Third Day of the Bay of Pigs Invasion
The final air attack mission (code-named Mad Dog Flight) comprised five B-26s, four of which were manned by American CIA contract air crews and pilots from the Alabama Air Guard.
One FAR Sea Fury (piloted by Douglas Rudd) and two FAR T-33 (piloted by Rafael del Pino and Alvaro Prendes) shot down two of these B-26s, killing four American airmen.
One of the C-46s delivered arms and equipment to the Girón airstrip occupied by Brigade 2506 ground forces. The C-46 also evacuated Matias Farias, the pilot of B-26 serial '935' (code-named Chico Two) that had been shot down and crash-landed at Girón on 17 April.
Combat air patrols were flown by Douglas A4D-2N Skyhawk jets of VA-34 squadron operating from USS Essex, with nationality and other markings removed. Sorties were flown to reassure Brigade soldiers and pilots, and to intimidate Cuban government forces without directly engaging in acts of war.
Without direct air support, and short of ammunition, Brigade 2506 ground forces retreated to the beaches in the face of considerable onslaught from Cuban government artillery, tanks and infantry.
Late on 19 April, destroyers USS Eaton (code-named Santiago) and USS Murray (code-named Tampico) moved into Cochinos Bay to evacuate retreating Brigade soldiers from beaches, before opportunist firing from Cuban army tanks caused Commodore Crutchfield to order a withdrawal.
JFK in History: The Bay of Pigs