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VFP-62 OPERATIONS OVER CUBA -- The Cuban Missile Crisis

Updated October 20, 2023
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Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
Awarded to VFP-62 by President John F. Kennedy Nov. 29, 1962

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    Updated 3/9/18

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VFP-62 "Supersonic Hooligans" Over Cuba

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Capt. William B. Ecker & Lt. Bruce Wilhelmy's flight over Cuban missile base Oct. 23, 1962

Illustration & Copyright by Mads Bangsų (Denmark)
Prints available:
--Click to Email him: email Mads Bangsų

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  • Click to go to: Information on Blue Moon Over Cuba Our book tells VFP-62's story of it's contribution to the peaceful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis---October, 1962

  • Click to go to: THREE PODCASTS with co-author Ken Jack & pilot Capt Jim Curry --Interview discussion of VFP-62's role in the Cuban Missile Criisis

  • Click to go to: Deep Dive into Cuban Missile Crisis: Articles, Smithsonian display, panel discussions and presentations with in-depth information on the Cuban Crisis. DEFCON 2 video with Capt. Ecker, United Nations confrontation, & Soviet officials help explain the crisis and VFP-62's role in the most dangerous conflict of the Cold War. Movie "Thirteen Days" video segment and "Story book" artwork of VFP-62's flight over Cuba.

  • Click to go to: Medals, Navy Unit Commendation & Praise VFP-62 awarded for it's role in providing low-level photographic intelligence that helped President Kennedy avoid World War III. Also see VFP-62 Newsletter showing squadron operations behind the flights.

  • Click to go to: Sample VFP-62 Photos Over Cuba See the clarity of the ground information these photos provided the CIA and JFK

  • Click to go to: Marine Squadron VMCJ-2 photos and link to their website. VMCJ-2 flew the same aircraft with the same cameras under the command of Capt. Ecker

  • Click to go to: Early Spying & Bay of Pigs Before the crisis, "We Were Watching" * VFP-62 and Bay of Pigs Invasion * Links to more information

  • Click to go to: The Soviet Perspective Interesting links to Soviet activities and perspectives.

Blue Moon over Cuba:
Aerial Reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Capt. William B. Ecker, USN (Ret.)
Kenneth V. Jack


      Capt. William B. Ecker, CO VFP-62 during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Oct. 16 - Nov. 22, 1962), wrote a memoir, recording the events of VFP-62 low-level photo recon missions that gave President Kennedy the evidence he needed to evaluate the threat of Soviet nuclear missiles secretly being placed in Cuba. The high-resolution VFP-62 photography directly contributed to our national security. The memoir was never published and has been expanded to cover all of the military intelligence assets and history of the Cold War's most serious confrontation that could have led to general nuclear war.

      Months before Capt. Ecker's death in November 2009, he asked me to co-author a revision of his original manuscript to include more of the squadron missions and its contribution to world peace in October-November 1962. I have obtained first-hand accounts from squadron members, researched declassified documents, and updated the contents to reveal what we now know about the crisis.
      ---Ken Jack

      Full book jacket (click above image to enlarge--use browser "back arrow" to return)

        The Inside Story of VFP-62 and the Cuban Missile Crisis

        Click here to see: Original Book Cover Artwork

        The hard-back books are no longer available from the publisher. The author has a limited number available (signed or not) at a low price. For more information, contact Webmaster from the option above.

    • Click here to read: What I learned after Blue Moon Over Cuba--Stories received by Ken Jack

    • CLICK TO SEE our Facebook page and "Like us":

      After you have read Blue Moon Over Cuba
      EMAIL YOUR REVIEW to: Ken Jack

      Click to see: .."Blue Moon over Cuba" Table of Contents Summary..

      Updated(8/11/14) CLICK TO SEE: Blue Moon Reader's Comments ...Add your comments on the book via the link above or "Email to Webmaster" link this page.

      Thank You, to all who made "Blue Moon Over Cuba" possible.

    Although I've never flown a plane in my life, I'm a great fan of those guys who have,
    in combat and recon I never tire of their stories of flying
    a jet fighter and high speed recon. You guys rock.

