Blue Moon Readers' Comments
Updated August 11, 2014
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"Hi Ken; Thanks for your ongoing commitment and loyalty to the perpetuation of "Fightin Photo"s history.
I've given away several copies of 'Blue Moon Over Cuba' with a great deal of pride."---Captain Gerald "Jerry" Coffee
I can see where it took 3 years of your life to research and write the book.
Hope it makes the best seller list.
Great job,---LCDR Tom Larson
I have just finished reading "Blue Moon Over Cuba" and I enjoyed it so much! You have done a wonderful job of bringing all the facts together and telling the human-side of the operation as well.
This is just a note of appreciation for your years of research and the hard work. Thanks also to your wife, Darlene, who obviously supported you all the way
Kit (Mrs. William B.) Ecker
[Webmaster's Note: Mrs. Ecker provided the wonderful personal insights in the book that show that indeed, the VFP-62 wives supported their husbands in this crisis. Captain Ecker also provides a tribute to them as well.]
The stories within the stories were compelling and entertaining.
The photography your group managed to produce was simply amazing...
We as a nation owe you and all the Navy our gratitude.---Scott Weiskittel
Recently Received Reviews
- (11/6/14) I enjoyed every page of it. It sort of sits somewhere between a historical thesis and a sea story and in my oppinion that´s a perfect balance for such a piece of work: The details are there and so are the personal accounts and thoughts of those who were acctually there. Great Stuff ! Thanks again for giving me a sample of the book...I´ll put a link to it on my page..Hope it´ll generate some sales for you, cause you really deserve it ! --- Mads Bangsø
- (8/11/14): Young Ken Jack, photomate in VFP 62, recognized the import of the group's role in resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis. He made it his mission to track down the participants and record their stories and share them with us all. There is no better way to understand the heroism of the members of VFP 62 and the challenges they faced than in the words of the men themselves.
This book is a treasure to generations who have no first-hand knowledge of the tense peril of those days in 1962, and especially to us, the family of one man whose story is told, in his own words, in Mr. Jack's account.
Thank you for this book, which breaks it down, day by day, and gives us a glimpse into what my father experienced, and the role that he and his colleagues in VPF 62 played in the momentous events taking place in the world in 1962. Without the actions of these brave and resourceful young men, nuclear war loomed as a reality for a large portion of the United States. Thank you, Ken Jack.
Bronwyn Kortge and
[Webmaster's note: These reviewers are the daughters of Lt. Cdr. Bernard "Bill" Kortge, VFP-62 photo-interpreter during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His accounts are dobumented in our book.]
- (3/20/14): Great book by the way. Preordered it from Amazon so got it first day out. Read it in a matter of days. Good job. ---Kent Kaiser
- (6/7/13)--Mr. Jack,
On the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, you were at the jet museum in Washington D.C. My wife and daughter were visiting our nation's capital with my daughter's class. They bought your book and you generously signed it to me. You told them to have me write you when I was finished reading it. Here we are.
I was fascinated by the book. The stories within the stories were compelling and entertaining. The photography your group managed to produce was simply amazing. The work VFP-62 did to gather that intel clearly gave President Kennedy the leverage he needed to force the issue with Krushchev. The story of VFP-62 should be more well known. We as a nation owe you and all the Navy our gratitude.
My dad served in the Navy on the U.S.S. Tripoli in the mid to late '60s. It was always a running joke with him and his uncle ( a marine ) that the Navy is a good taxi service for the marines. My dad countered with " the marines are the mop-heads for the Navy. My dad would always get a kick out of reminding great uncle Huey that his paycheck for the marine corp had United States Navy printed across the top! No doubt, the Navy ( not the air force, don't make me laugh! ) is the power of our military. Through the Navy the United States can establish Air, Sea, and Land superiority. It's a shame this administration is cutting the Navy budget so severely.
Great book. Fantastic stories. It caused me to reminisce a lot about my dad, and those are always good memories. I hope for your continued success, congratulations on a brilliant book! Thanks for your autograph, It is awesome to have it signed on the 50th Anniversary!
Go Navy !
