Charles Tracy Barnes (August 2, 1911 – February 18, 1972) was a senior staff member at the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), serving as principal manager of CIA operations in the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état and the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion.

History[edit | edit source]

Tracy was born in Manhasset, Long Island, New York to parents Courtland Dixon Barnes (June 13, 1881 in Stonington, Connecticut - ?) and Katherine Lansing Barney (February 6, 1885 in New York City - ?), siblings were Courtland Dixon Barnes, Jr. (December 26, 1907 - ?) and Katharine Lansing Barnes (February 27, 1909 - ?). He was educated at Groton School and Yale University, where he became a member of the Scroll and Key secret society. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1937. He was married to Janet who was born June 10, 1913 in Providence, Rhode Island. During World War II he served first with US Air Force intelligence, then with the Office of Strategic Services. He was awarded France's Croix de guerre and the US Silver Star. After the war, he returned to legal practice.[1]

In 1950 he went to Washington to serve as special assistant to Under Secretary of the Army, Archibald S. Alexander. He also served as deputy director of the Psychological Strategy Board during the Korean War. He joined the CIA in 1951.

In 1953, he was appointed Special Assistant for Paramilitary Psychological Operations, under Frank Wisner, and was the principal case officer in the CIA operation leading up to the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état.[2]

In 1960, he was appointed Assistant Deputy Director for Plans, under Richard M. Bissell, Jr., with direct responsibility for the CIA operation leading to the Bay of Pigs Invasion in April 1961.[3][4]

In 1962, he was made head of the CIA's Domestic Operations Division.

In July 1966 new CIA Director Richard Helms had Desmond FitzGerald fire Barnes from the CIA.

In June 1970, Tracy Barnes suffered a serious stroke. His recovery was slow and on 18 February 1972, he had a heart attack and died at his home at Saunderstown, Rhode Island.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. "C. Tracy Barnes, 60, High Level CIA Official". The Washington Post. February 19, 1972. 
  2. Higgins (1987)
  3. Hunt (1973)
  4. Bissell (1996)

References[edit | edit source]

  • Bissell, Richard M. Jr., with Jonathan E. Lewis and Frances T. Pudlo. 1996. Reflections of a Cold Warrior: From Yalta to the Bay of Pigs. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-06430-8
  • Higgins, Trumbull. 1987, 2008. The Perfect Failure: Kennedy, Eisenhower, and the CIA at the Bay of Pigs. Norton. ISBN 0-393-30563-5 ISBN 978-0393305630
  • Hunt, E. Howard. 1973. Give us this day. Arlington House. ISBN 978-0-87000-228-1

External links[edit | edit source]

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