    Whether the war was hot or cold you hung it out for us and it's never too late to say, Thank You.
    Just a "swabby" on the deck back in '69-'71.
    ---Julian Boone (Quincy IL)

    Click to go to Top of "Cuban Missile Crisis" Page

      Listen to MP3 Podcasts of Ken Jack & Capt. Jim Curry discussing
      "Blue Moon Over Cuba" and VFP-62's role in the crisis

      [Webmaster's Note: John Tintera, Osprey Publishiing U.S. Vice-President of Marketing, Interviews VFP-62's Ken Jack & Capt. Jim Curry. Summaries and links of their content have been added below. They are not only promotions for the book but have some unusual insights regarding our squadron.

      Photo composition by Larry Plourde,
      former VFP-62 photomate second class

      • Introduction Podcast #1

        Ken explains how the book was written from Capt. Ecker's memoir; how vfp62.com has been a resource for Cuban Missile Crisis documentaries. Interview #1 with Ken Jack File size: 5.4 MB. MP3 compatible software needed. Turn speakers on.

      • Podcast #2

        Capt. Jim Curry's perspective of flying the RF-8A; summary of Jim's Navy career after VFP-62; Jim explains technical details of the photographic technology in the RF-8A; Jim explains what participation in the blockade aboard the USS Enterprise was like. Interview with Capt. Jim Curry File size: 10.4 MB

      • Podcast #3

        Ken Jack describes VFP-62's culture and role in the Cuban crisis Ken gives more detail about the photographic technology in the RF-8A; He describes the leadership and opportunities in VFP-62 for a young sailor; Descriptions of what it was like working around the Crusader; descriptions of detachments sent to carriers; Ken describes reactions to Blue Moon's publication. File Size 14.5 MB.

        Click to go to Top of "Cuban Missile Crisis" Page

    Click to enlarge

    "The Speed of Heat"
    Painting & Copyright by David B. Mueller
    Commissioned by Lawrence Plasek

      After reading Blue Moon Over Cuba, Lawrence Plasek, an aviation enthusiast, was inspired to add to his collection of historical aircraft paintings and commissioned Dave Mueller to paint the scene above. (Click to see: Story Behind the Painting) Lawrence then sought technical consultation from VFP-62 pilot Lt. Cdr. Tad Riley and Ken Jack on a two-month endeavor to get the details as historically accurate as is possible. Such details of getting the Bureau Number of the lead aircraft from Riley's logbook leading to the correct side number (925); getting the positions of the VMCJ-2 RF-8A wingman (Captain Fred Carolan) and the pursuing Soviet MiG-21 and the rooster-tail of dust created by the supersonic low-level jets over a Cuban field. Dave Mueller researched the RF-8A's panels and camera bay locations and worked with Riley to get the flight control structures correct.

      The artist will make available 62 (a nod towards VFP-62) signed and numbered Limited Edition prints on Heavy Matte paper (12"x 24", with the title and description of the scene, without the copyright watermark).

      Articles, videos & Events Commemorating the 50th Anniversary

      • (11/28/12)
        The Cold War Museum and George Mason University
        Cuban Missile Crisis 50th Anniversary Conference

      • YouTube video (approx. 1hr 17 min long): Introductory Panel Discussion

        Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, U-2 pilot Colonel Buddy Brown (USAF, Ret) and VFP-62 F8U-1P Crusader pilot Lt. Commander Tad Riley (USN, Ret), who overflew Cuban SA-2 missile sites during the crisis will discuss their mission objectives and recollections.

        Photographic interpreter, Dino Brugioni, author of "Eyeball to Eyeball", who briefed President Kennedy on the photos taken over Cuba, will provide a dramatic first hand account of the behind the scene activities of the Kennedy administration during those tense thirteen days in October 1962.

      • YouTube video (approx. 1hr 17 min long):Panel Discussion #2

        Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and author of "Nikita Khrushchev and the creation of a superpower" will provide the keynote address. Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize winning author on Robert J. Oppenheimer and GMU History Professor, Michael Dobbs, Washington Post Reporter and author of "One Minute to Midnight," and Svetlana Savranskaya, editor of "The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis" and National Security Archive's Director for Russian Archives and Institutes will conduct a roundtable discussion following Khrushchev's remarks.

