Joe Shannon: American pilot who flew in Bay of Pigs invasion
Monday 11 January 2010
Joe Shannon, who died on 5 January aged 88, was a retired Alabama National Guard pilot who trained anti-Castro pilots and flew in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba nearly five decades ago.
About 1,500 Cuban exiles trained under CIA guidance in Guatemala and invaded the island in April 1961 trying to overthrow Fidel Castro's communist regime. 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 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.
Shannon remained close to a Cuban pilot he helped train for the Bay of Pigs, and he wanted to visit Cuba a few years ago with a university group traveling to the island nation. The US government advised him against going, however. "Castro still had me on a hit list," he said.
Shannon, who served as an Army Air Corps pilot during the Second World World War, was a member of the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame.
- 1 Students heading off to 'charity challenge' grounded at Gatwick after travel firm goes bust
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Like Jennifer Aniston, I am no less of a woman because I am childless
Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Californian drought is so severe it's 'causing the ground to move'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...
£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...