Pearre Cabell (October 11, 1903 May 25, 1971) was
an United States Air Force General and deputy director
of the Central Intelligence Agency.
was the son of Ben E. (son of Confederate general William
L. Cabell) and Sadie E. (Pearre) Cabell and attended Oak
Cliff High School in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from
the West Point in 1925. He was initially commissioned
as an artillery lieutenant and served in the field artillery
until 1931, when he went to flying school, and was transferred
to the Air Corps. He served in a variety of aviation roles
as a staff officer and squadron commander throughout the
pre-war years, primarily in observation and pursuit squadrons.
His observation roles led naturally to his later involvement
in photographic and intelligence roles.
achieved the rank of colonel in 1942 and brigadier general
in 1944, serving both at Air Force headquarters at The
Pentagon and in the European Theater. During the late
1940s and early 1950s, he held a variety of staff headquarters
positions, including chief of Air Force intelligence 1948-1951,
and director of the staff for the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1949, Cabell set up Project Grudge to "make a study
reviewing the UFO situation for AF HQ." However,
Grudge quickly became all but moribund, while simultaneously
reporting that all UFO cases were being closely investigated.
When Cabell learned of this, he ordered Grudge dissolved
and ordered that the "open minded" Project Blue
Book be created.
1952, he was an enthusiastic promoter of the U-2 spy plane,
along with Allen Welsh Dulles and John Foster Dulles.
April 23, 1953, while still an active Air Force officer,
he was appointed deputy director of the CIA. In 1956,
along with the CIA's Richard Bissell, he flew to Bonn,
to brief the West German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer,
on the U-2 program. Adenauer allowed U-2 planes, pilots,
and support teams to be based at Wiesbaden. He was promoted
to full general in 1958.
became Deputy Director of CIA under Allen Dulles. He was
forced by President Kennedy to resign, on January 31,
1962, following the failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
Cabell's brother, Earle Cabell, was Mayor of Dallas when
Kennedy visited that city and was assassinated, on November
Washington Post revealed in 1973 that New Orleans District
Attorney Jim Garrison was preparing as late as March 1971
to accuse Charles Cabell of conspiracy in the Kennedy
assassination, although he had no evidence.
Cabell died in 1971, his brother Earle in 1975.
was married to Jacklyn DeHymel in 1934; they had two sons,
Charles P. Cabell, Jr. and Benjamin Cabell IV, and one
daughter, Catharine C. Bennett. He left an autobiography
"A Man of Intelligence: Memoirs of War, Peace and
the CIA" published in 1997. His oldest son Charles
was also an Air Force officer and West Point graduate
(Class of 1958), achieving the rank of brigadier general.
was a tenth-generation descendant of Pocahontas and a
third cousin of Navy four-star admiral Richard H. Jackson.
Graduated from West Point in 1925 and commissioned second
lieutenant of Artillery
Served with 12th Field Artillery through 1931
Assigned to flight school in 1931 and subsequently
as flight instructor; transferred to U.S. Army Air Corps.
Transferred to Panama Canal Zone in late 1931 as
adjutant of the 7th Observation Squadron; subsequently
commanded 44th Observation, 24th Pursuit, and 74th Pursuit
Squadrons in this area. Promoted Captain sometime during
Transferred to Randolph Field, Texas, as flight
instructor in 1934 and subsequently served as post adjutant
beginning in 1937.
Detailed to Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell
Field, Alabama in 1938, graduating in 1939, then detailed
to Command and General Staff College at Leavenworth, Kansas
in 1939, graduating in 1940. Promoted Major sometime during
Assigned to Photographic unit at Wright Field,
Ohio during 1940, and as an observer with the Royal Air
Force; in April 1941, he was assigned to the Office of
the Chief of the Air Corps as Chief of the Photographic
Unit. Promoted Lieutenant Colonel sometime during this
In February 1942, he was assigned as assistant
executive for technical planning and coordination in the
Office of the Chief of the Air Corps. Promoted Colonel.
During the summer of 1943, he attended the first
course of the Army and Navy Staff College.
In late 1943, he was transferred to the Eighth
Air Force and assumed command of the 45th Combat Bombardment
In April 1944, he became director of plans for
the U.S. Strategic Air Force in Europe, and later that
year, as a Brigadier General, became director of operations
and intelligence for the Mediterranean Air Forces.
In May 1945, he was assigned to Air Force headquarters
as chief of the Strategy and Policy Division.
In December 1945, he was detailed to the United
Nations Military Staff Committee where he held roles as
deputy and chief U.S. Air Force delegate to the committee.
In August 1947, he was promoted Major General and
returned to Air Force headquarters serving in planning
and intelligence roles and became director of Air Force
Intelligence in May 1948.
In November 1951, he was named director of the
Joint Staff for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During this
time, he was promoted Lieutenant General.
He became Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency in April 1953, and served in this position through
January 1962. He was promoted General in 1958.