      • Adobe (pdf format) 10 MB_ "VFP-62 -- Supersonic Hooligans" Article written for the National Naval Aviation Museum's FOUNDATION Fall 2011 issue by Kenneth Jack.

      • External Article: U.S. Naval Institute: The Forgotten Missiles of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Kenneth Jack

        VFP-62's photography finds Tactical Nuclear Missiles

      • Smithsonian Air & Space Museum receives Capt. William B. Ecker's Flight suit worn on first mission over Cuban missile sites. Dedicated to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Washington, D.C. Oct. 23, 2012. Note: all patches and identification has been removed. A Geneva Convention card was found in the pocket. Presented by his son, David.

      • Documentary video "DEFCON 2" with Capt. Ecker on the Cuban Missile Crisis

      • (11/7/12)EXTERNAL Link to YouTube video: Two short (7 minute) segments from documentary DEFCON 2 - Parts 5 & 6 (circa 2002)The entire program is broken up into 6 different videos. This one (parts 5 & 6) pays particular attention to VFP-62's photos. Contributed by David Ecker

      • Click to go to Top of "Cuban Missile Crisis" Page

        The Movie: "Thirteen Days" starring Kevin Costner

        Painting, "Going Feet Wet" by the movie, "Thirteen Days", storyboard artist. It depicts VFP-62 photo Crusaders flown by Capt Ecker and Lt. Wilhelmy leaving Cuba, low over the water & a Cuban fishing boat. Contributed by Dave Johnson, former F8 pilot, a resource for the film, and webmaster of "Gunfighter's Site"

        (4/3/15) Lt. Dave Johnson VF-13 received the original copy of the "Thirteen Days" storyboard for his help on the real and animated flight scenes. After many years, he gave the artwork to Ken Jack who contributed it to Battleship Memorial Park Mobile, AL for display alongside the restored VFP-62 RF-8A on display.

        Scene from the movie depicting Capt. William B. Ecker and Lt. Bruce Wilhelmy
        ready to make their first mission over Cuba
        on Oct. 23, 1962

        CLICK to see: YouTube video of: Real and animated scenes of VFP-62 low-level flight over Cuba ---from the movie "Thirteen Days". Turn your speakers up!

      • CLICK TO READ: Captain Ecker comments on the movie and the flights over Cuba
        [Webmaster's Note: Some details on this interview have minor discrepancies with the history, however they have been corrected in the book and don't detract much from the general historical account.]

      • Click to go to Top of "Cuban Missile Crisis" Page

      In short, we photo-beanies were most appreciative of the fighter guys who were there to cover us in spades...
      What a wonderful thought it was to know that they were waiting for us at our exit from the beach.
      And when we did, they would radio to say that our tails were clear. -Capt. Ed. Feeks

        VFP-62 Receives
      • Navy Unit Commendation
      • Distinguished Flying Cross awards
      • and Praise From President Kennedy

      • Overview

        During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States first learned that Russia was moving nuclear tipped missiles to Cuba by the U2 photo reconaissance plane. The U2 flew at very high altitudes and made the first discovery of the missiles. However, there was a need for closer to the ground photographs to determine with more detail the nature of this threat. This required the supersonic RF-8's capabilities.

        VFP-62 flew missions over Cuba and provided the photographic evidence President Kennedy needed to confront and evenutally eliminate the threat. VFP-62 RF-8s also flew photo missions over Russian ships coming towards Cuba to determine the nature of their cargo. When Russia decided to pull out the missiles, RF-8s followed the ships back to Russia. The RF-8s flew low and fast and none were shot down.

