Dominican Republic 1965
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  1. #1
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    Dominican Republic 1965

    In February 1963 the popular Juan Bosch was elected as the Republic's president. Bosch was overthrown following a period of low sugar prices, unemployment, demonstrations, riots and finally civil war.

    The government, dominated now by Donald Reid Cabral grew progessively unpopular and weaker. On April 24, 1965, a faction of the Republics's military who were pro-Bosch supporters, revolted against Reid Gabral's Government.

    The pro-Bosch supporters wanted the return of Bosch and the 1963 constitution without elections. Overnight, pro-Bosch soldiers took up positions in Santo Domingo and large crowds rioted in the city's streets demanding Bosch's return.

    Reid Cabral contacted the U.S. Naval Attache, to inquire for U.S. assistance.

    The next morning, the pro-Bosch rebels captured the National Palace and arrested Reid Cabral. A short time afterwards, Reid Cabral resigned and allowed to go into hiding. That afternoon, the U.S. Navy's six-ship Caribbean Ready Group began moving from Puerto Rico towards the Dominican Republic, in the event it would be necessary to evacuate U.S. citizens out of Haiti. Aboard the Caribbean Ready Group ships were the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 - a total of some 1,702 Marines.

    On Monday, 26 April 1965, the Caribbean Ready Group stood 30 miles off the Haitian coast. When efforts to negotiate a ceasefire failed the next day, anti-Bosch military units entered the capital. The Republic's Air Force rocketed and strafed the city. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Ambassador asked the U.S. Navy to make a show of force off the coast of the capital.

    On 28 April, 1965, acting on the best available intelligence pertaining to the situation in Haiti, President Johnson authorized the landing of U.S. Marines to evacuate U.S citizens. Armed and authorized to take positive action if necessary, they were the first combat-ready U.S. forces to enter a Latin American country in almost forty years.

    later that evening of the 28th
    Apr. 28 - LBJ evening TV speech - said he had ordered in the Marines, need to protect American lives, especially 1000 Americans trapped in the Embajador Hotel

    Apr. 29 - LBJ added more troops, to total 22,000

  2. #2

    Cool Almost a lifetime of moving experiences

    Almost a lifetime of moving experiences
    April 30,2004

    It was April 1965 and the Dominican Republic was coming to a rolling boil as civil strife shook the small island. U.S. officials, concerned that American lives were in jeopardy and Castro would take the opportunity to snatch control, decided to send troops.

    My father was a Navy corpsman and we'd lived in Portsmouth, Va. for about a year. Daddy was on his way to Vietnam and the movers were there, preparing to pack out the house with three kids under foot, including my brother, who was a toddler at the time.

    On the day the movers were due my father was abruptly TAD (placed on temporary assigned duty) to a Navy ship headed to the Dominican Republic. The orders to report to the ship came with only a couple of hours notice. Dad returned home from work to grab his gear, kiss Mom and say good-bye. My mother was left dealing with everything on her own - something she proved very capable of handling, though. Military wives are tough.

    The movers who were due that day didn't show up until after eight that night. They packed us out in the dark, leaving Mom with a house to clean - at midnight. She spent most of the rest of the night cleaning, then we all curled up in the car for a couple hours and tried to sleep. The next morning the Realtor inspected the house and we left - tired and grumpy - to drive home to Tennessee.

    During the drive, the car broke down, my brother threw up in the back seat and we drove in lots of circles. When we finally pulled into my grandmother's driveway, we were dirty, tired and cranky. My mother was exhausted - she'd coped with things most women her age had never faced, and she did it without whining and complaining. It was her choice to marry a sailor and, by gosh, she handled her end of the bargain without so much as a moment of self-pity.

    We moved in with my grandmother until we had another place to live. Grandma was a pistol and bunking with her was kind of like being in boot camp. It was her way or the highway and we quickly learned to abide by her rules or we'd end up on her bad side, which meant pulling switches from the peach tree out back.

    A month later, Daddy was home for a couple of days, only to say good-bye and head for his assignment in Chu Lai. Thirteen months after that, we would do it all over again, landing in Oceanside, Calif., for a couple months, only to pack up one more time for Yokosuka, Japan - our third move in 18 months.

    Over the years we moved about 20 times and at one point I attended three different schools in three different cities in the space of four months. We saw deserts and mountains, and viewed the same constellations from both sides of the ocean.

    Through it all my mother worked hard. Sometimes she labored outside the home to help defray the cost of raising three kids on a military salary. At other times, when there were no jobs to be had, she stayed home and figured out ways to stretch what money they had to pay for new shoes, yet still keep the pantry full.

    Dad, for his part, believed in what he was doing. He was tough on us, but not unreasonable. He understood how hard it was for kids to give up their friends, schools and neighborhoods and start over again someplace else. All-in-all it was a wonderful adventure - all of it - even the moves. And I'd do it over again in a heartbeat.

    Well, all except for the part where my brother threw up.

    Carole Moore's column appears each Friday. Contact her by email at


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