You have a winner. . .thanks a lot for the facts from the man who was our commanding officer---Eugene Sones
- (3/11/13)-- I would offer the opinion that you have provided a useful and well-written account of the RF-8 Photo Crusader operations over Cuba during those dangerous days of October 1962. I knew Bill Ecker fairly well, and the book is a nice tribute to him. (I met him a couple of times, interviewed him for my book DEFCON-2, and he appeared in the Discovery Channel film of the same name, based on the book, for which I was associate producer.)---Norman Polmar, author and historian
- (2/25/13)-- It's a great piece of work and a real love-letter to the F-8 in particular. It's also a great compilation of the intel and political efforts before and during the crisis as well as a lot of material on what was going on in the Pentagon. . . It's a good book and worth a look.---Rick Morgan via Barrett Tillman
- (1/24/13)Ken, I found your web site a few months ago and as a former member of VF-174 it was really a pleasure to see all of the Crusader stuff and Cecil history out there. And thanks for the reunion link -- I really enjoyed the pic's, especially of the old hangar. As some one sort of said in the reunion comments: "We were all different, and better guys for the things we learned from those experiances."
VF-174 was the F-8 RAG when I checked in around Apr 62, just out of TD'A' school. A friend from AFU school (that had gone on to AT school) and I were checking in at the same time and when noontime rolled around and we couldn't find folks to sign our sheets we went down to the tower and asked if we could go up for a look. Somewhat surprised, we were sent right up, and just in time to watch a four section F-4 takeoff. We were told that this was all of the 'new' birds that the USN had and they were on their way back home to Key West.
I remember one plane hanging back after liftoff with the gear and flaps still extended while the other three zoomed off into the distance. Finally the concerned departure controller called the straggler, asking him if he needed to declare an emergency. An older, seasoned voice responded that, no he did not have an emergency --he was just getting used to this new thing, which was a lot faster than the AD-1 Skyraider he had been driving, and it was ok if those youngsters just went on home without him because he would be there sometime.
From your awards formation photo I assume they were "VF-101" as seen on the hangar with the 6 F-4s visible in the background.[Claude is referencing the Navy Unit Commendation presentation photo showing the background of RF-8s and F-4s.]
Thanks for your efforts on the book, and the web site --while I was never in -62, I was a neighbor and the memories are nice. I really enjoyed the book, but was sort of surprised when I found no referances (other than former XO comment) to your "hangar mates."
I can remember coming to work (FAETU Training Bldg) one morning and finding all of the planes painted out with only the bars/star and a small A/C number on them. Also the aircraft slide recognition breifings that included the 'callsign' for launching 2 of the 6 F4s (sitting hot at NAS Key West) in case a MIG-21 jumped the flight. If an older Mig bounced them the escort F-8 was to handle them. Also recall that some of the flights had F-8 escort all the way from Cecil, over targets, to Key West?? [Webmaster: no fighter escorts flew over Cuba; they did escort to and from the border of Cuba.]
Great story about Navy's rapid response in a very critical period of our history. Well Done.
Former TD2 ('60 - '68)
- (1/22/13) I finished Blue Moon Over Cuba over the weekend. Thought it was terrific. A really good mix of historic factual information mixed with personal experiences.
It was very interesting in context of the movie, which I have watched several times. I always thought the calls from Kenny O'Donnell to the pilots showed an interesting personal side, only to now discover this was Hollywood dramatisation. Same for the 37mm bird strikes. Overall though I still think the movie does an excellent job of portraying the tension at the time.
Thank you for writing such a readable book. It can only help to broaden the awareness of the Crusader and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Regards, Duncan Comrie (Australia)
- (1/18/13)I purchased the book at the FORRESTAL reunion---could not put it down. I know a lot of those PH's mentioned in the back of the book. When I attended the NANP convention in San Antonio last month I mentioned to all those who attended during our annual business meeting that "Blue Moon Over Cuba" is a MUST read.
Bill (Sammy) Solt
Member of executive board of the National Association of Naval Photographers (NANP)
- (1/16/13) Thank you for your service in the U.S. Navy, and I very much enjoyed your book and that of then-Commander Ecker, Blue Moon Over Cuba. I am privileged to have been able to contribute to telling the story of VFP-62 in this way.