        Crusader overflights of Cuba began on 23 October 1962, under the code name "Blue Moon". Flights of RF-8As from Navy reconnaissance squadron VFP-62, operating in several pairs of aircraft with each pair assigned a different target, left Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West twice each day, to streak in over Cuba at low level, then return to NAS Jacksonville, where the film was offloaded and developed, to be rushed north to the Pentagon. Four Marine pilots were temporarily assigned to VFP-62 for the missions.[See VMCJ-2 story below]

        Pilots & Officers holding DFCs & NAS Boca Chica, Key West
        (L-R):W. Taylor, J. DeChant, W. Ecker, E. Feeks, R. Koch, J. Kauflin, W. Kortge, J. Pulley, Marine?
        Click photo to enlarge
        Photo: Capt. Wm Ecker

        VFP-62 pilots received the Distinguished Flying Cross

      • (3/15/13) Click to see: DFCs for Six VFP-62 Pilots Who Flew the First Cuban Missions (Oct. 23, 1962) (L-R)Lt Cdr J. Kauflin, Lt Cdr Tad Riley, Cdr. Ecker, Lt G. Coffee, Lt C. Wilhelmy,Lt j.g. J. Hewitt

      • The following pilots received their DFCs on Nov. 29, 1962

        • LCDR. A. R. Day
        • LCDR. W. N. Kelt
        • LT. E. M. Feeks
        • LT. W. L. Taylor
        • LT. R. W. Chance
        • LTJG. T. V. Hallcom
        • Four Marine pilots from VMCJ-2 received the Distinguished Flying Cross (see below):

      I served [in VFP-62] from 9-11-61 thru 10-02-62.
      I think I was last person to be discharged
      before the Cuban missile crisis froze all discharges.
      ---Bruce T McDade AE3

        ...the Cuban Missile Crisis was no crisis for VFP-62, because we could do anything asked of us...It was truly an exciting time.

        "We did not have much build-up time...[for] The Cuban missile crisis; We had 29 aircraft, 7 Detachments, using 20 of them, and 2 not flyable (cannibalized). We only had 2 or 3 with the new 5 inch format Chicago Aerial Cameras installed, that worked. The mission called for 8 camera ready Birds, and we had 7. I had never seen so many FLASH messages [wartime priority], and near instant supply response.

        We got the word late Monday, and the first mission was set for the following Sunday at 8AM, for 8 camera ready birds to take off from Key West. It took a minor miracle but we did it.

        There is a whole lot more to this story that most folks don?t know. Sunny Jim Curry was a J.O. not yet assigned to a detachment and he flew test hops day and night, checking the latest tweek on camera systems. We had to ensure that everything would work at high speed low level (500 ft,550-600 knots). We didn?t usually operate that way. It was truly an exciting time."

        Cdr. John DeChant, USN Ret and Squadron Maintenance Officer during the Cuban Missile Crisis

      "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile ...
      can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction,
      'I served in the United States Navy.'"
      President John F. Kennedy, 1963, Annapolis MD


        Photo: John F. Kennedy addresses the nation during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

        Presenting the Photo Evidence at the UN (October 25, 1962)
        Photo Contributed by Larry Plourde PH2

      • (2/27/13) Click this link to see Cuban Missile Crisis Photos New photos showing low-level photographs and Hawk missile air defense in Key West Florida--Contributed by Larry Plourde, PH2

      • VFP-62 Low-Level Aerial Reconnaissance Photos

        VFP-62's First Mission Over Cuba (Oct. 23, 1962) San Cristobal missile site
        showing 5 missiles under covers. Foreground shows missile preparation tent. Look for man center-right.

        [Webmaster's Note: These photos were presented at the Smithsonian Seminar held July 10, 2008, where Michael Dobb's presented his book "One Minute to Midnight". A panel included Mr. Brugioni, and Capt. Jim Curry VFP-62 pilot. Mr Brugioni was a Senior Official at the National Photographic Interpretation Center during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Courtesy Dino Brugioni and Contributed by Jim Curry]

      • Adobe (.pdf format) U2 photo that started the crisis Photo opens in a new window.

      • VFP-62 photo - fabulous detail San Cristobal Cuba: Five covered missiles and missile preparation tent.

      • Adobe (.pdf format) VFP-62 photo Use browser "back arrow" to return to this page.

