A Short Marine Corps CI Role in Haiti - 1963
In May 1963, Duvalier - or better known as "Papa Doc" - began to get
out-of-hand with the U.S. Government. In order to resolve the situation U. S. Marines were
called upon to setting the differences.
As Warrant Officer Clem explains his involvement with Haiti he noted:
"I outloaded with the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) as the Brigades'
Staff CI Officer. Admiral Rivero was the Task Force Commander, and Major General Tompkins
was the Commanding General of the MEB. The Commanding Officer of Regimental Landing Team-6
(Rein) was Colonel Bross. CWO-4 Harry B. Reed was the Brigades' Combat Intelligence
Officer. CWO Reed had previously (circa 1931) served in Port-Au-Prince and had a full
understanding of Haiti, along with information concerning the palace and various key
governments officials. The term "Counterintelligence" was contained throughout
the Operation Plan (Op Plan), however, in order to fit the mission at hand it was changed
to "Counterinsurgency," to become one of the key words within the Op Plan."
In order to get a better understanding of the new key word, as Clem continues: "A
Colonel Heinl was pulled off of a Grace Company Oceanliner in New York and brought aboard
one of the task forces' ships - the Taconic. Once aboard the Taconic, both WO Clem and the
colonel discussed their knowledge about the Haiti, along with identifying certain
individuals in order to prepare a Black, Gray & White (B/WG) List."
According to WO Clem, "There was no question in my mind that the colonel had set
his views on the integrity, loyalty and birth-right of some of the key individuals."
The colonel has just previously completed a tour in Haiti as the Chief of the U.S.Mission,
As WO Clem continues, "As things progressed, we received a 'stale' from one DoD
agency, where it was compared to our composite holdings on key personalities. Once the
comparison was completed and verified, it revealed that a few of these key individuals
were highly suspected of being either politicos or agents of the Castro Government. The
slate, according to WO Clem, was challenged, and "believe it or not, in the final
analysis, confirmed what we had gathered and reported."
WO Clem further remarked, "That's what I like about integrated intelligence
operations - everyone knows what they are doing - Ha!!! After enjoying our anchorage off
the coast of Gonave, being buzzed by one of 2 flyable Haitian P-47s, and after watching
approximately 1 million people being assembled in Port-Au-Prince, the situation calmed
itself and Task Force-44 returned to its base."
After returning for Haiti, a short time thereafter, WO Clem received orders for
assignment to the 3rd CIT in Okinawa, Japan. This was WO Clem's first real exposure to a
full strength CI Team.
Even though the situation in Haiti was short, CI was preparing itself for a bigger task
- It's involvement into Southeast Asia.