After Fidel Castro took power in Cuba during the late 50's and led his communist revolution, a movement began within the Cuban exile community to reclaim their precious land. In April 1961 the CIA organized the Bay of Pigs operation to land over 1500 Cuban exile volunteers armed with WWII vintage U.S. military weapons on the southern coast of Cuba on a stretch of beach known only to locals as Bahia de Cochinos, or Bay of Pigfish. History would later title the operation as the Bay of Pigs landings. The freedom fighters also had tanks, trucks, ships, landing craft, and other assets to assist them for their mission. It was a noble and heroic attempt but due to many factors including poor CIA intelligence the landing failed and the freedom fighters were mostly taken prisoner, with many having been killed or wounded in action. Up to now no one has made an effort to replicate the uniform worn by these brave volunteers. We had the distinct pleasure in 2006 to supply these uniforms for an HBO mini-series about the CIA called, THE COMPANY. A Clip can be viewed below.
These garments depict the authentic civilian-made camouflage hunter's garments that were commonly available through mail order catalogs during the 50's and 60's. These civilian garments were supplied to many CIA operatives and Special Operations advisors, including the Assault Brigade 2506 (Brigada Asalto 2506) volunteers for the Bay of Pigs invasion. The original garment we based these uniforms from was the KAMO brand of garments manufactured by the Camouflage Manufacturing Company during the early 1960s. Many collectors of early American style camouflage fatigues refer to these as Hunter's Camo or Duck-Hunter Camo. Several variations existed from various manufacturers. Our Brigade 2506 fatigues were manufactured faithfully to the specs of the original KAMO brand line garments in sturdy 100% cotton twill fabric with a colorfast camouflage scheme. The buttons are the US Army style 13-star buttons. In order to prevent fraud we have sewn our WWII Impressions label
It is our hope that more Cuban descendants will become interested in this amazing piece of Cuban American history. The Bay of Pigs museum in Miami, FL was a tremendous resource in our research on these uniforms and more information is available therefrom for those interested. Keep us informed of your efforts to organize events to commemorate these courageous men and let us know of your uniform needs. We are proud to help!