"This is an important book about a select group of aviators on the front lines during perhaps the most dangerous moment of the Cold war.
I have the highest respect for what you and your squadron mates did at that critical time. Kind of puts the term 'serving your country.' in a whole different context."
--- Tim Cromartie Webmaster, Hangar 47
As an old Marine VMF-2 jock flying the F2H-2p in Korea, Japan, and from Taiwan (during a dustup),
I appreciate the Cuban missions! I had a few friends flying similar operations.---Best Regards, Buck Peck
- (11/22/12): Dear Ken,
I really enjoyed Blue Moon Over Cuba. I was a member of VFP-62 at the time aboard the USS Enterprise, and I remember the night photo run that LTJG Curry made. We were all so young, I was an AE3.
The book brought out so many things that I was unaware of and I'm sure it did the same for many others. Each of us only seem to be aware of what we were experiencing at the time. I guess we were all scared but I think the book really brings home what was transpiring. We were young and invincible and today it is frightening how close to the abyss we came.
Thanks for putting all this together. The timeline of events is easier to understand. I've read many articles and writings but this one was the best for me because of the perspective
and the experiences that I had.
I hope this book is a huge success. I think all of us who served in VFP-62 have fond memories of our time in the squadron and the friends we made.--Jerry H. Smith AE3
- I got to watch [CBS News Sunday Morning ,When the US was on the Brink of Nuclear War] and liked it very much. Many times the stories will leave out the role the Navy played in the crisis, for instance; last month's American Legion National magazine. With that being said, it makes another good reason for your book, Blue Moon Over Cuba.--Robert King
I saw the Sunday Morning Show this morning on CBS. Although the segment was rather brief, I liked seeing the VFP-62 on the side of the RF-8. ---Ernie Halley
- I read your book and I could hardly put it down. You did a great job in writing it. --Raymond A. Wittenauer
- (11/7/12): Great WEB Site. Just finished the book and could hardly put it down. VFP-62 did the Navy and the Unites States proud.
- (11/1/12): Ken; Thanks for the info for your book, "Blue Moon Over Cuba". I bought a copy and enjoyed it very much........Well Done....
John "Lightnin" Davison, VFP-63 pilot
Newby Kelt and I gave a Cuban Missile Crisis presentation to the local Association of Naval Aviation meeting last Tuesday.
I plugged your book and the VFP-62 website. I think it went very well. Couldn't have done it without you.
Many thanks for your book, website and assistance.---Capt. Ed Feeks
- (10/30/12): Ken, I finally found time to read the book, Blue Moon Over Cuba, and I want to tell you that it is an outstanding book, well written and loaded with detailed facts about VFP-62's role in the crisis.
I have a difficult time reading most books but after I finally started on this one, I could't put it down except for one nights sleep. (They have to grab my attention right at the beginning. Your book accomplished this and kept me involved throughout the entire book. It exceeded my expectations by a mile or so.)
You did a fantastic job of taking Commander Ecker's information, research information, as well as your own, and weaved it all together to create a book that will be enjoyable to everyone.
Greg Engler (former AT2)
- (10/5/12): Got it a few weeks ago and just finished it. Fantastic read. Well done, Sir! I especially liked how you put Blue Moon within the context of the over all crisis. To me, your book ranks right up there with "One Minute to Midnight."
Paul Crawley [Webmaster: See Paul's Cuban Missile Crisis diorama in the "Models" pages linked from "We Love Crusaders" pages]
- (9/30/12: The book ["Blue Moon Over Cuba"] has been read for the first time. WOW, do you have any idea how much of an impact your book has on a memory of 50 years? When you consider that some of us were 19, wet behind the ears, kids at this time, our understanding of what was happening didn't truly register at that time.
This is the first time I have had an understanding of how "on edge" our world was at this time. Your details on all of the various aspects of this period give us a picture of how unsteady our world was. So many "bad" decisions were "almost" made.
Thank you for staying with the project, putting your heart / time / effort into a great part of the history of our country and VFP-62.
PN3 , VFP-62 & AVP38 [Webmaster: George contributed the story of evacuating the Guantanamo Bay dependents.]
