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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 07, 1962

MEMORANDUM FROM THE HEAD OF THE USSR MERCHANT FLEET (BAKAEV) TO THE CC CPSU

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    Bakaev reports that all vessels carrying IL-28 planes en route to Cuba are subject to American surveillance.
    "Memorandum from the Head of the USSR Merchant Fleet (Bakaev) to the CC CPSU," December 07, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Russian State Economic Archives, Moscow; copy provided to CWIHP by R. Pikhoia and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen, Harvard University https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111211
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I am reporting on the removal of 42 IL-28 planes from Cuba.


1. The ship "Okhotsk," carrying 12 IL-28 airplanes, left the port at Nuevita on 4 December at 23:00 Moscow time.
After the departure of the "Okhotsk" from the port, American planes began flying back and forth over the ship, taking photos. We recorded the identification numbers of the planes.


On 6 December at 9:00, the USA warship number 943 appeared near the stern of the "Okhotsk," and informed the captain of our vessel that it would be following the "Okhotsk" all night, and asked that the boxes containing the IL-28 planes be opened for photographing. The captain gave his consent, and towards dawn on 7 December the USA destroyer carried out an inspection of the Soviet ship.


2. The "Kasimov" left the port of Mariel at 14:45 on 5 December, carrying on board 15 IL-28 planes.


The "Kasimov" was also subjected to constant overhead flights by USA war planes whose identification numbers we recorded.


A bomber of the "Neptune" class, with the number 6-145922, asked us to open the packing of our deck cargo for photographing. This request was fulfilled by the captain of the "Kasimov." After this, the plane circled over the vessel six times and then flew away.


3. The ship "Krasnograd" left from the port of Mariel on 6 December at 7:30, carrying on board 15 IL-28 planes.


This vessels was also constantly subjected to overhead flights by American planes whose numbers were recorded by us. One plane of the "Orion" class, number 5605-BF-505, and two planes of the "Neptune" class, numbers LK-131499 and JP-22, asked the captain how many IL-28 planes he was carrying. The captain answered that there were 15 "IL-28" planes on board.


The flights over vessels carrying IL-28's continue. The vessels are proceeding normally.


All the planes, 42 units, have been removed. According to the Ministry of Defense, a forty-third plane (an instructional model) was wrongly registered, and had never been received by Cuba.



The Minister of the Merchant Fleet


V. BAKAEV

[Source: Russian State Economic Archives, Moscow; copy provided to CWIHP by R. Pikhoia and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen, Harvard University.]