Saturday, January 18, 2020

General LeMay in Michigan

LeMay In Michigan

The official biographies of Air Force General Curtis LeMay say that at the time of the assassination of President Kennedy LeMay was "away" at his in-laws cabin in Michigan, where he was known to enjoy fishing.  As a young boy growing up in Ohio and traveling with his large family as his father found work, Curtis helped his mother put food on the table by providing the fish he caught. It was a matter of survival, but he continued to enjoy fishing in the Air Force as he was apparently very good at it. 

The son of his aide, Col. Dorman, said he was given a tour of the General's command and control plane, named Speckled Trout. 

LeMay’s wife was Helen Estelle Maitland LeMay, who attended the University of Michigan, so any cabin in Michigan would have been owned or leased to the Maitland family, a cabin and location we have yet to identify.

If anyone can locate the Maitland family cabin in Michigan, please email me the source. ( 

A number of researchers have focused on this, including J. Marcus Campbell, who is familiar with the area.

J. Marcus Campbell asks: “Do you have a source that General Lemay was at a “Lake” cabin rather than hunting or fishing at a small resort owned by his Father In Law in Northern Michigan? The reason I ask is the logistics of getting General Lemay to The Canadian Continuity Government site at Wiraton AFB in Ontario - One Of six such sites in Canada at the time.”

BK Notes: Wiraton, Canada comes into play because that’s where LeMay had a special Air Force jet pick him up to return him to Washington, D.C. as soon as he learned of the assassination.

Now, I didn’t know that Wiraton was a Continuity of Government site, but J. M. C. refers to a comment at Jeff Morley’s site from a Canadian that says so.

While that’s certainly possible, I have seen photos of the Wiraton airport and while it does have a control tower and a 6,000 foot runway that could handle a C-140 executive jet, and is close to the continental United States, it doesn’t seem like a command and control center.

“Do the math,” J. M. C. says, “(LeMay) hears news, contacts Air Force around 1:00 pm eastern when the flight to pick him up was arranged, first to Toronto, changed to Wiraton COG site, inflight. Taxi refuel wheels up, by 3:04pm Dallas time, Michigan is on Eastern time as was Canada. Max jet speed around 500-600 on C-140 plane.”

According to JMC, “the finest hunting and fishing resort – Rainbow’s End, at the time was located on Sugar island in Northern Michigan. An island with a grass airfield and close to an AFB in Suite Saint Marie, Michigan.

Kincheloe Air Force Base

“If General Lemay, was at the Rainbow’s End fishing resort, located on southern portion of island, a place with bear hunting and great fishing, the logistics work out. Helicopter or plane from airstrip back to Kincheloe AFB around 25-45 minutes, distance to grass air strip, or helicopter from resort area. Jet of some type to Wiraton COG Facility, 30- 45 minutes, arrival near 2-2:30 Dallas time….Can you find a ‘Lake’ anywhere in Northern Michigan with access to an Airport with an Air Force jet to ferry General LeMay, to Wiraton, the closest COG site? Unless the lake the cabin was on was Lake Huron.”

“Rainbows End had 13 Cabins, a Barn and a Winterized Managers house at the time. It was the only hunting and fishing operation on the island, about seven Winterized cabins were south of the resort. The first was owned by Harley Hanna from Utica Ohio. He was a school teacher who lived on Hen Peck road on a farm, he is deceased now. His daughter Sheryl Hanna inherited the Cabin she is still living.”

“General Ivy’s Second Wife my Aunt, who was Lt Col Campbell’s Sister and the Sister of Sheryl Hanna’s first husband.  is still alive in Florida, as is Retired Lt Col Campbell, Lt Col Haig’s assistant on the Cuban Coordination committee, in 1963, he is in Arizona. The General Ivy Story is very interesting, the surfing officer in Apocalypse Now character is based on him. He was the Base commander of Fort Benning as his last assignment.”

“The next Cabin a rather well built cabin with a slate pool table was owned by Jimmy Hoffa, a review of county property records can verify this. The Cabin with the car Port was the Hoffa Cabin. It was at some time bought by the Hoffa family prior to 1977, when during a complicated missing person case, the resort was sold to Sheryl Hanna’s  and her first husband on a land Contract ballon payment, of around $700 per month, until 1989 when it was returned to the Hoffa Family. I’m not sure who owns the resort currently. The mailing list for return and frequent customers was part of the 1977 sale.”

“General LeMay’s Cleveland Ohio area address was on the mailing list. They where sent Christmas cards every year. The resorts cabins were mostly filled over 90% by the same customers every year, from June thru September.”

“I Visited their in August 1980. The Hoffa Cabin, had White sheets covering everything, and had not been used since Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance. At some point in the 80’s the Hoffa family started using the cabin again.”

“The Fishing was so good you could catch three or Four Jumbo perch at a time, around one pound perch, with a rig with four separate hooks, catching multiple fish on one line is a real different experience, pike and Northern Muskie as well as land locked Chinook Salmon were in the area called Mackinaw’s. Bear were frequent.”

 “There is a movie treatment script in Progress about a Jimmy Hoffa - Curtis LeMay fishing and Hunting trip, in development from a different day than 11-22-1963, earlier than that date but after the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

One thing that has always bugged me about the newer version of the Air Force one tapes, was the response from either National Security advisor McGeorge Buddy or Sec State McNamara to Sec State Rusk in response to “who was in charge” from the Cabinet Plane, returning from Hawaii, ‘in the Military District’ of the District Columbia, ‘the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in Charge.....’ - who work for the Secretary of Defense. The response was indicative of a coup and that the Secretary of Defense was no longer in charge of the Military. The term ‘Military District of the District of Columbia’ is new to me, it seems rather cryptic. Where they passing on info to Secretary Rusk of a break in chain of command?”

“One last item according to Col Dorman’s radio transmission, Air Force One had already contacted General LeMay, or someone who knew he was in the air at the time, that transmission is edited out. Anyway, keep digging, you’re getting closer.”

Well I think so too, J.M.C., and thank you for your local, regional input.

I like the idea that LeMay and Hoffa were connected via this mailing list, the idea of this Rainbow’s End resort and that they could have had cabins near each other, both being on the Top Five Guys who hated the Kennedys, I still want to know exactly where Mrs. LeMay’s family had a cabin in Michigan where LeMay was at the time of the assassination. We need to locate that cabin and determine exactly where it is.

In the meantime, others are also working on the Wiarton Canada angle, and I will report what they’ve found ASAP. 

1 comment:

  1. That's really interesting. Probably the 2 biggest Kennedy haters in such close quarters. There's a little bit of info on Charles Baron, and LeMay, in Chaos Tom O'Neill. Also, according to Col. Bishop in Dick Russell's The Man Who Knew Too Much-Hoffa paid 50,000 towards a hit on JFK not long before Dallas.