- (9/27/12): Dear Ken;
I finished reading the book last night. Well done! My thanks to you and our capable, caring, former commander William B. Ecker. Fifty years after the fact, the attention to detail maintained over the years by Capt. Ecker and the combined research efforts by both of the co-authors, have successfully "fleshed out" the enigma that remained shrouded in mystery for so many years after the fact. The addition of personal recall stories by some of the key players, Capt. Ecker(by virtue of his diary), Jerry Coffee, Newby Kelt, Jim Curry, Tad Riley, P.J. Smith, and others, provides mission detail which serves to elevate the interest level of the reader following decision making from the EXCOMM in Washington, D.C.. I found the exchanges among the members of EXCOMM extremely interesting considering the openly hostile intent of both Russians/Cubans. I was not, however, surprised by the lack of engagement by LBJ as cited on Pg.s 161 and 167. He is, after all, the man who got us bogged down in Viet Nam as Capt. Ecker describes JFK as the man who would not have done so.
For most of us who grew up Post WWII, the Cold War is all we ever knew. The geo-political landscape involved the U.S and Russia and a policy of containment in a world where mutually assured destruction was assured given the nuclear arsenals maintained by the antagonists. None of us ever imagined, I suppose, the threat brought to within 90 miles of our shores. The intrigue which followed has finally been made some sense of thanks to your excellent work. I do recollect an intuitive sense that "something" was going on in advance of the declaration by JFK in Oct. 1962. I think my first suspicion was the OPCON by 3rd Fleet of aircraft carrier USS Lexington from Naval Base Long Beach to 2nd Fleet at Naval Base Mayport. I couldn't explain it at the time, but I tought it odd that that "power projection" platform was moved. Recall the retorical question the president always asks when global conflicts arise: "where are the carriers"?
As Jim Curry mentions in a congratulatory note the the author "I don't mean to nit-pic", but as a reader who served both as a maintainer as well as aviator, I offer these comments: Page 172, Newby Kelt offers his assessment of the Crusaders handling characteristics when handled carelessly. ....."an indication of departure was when the airplane could buck and shutter".....those may be Newby's words and if so should be inclusive, but the NATOPS Manuals refer to to that sequence as "shudder". Nit pickin, I know. A point of omission is found on page 186 where the defense capabilities of the Marines and SeaBees at Gitmo is enumerated. Text cites "8mm mortars" in defense of the fence line. The Marine Corps maintained, at the time, 60mm, 81mm, and 4.2" mortars. The 60's and 81's still exist......the 4.2" wasn't practical in Marine Corps Weapons Companies and went the way of the buggy whip.
In closing, I offer my own congratulatory note. Thank you for pursuing the effort begun by Capt. Ecker and adding your own initiative, drive, and personal time and effort to finish the story and provide meaning for so many of us who were a small part of it.
Semper Fi, Pete Hanner [Webmaster: Pete was an AE2 in VFP-62, went to college, then flight school and flew helicopters in Vietnam and Harriers with the Marines. He retired as a Lt.Col. USMC.]
I loved your book--thought it was outstanding!
In fact, I liked it so much I reviewed it for Amazon books this morning.
Now I am waiting for your next book........Eldora Larson
- (9/22/12: Mr. Jack,
Good morning. My name is Wes Hays, Jr., and I have heard my Dad, Wes Hays, Sr., talk about Bill Ecker all my life. They were shipmates in VBF-10 on the Intrepid at the end of WWII. I am sending him a link to this website. I know he will enjoy it a lot. You probably also know Bob Gandt. Bob wrote "Twilight Warriors" about Air Group 10 when they were at Okinawa.
I am very much looking forward to the book coming out on Kindle. Hopefully it will be soon.
Thank you for your service, and preservation of history…..
God Bless America!!!!!!!
[Wes Hays Sr is pictured in the first section of photos in the book. He is 91 and his son Wes Jr. bought a book for him.]
- (9/19/12):I finished reading Blue Moon yesterday. I enjoyed it very much. Some old memories, new facts and some insights. Very well done! Thanks.
