Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Spokesman-Review, June 21, 1964, "Cuba Claims U.S. Plane Shot Down" by The Associated Press.

WASHINGTON - Cuba said Saturday a "pirate plane" from the United States bombed one of its sugar mills Friday and was shot down. A few hours later the U.S. State Department reported a private U.S. plane is missing from Florida.

The department said it is not known whether the missing Florida plane is the craft reported downed over the north coast of Las Villas Province.

The announcement was made after a Havana protest was delivered to the State Department. The Cuban Armed Forces Ministry claimed the plane dropped three bombs on a sugar mill near Caibarien.

Rented in Miami

Department press officer Joseph W. Reap said: "The department has been informed by the Federal Aviation Agency in Miami that a plane which left West Palm Beach at 7:30 a.m. Friday is missing.

"The plane which was leased from a rental company in Miami was piloted by a person named Louis Diaz Lopez. "We do not know that this is the plane the Cubans claim to have shot down. Our investigation is continuing."

Plane Missing

The missing plane was identified as a Cessna, No. N8365Z, which was rented in Miami and then flown to West Palm Beach before it disappeared.

In Miami, a Cuban exile leader expressed fear that it was "our plane" which had been downed. The anti-Castro leader, Orlando Bosch, did not say from where the craft had taken off.

Copyright (c) 1964 The Associated Press

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