIA man who played a key role in capturing Che Guevara, also noticed the “incoherence” of these assassination plans. “While we were training for the Bay of Pigs me and a friend volunteered to kill Castro,” Rodriguez recalled to your humble servant. “We were given a rifle with a telescopic sight and we attempted to infiltrate Cuba… after the third attempt, we returned and they (CIA handlers) told us that the plan had been changed, had been canceled, so they took the rifle away.”

And in case Donald Trump Jr. is reading this: no Donald, outrageous as it may seem, as an American it greatly embarrasses me to assure you that this link and pictures did not issue from the Babylon Bee.


University of Tampa hanging tough in Division II World Series

CARY, N.C. — The University of Tampa baseball team will be playing on the final day of the Division II College World Series again this year.

Whether it will be playing to defend the championship it won the last time the event was held in 2019 is still up in the air.

The Spartans beat top-seeded Central Missouri 8-1 on Friday to earn a second shot at the Mules in a winner-take-all rematch to determine which team advances to the title game.

But because of a lightning storm over the USA Baseball National Training Complex, the semifinal was suspended after two innings and will resume Saturday morning at 11 with UCM leading 2-1. The winner then faces Wingate for the national championship later in the day.

Wingate earned its shot at the title with an 11-inning, 8-7 win over Angelo State, completing an improbable run of four wins in as many days through the loser’s bracket.

UT (23-5) also had to bounce back from a loss in the double-elimination event to keep its hopes alive.

Friday’s win avenged a second-round 8-4 loss to Central Missouri in which the Mules put the game away with a pair of big innings late in the game. This time around, it was the Spartans’ bats that came alive over the final few innings.

“We’ve had so many come-from-behind victories, once we get rolling, we feel very confident,” UT coach Joe Urso said. “Their starting pitcher (Conor Dryer) did a great job early in the game. But the story is the seventh, eighth and ninth. We believe if we keep the game close into the seventh, eighth and ninth, the tide will turn and Tampa will take over.”

The Spartans didn’t have to wait until the seventh to start turning the momentum in their favor Friday,

After trailing 1-0 since the first, when the Mules (45-6) scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch by starter Eric Linder, UT got even with a run in the sixth. Drew Ehrhard, who was hit by a pitch, scored on a two-out double by cleanup hitter Jamarcus Lyons.

The Spartans took their first lead an inning later on RBI singles by Ehrhard and Luke Glancy before breaking the game open with a five-run eighth in which they sent 10 men to the plate. The rally was ignited by a perfect squeeze bunt by Christian Flint, which the senior shortstop legged out into his third hit of the day.

“He had great at-bats all day long, actually all tournament long and just solid defense at short,” Urso said of Flint. “To have a chance to beat Central Missouri with their team speed, we’ve got to keep them off the bases and play perfect defense. And he played shutdown shortstop again today.”

He wasn’t the only one shutting down the Mules on Friday.

After getting off to a shaky start in his second mound appearance of the tournament, Linder settled in to pitch six solid innings. He then handed the ball over to star closer Jordan Leasure for the next two.

Once UT got the big lead, Urso pulled him in hopes of saving an inning for either the Central Missouri rematch or a championship game, allowing Michael D’Emo to finish things off. Between them, the three Spartans pitchers allowed no runs and just three hits over the final eight innings.

Although the victory helped extend UT’s season for at least another game, the momentum didn’t last — as the Mules (45-6) scored in each of their first two at-bats in the suspended game.

Considering that the Spartans have trailed in every postseason game they’ve played this year, they’re still confident heading into Saturday’s resumption.

“I don’t think there’s any advantage or disadvantage,” Leasure said. “They’re going to come out with the same mentality they’ve had the whole tournament and so are we. We’re just going to take it one game at a time, one inning at a time.”


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The American Victory Ship and Museum receives very little city, county, state, federal or tax dollar financial support. It relies heavily on private donations, grassroots efforts, and sincere dedication from its group of committed volunteers. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!


Watch the video: Tampa Bay Buccaneers History in 2 Minutes 5 Seconds


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