Capt. Ed Feeks [Ed was a VFP-62 pilot who flew 4 missions over Cuba.]
- (9/19/12):I really liked the book as it filled in many blanks that no one knows about, and what goes on behind closed doors. The military jargon threw me for a loop, and I had to reread many pages several times to understand what I was reading. I didn't remember that a U-2 pilot was shot down and killed over Cuba. All of the flight missions gathering photos of the Russian military installations tallied up to be a huge number of flights; underestimating the Russian land forces by 40,000 troops was a major mistake. The most amazing fact was that Khrushchev came to admire JFK as a diplomat and leader.
- (9/7/12): Ken,
I started your book last night and had to force myself to put it down. I picked it back up this morning and just finished it. What a phenomenal accomplishment. I was expecting more of a historical, factual based account of the Cuban Missile Crisis backed up with memoirs only. What I experienced was a riveting, suspense filled account of actual experiences combined with character studies involving tense moments of decision making, emotions, politics and drama. I was fully captivated, especially through the first 10 chapters. I have a new appreciation of the events that will have occurred 50 years ago next month.
You deserve congratulations by everyone in this country for detailing the events during such a tense period in our Nation's past. I am sure your VFP-62 unit appreciates your accomplishment in documenting their contribution. The Navy Unit Commendation Medal your unit received will be only the beginning of appreciations your unit is deserving.
Dave Jackson [Vietnam USMC officer]
- (9/4/12): Ken, I finished the book last week, and want to congratulate you again on your magnificent work for this book. The inclusion of so much detail on the EXCOM meetings and quotes from Robert Kennedy and others really makes this book an important contribution to our history and the events of the CMC. I hope that this book will get into the hands of many citizens of this nation, and be widely read and discussed.
Your book should make every member of VFP-62 very proud of their contribution to the peace of our nation. This book tells the story of the significant contribution of photo intelligence and the role of our squadronmates in 1962. Your book should make every member of VFP-62 very proud of their contribution to the peace of our nation.
I am happy that you emphasized the significant role of the enlisted sailors who maintained our aircraft. Throughout my career, I was always very grateful for the conscientious way the maintainers provided safe aircraft for me to fly. I never experienced a problem with an aircraft in more than 5,000 hours of flight time that was caused by faulty maintenance.
Capt. Jim Curry
[Jim provided the story of his two night photoruns over Gitmo for the book. He also provided corrections/clarificatons that need to be made regarding (1)Guns not part of Navy F4 Phantoms and (2) a clarification that his second night photo mission provided the photos mentioned in the chapter on Night Photo Missions.]
- (9/4/12): Great book. We just ordered four more copies from Amazon, Two for my kids, one for my brother in law and one to loan out to folks who I think will enjoy the book. ( My autographed copy will remain at home for Eldora and me.)
I finished the book in three nights. Didn't know how little I knew of the Crisis and events leading up to VFP-62's involvement. Eldora has started the book now. She was more aware of what was happening, being on the home front, than us Det 59ers [Det 59 Forrestal].
Thanks again for all your dedication and research,
Eldora and Tom Larson [Tom was a VFP-62 pilot]
- (9/4/12: Hello Ken ------ I got my book last week and I am half way through it
----- Good reading ---- very informational reading ---- a lot of info that I had forgotten or really did not know ----- It's feels great to have been part of American history ---- Thank you for all of your efforts that helped this publication materialize.
Barry Hertzog AE2
- (9/1/12): It has been an enjoyable and interesting read. I connected several facets of what was done during The Crisis.
The F-101 Voodoos were parked behind our Crusaders for awhile, and one of the pilots asked me if I could help him light off his engine. This involved opening a door in the fuselage and inserting a pyrotechnic device so he could get the turbine spinning enough to "light the fire".
The book is very well organized, and leads one from a time detail to a historical detail deftly. Thanks for a wonderful experience.
Richard Flake AMSC
[Richard was with the "Rotten Cotton Ball" detachment at Key West during the crisis.]
- (8/30/12): Blue Moon Over Cuba arrived. I'm enjoying every page.
I was stationed at VT-2, Whiting, '61-'63 when this was all going on.
