You might be responding to the question posed by the title of this precursory chapter about Colonel J.D. Wilmeth, with another question after reading our previous precursory chapter: In search of answers ....
When Professor Dr Habil Eric Gilder recounted his own beginnings down the path of academic higher education in 1979, he remarked that he was the only non-Russian degree major in that class when he began his study of the Russian language. Then, after one year he switched to Latin. Eric noted that the Russian language class was part of the Soviet and East European Studies Center at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), and that this Center was known to have 'Intelligence' links.
For part of the brief period that Eric was taking his class in Russian, his lecturer was Colonel Wilmeth, and Eric remarked that "the Russian language material was often from Russian sources and technological in nature." In context with the overall scope of this storyline, Eric's idea to use 'Radio Swan' as the subject of his thesis at the University of North Texas (NTU), was discouraged "for his own safety" by his friend Dr Ross of UTA. At first glance these two issues seem to be unrelated, but further investigation by a member of 'The Trio' has now uncovered a connectivity that was not apparent in 1981 when the subject of 'Radio Swan' was under consideration by Eric.
To understand how and why these two issues are related it is necessary to know more about Colonel Wilmeth, and more about 'Radio Swan'. We now have enough material to provide a biographical outline about the life and times of Colonel Wilmeth, and the first item of importance is to note that his full name is James Dudley Wilmeth, and to establish his identity because there is more than one person by that name which a quick Google search will bring to your attention.
The person we are interested in was born on October 30, 1910, at Ballinger, which is a small town about the size of Eastland, Texas where Donald Grey Pierson lived. Eastland is approximately sixty miles due south of Abilene where Don Pierson was born on October 11, 1925. This means that Wilmeth was fifteen years older than Pierson who died on March 30, 1996, at age of 71, and Wilmeth died on July 20, 1997, at age 86. While the lives of both of these men interacted with the life of Eric Gilder, it is not known if they ever interacted with each other, and yet both Wilmeth and Pierson were engaged in missions with geopolitical connectivity regarding the external interests of the United States of America.
Wilmeth had a long association with U.S. Army Intelligence which involved international diplomatic negotiations, as well as public relations and then higher education. Pierson was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps that later emerged as the U.S. Air Force. After his military service, he engaged in various international activities that paralleled the interests of U.S. Intelligence operations. However, it is uncertain whether Pierson was ever aware of the extent to which his activities were of interest to U.S. government. In retrospect it appears that he was an expendable 'asset' which resulted in his own life having a frustratingly unfulfilled conclusion. On the other hand, Wilmeth seems to have played his part to the end as a military man who simply retired as a private citizen.
Eric Gilder first met Wilmeth as a student in his Russian language class at UTA, and he then met Pierson as a student writing a thesis about 'pirate radio' while at UNT. Eric's first meeting with Mervyn Hagger and Genie Baskir followed that chain of events. But it was not until Don Pierson handed over his financial and legal records relating to his interests in offshore radio, that anyone began to peer behind the curtain to see who was really pulling the strings. The person who nudged and urged 'The Trio' to take a closer look was a distant party from an unlikely background, and he happened to have a side-hobby-interest that was focused upon the second of Don Pierson's offshore radio station ships.
It was the legacy of that ship that became known as the motor vessel 'Olga Patricia' , which opened the door to a major investigation. The 'Olga Patricia' was built and completed for the U.S. Army in 1944 to serve as a cargo vessel during World War II. Before the war ended, the ship was dry-docked at Finschhaven, in what is now Papua New Guinea. That location is approximately sixty miles from the university where Eric is presently teaching.
This same vessel was transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1947, and it was finally mothballed in 1955 at Portland, Oregon. At that time is was known as the 'USS Deal'. The ship was sold in 1961, and soon after, it was renamed 'Olga Patricia'. At that time, it was discussed as a likely vessel to serve the interests of the U.S. Intelligence community in its continuing secret war against Fidel Castro's Cuba. This is where the story of offshore radio broadcasting collides with the story of Colonel James Dudley Wilmeth, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Next: Colonel Wilmeth and Marina Oswald ....
Copyright 2022 with all rights reserved.