KIN OF SUBURB COUPLE TELLS CUBA EXODUS

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“‘The bus had picked us up at the housing area at 1:15 p. m. We went right to the big turbopop transports at the naval air field. We were airborne and on the way to Norfolk by 2 p. m.’

That was the description given yesterday by Mrs. Mildred Johnson, 27, of the rapid move of navy and marine dependents from the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba Monday. She flew here Tuesday to stay with her parents in Clarendon Hills

Greeted by Parents

Mrs. Johnson, whose husband Lowell is a navy lieutenant and a physician, arrived with her daughters Pamela, 22 months, and Leslie, 9 months. She was greeted by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. V. Petras, 7201 Leonard Dr, Clarendon Hills.

‘Over the week-end, when the big transports began arriving with loads of marines, we knew something was afoot,’ Mrs. Johnson said. ‘We were accustomed to having our bags packed every time the base was staged an exercise about every six weeks.

But the scuttlebutt was flying and when the official word of the evacuation was delivered to the house at 10 a. m. Monday, it wasn’t really a surprise.’

Mrs. Johnson said her husband was excused from the base hospital and allowed to come home. She threw a few necessities into bags and waved goodbye to Lt. Johnson when she and the girls boarded the bus at 1:15 p. m.

The women and children were put on planes and at 6:30 p. m. Monday, the aircraft landed at the Norfolk [Va] naval base.

Mrs. Johnson’s plane was the first to bring a load of dependents out of Guantanamo.”

Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday, October 25, 1962.

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