In 64 I was transferred to VU-10, Leeward Point, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with a stop over at NAS JAX and Cecil Field for 6 month training on the F8 Crusader. I went from working on T-28's to F8 Crusaders.
I Loved The Crusaders. It's sad to say, VU-10 and the F8's that defended the base and the Fleet is the least known Squadron in the Navy. After my Enlistment in the Navy I spent 19 years working on and crewing UH-1M/H helicopters and AH-1F Cobra's. But I owe my foundation for my future to serving in the United States Navy.
Thanks for all you did.
Bill Sedlak NJARNG (Ret)
- (8/29/12): I just finished your book Ken and must say I am impressed and awed at the same time. At the time I was a PT3 working on the photo line as I was trying to change my rate to PH (this got shot down because of the crisis). I was sent to Key West for the duration and although directly involved I had no idea of what was really going on around me. I don't think any of us (except pilots) did. I had no idea as to how close we came to WW-III. It is really scary.
I could go on and on but let me just say thank you for a very great and enlightening book. I am very proud to have served with all my shipmates in VFP-62 at the time.
Bill Hile PTC USN Ret
In all of my twenty years of active service I still think that William B. Ecker was one of the finest skippers I had the privilige to serve under. He was avery good man.
- (8/25/12): Just finished reading "Blue Moon Over Cuba",. Thanks for a job well done, and I highly recommend it to all shipmates that served in VFP-62.
I just happen to be one of those that experienced the two hour recall and became a part of of the detachment on the USS Independence.Thanks again.
Richard Gregory AEC USN RET
- (8/20/12): Finished your extremely well researched and written account of the CMC events. The details, background and minutiae make this especially interesting.
I don't think anybody has investigated and published anything tying the political decisions to the photo reconnaissance information VFP-62 provided.
Very thought provoking conclusions, analysis, and editorial comment in the "Hooligans" chapter (probably should have been retitled). . .can't help but think of the parallels between JFK's CMC options you wrote about and present-day Iran.
Tom Pinkley, ADJ2
I remain amazed at the amount of research y'all did and the details you included.. Kudos---Jack Davis, ADC
- Hi Ken,
I'm really gobsmacked !!!!! ( That word comes from my Welsh relatives.)
"Blue Moon Over Cuba" is a masterpiece work that you orchestrated from a short story of VFP-62's role in the CMC [Cuban Missile Crisis]. The story of heroes, as presented by Skipper Bill Ecker's, first hand account, has been expanded into a book of historic dimension……factual, thought provoking, and yet, an easy read.
I bet you are feeling a great sense of relief and satisfaction now that this passionate endeavor is complete. Will there be a book tour? The vast cast of players you mustered up is amazing.... what diligence on your part.
Once again Bravo Zulu !!!
Capt. Adam Miklovis
[Webmaster's Note: Adam was my photo officer on the Forrestal Det 1962-63 and reviewed an early draft of the book.]
- I just finished the book and I think you hit a "Home Run." I was ammazed at how much was going on during those 13 days that I didn't know anything about. You really put yourself out with all that background research. Congratulation !!!
I would be remiss if I didn't "nit-pit" a little. On page 34 you say that the F2H-2P was powered by one J-34. I don't know what type engine it was, but there were two of them. Maybe you can make that correction on the second run.
LCDR Tad Riley
[Webmaster's Note: Tad provided major pilot accounts to the book. I'll fix the error if we have a reprint.]
- "Blue Moon" is an excellent compilation of the true story of VFP-62's contribution to the evidence that proved to the world that the USSR had indeed introduced nuclear weapons to Cuba, just 90 miles away from the USA. Whereas other recent accounts have recognized the US Navy's superior aerial photographic reconnaissance capabilities "Blue Moon" highlights the reasons why the Navy was way ahead of the USAF in true "useful" aerial reconnaissance. Some pilots in the USN, USMC and the USAF considered "photo recce" as a game.
The extremely competent PI s could determine from results as to whether the problem was incompetence or non-acceptance of the mission. They influenced as to which pilots were selected to fly important missions...And as noted on page 237 it is noted that the CIA did not tell the pilots what the purpose of the mission was...Certainly fits the pattern. I now wonder if my Skipper knew what the purpose of our mission was ???
Congratulations , KEN! One hell of a lot of work! and sincere dedication!
Capt. P.J. Smith
[Webmaster's Note: P.J. provided the story on pre-Cuban crisis photo missions in the book.]
- I just finished reading Blue Moon over Cuba. It is an impressive piece of work. You covered in detail an excellent account of the tactical and operational side of operation Blue Moon as well as the overall mission of a photo recon squadron during that period. Adding the strategic side from the White House put the story together very well.
It is a story that was worth telling and really pointed out the importance of the success of the mission as well as the risks. You outlined well some good examples of how a judgment or misjudgment of a single individual at all levels could and did in some examples change the direction and out come of the conflict.
It pointed out the valuable contribution VFP 62 made to the resolution of a military confrontation that came too close to almost ending the world, as we know it today. It was a privilege to be a member of the squadron; your book reinforced that.
I can only imagine the amount of time and effort you put into it --my complements go out to you.
Congratulation on your work on a very important piece of history.
Pete Wallace (former ADJ2)
[Webmaster's Note: Pete is the co-sponsor of vfp62.com]
I have barely had time to crack it open but I did stare at the cover for a very long time - what a great painting!
I wish I could paint like that! ---Mike Olivieri
- Got it Thursday and FINISHED it today [Monday]. It explained a lot of the stuff we (maint. people) never knew. I was on the Enterprise, and we flew quiet a lot during those days, But we know not where they went, sometimes they would come back, and sometimes they would be gone a couple days, Never saw the photo's of Cuba, and never suspected how close we came to war, Until the Chief told us.
When, and if we launched our aircraft, for a ALPHA strike, we were to fall in on the hangar deck. To draw small arms and Piss pots, (helmets). Scary , HUh. Sailors with guns.
Thanks for this insight into our role in the past, makes me proud..
Jack R. Davis ADC USN (retired)
- My pleasure meeting you at the Forrestal Memorial Reunion. I'm having a great time reading Blue Moon over Cuba. Your book is already a personal treasure, especially since the author is a shipmate from my home state. I never really understood the crisis. I plan to read it twice initially. I appreciate someone who loves the Navy as much as I do.
AO2/CAPT USN (Ret)
- Finished the book earlier today. Great Job. Can't believe the research you were required to do to present the story properly.
It was an easy read except for a couple of parts I actually had to reread to make sense. I know you didn't write all of it so not knowing what parts are all yours I won't be critical but I can compare it with what I believe is stuff you authored and say I think it was not your words.
Anyhow good job. When do you expect to start the sequal?
Two minor corrections: (1) the description on the left hand picture in the first photo plate section of the KA-45 camera from Owen says it is a between the lens shutter instead of a focal plane shutter. (2) Page 186 line 3 you call the mortar as 8mm. Should be 80 mm.
John Sees (former PH2)
- On a scale of one-ten, I rate the book a Ten! As a squadron member, the reading was very vivid and emotionally engaging. I was more deliberate in reading than in any other book that I can recall.
I did not arrive in the squadron until Feb. '63 but during the book I felt as if I was on the ground and in the air during the crisis.
I was relating to my daughters about the book and our Navy memories. I told them that while reading the book I would notice what page number I was on and I knew how many pages to finish, and would tell myself to slow down, wanting the good experience to last longer. Some books unfortunately, it's the other way around. One thing for sure, I will probably read it again.
What a great thing you did to include all squadron members [in the Appendix]. You are a historian for VFP-62. I am proud to have served with you in the Navy. It is with great honor to be a friend and shipmate.
Robert King (former ADJ3)
- I finished the book by Capt. Ecker & yourself. You are to be commended for putting the truth out to the public. I'm putting my copy together with the newsletter that the commander put out soon after the crisis was over. I'll pass them down through my family hoping they will see what our squadron did (not the Air Force).
Eugene Sones (retired ADJSC)
In sum, it seems you and your co-author, CAPT Ecker, have created an amalgam of unique and insightful information
that's not really available otherwise...!
--Jon Corey, PhD/ Maj. USA (ret.)