      • Adobe (.pdf format) VFP-62 photo - Smile you're on VFP-62 camera! Use browser "back arrow" to return to this page.

      • Adobe (.pdf format) VFP-62 photo Use browser "back arrow" to return to this page.

      • Adobe (.pdf format) VFP-62 photo - shows VFP-62's superior capabilities Use browser "back arrow" to return to this page.

      • Adobe (.pdf format) VFP-62 photo - JFK presenting Unit Commendation to squadron Use browser "back arrow" to return to this page.
      • Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge

        Click on photos to enlarge. Note: photo can enlarge further in new window.

        Credits: Dino Brugioni, senior official at the CIA National Photographic Interpretation Center, David and William Ecker

        [Webmaster's Note: These photos are part of an exhibit show case, by the RF-8A Crusader, restored at Battleship Park, Mobile AL. The exhibit case contains memorabilia, donated by VFP-62 squadron members, to inform the public on the role that VFP-62 and the RF-8A played in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Our thanks to Owen Miller, Battleship Park, for scanning these photos for our site.]

        Another Great Book on Cuban Missile Crisis
        Including VFP-62 Missions & Photos

        "One Minute to Midnight"
        by Michael Dobbs

      • Michael Dobbs is the first Cuban missile crisis researcher to make use of the raw intelligence film shot by U.S. Navy Crusader jets over Cuba. Dobbs uses the film to pinpoint the location of Soviet nuclear bunkers in Cuba and to recreate several Blue Moon missions over the missile sites.

        The book, "One Minute to Midnight" also includes a detailed account plus photographs of the missions of Commander William Ecker and Lieutenant Gerald Coffee. Coffee was commended by the Navy for diverting from his planned flight route on October 25, 1962 to take the first photographs of nuclear-capable Soviet FROG missiles. As a result of Coffee's photographs, the Pentagon revised its entire invasion plan for Cuba.

        EXTERNAL LINK: Here is a link to purchase the book: One Minute to Midnight from Amazon.com

        Click for : Book Reviews on "One Minute to Midnight" and Smithsonian Seminar

      • Click Photo to Enlarge. L-R CDR William Ecker Marine Capt John Hudson Click photo to enlarge. RF8 over Cuba Click photo to enlarge. L-R LT Jerry Coffee, Rear Admiral John Carson, LTjg Art Day

        Click photos to enlarge. L-R: Photo #1: [VFP-62 CO] Commander William Ecker (left) and Marine Captain John Hudson---Note "Castro & dead chicken" stencil denoting a completed mission;

        Photo #2: This is the only photograph you are likely to see of a Crusader [actually a VMCJ-2 RF-8] over Cuba during the missile crisis (or at any other time). It was shot on October 25 Blue Moon Mission 5010, from raw intelligence film that I discovered at the National Archives. (As you know, the planes flew in pairs, and sometimes shot photographs of each other.)

        Photo #3: LT Gerald Coffee (left) and LT. Arthur Day (right) being debriefed by Rear Admiral Joseph Carson, Commander of Fleet Air Jacksonville.....Michael Dobbs, author "One Minute to Midnight"

        "Photos contributed by: Michael Dobbs, author of "One Minute to Midnight"

        Click to go to Top of "Cuban Missile Crisis" Page

        The Marine Corp (VMCJ-2) Contribution to the Cuban Missile Crisis

        (3/19/13) (Click photo to enlarge) This photo was most likely taken from a RF-8A oblique camera while on the tarmac at NAS Boca Chica, Key West Florida or, perhaps, NAS Jacksonville. Note the VMCJ-2 RF-8A on the right with tail code "CY". On the left and in the distance are VFP-62 RF-8As.

        Photos like this were part of the pre-flight testing of cameras and became part of the mission film processed upon arrival back at NAS Jacksonville, Fleet Air Photo Lab. Note the film roll sprockets and technical data recorded by the camera. Photo taken on October 25, 1962, the first day for VMCJ-2 to fly photo missions.

        Photo courtesy and copyright: Tim Brown, Senior Fellow, Globalsecurity.org

      • CLICK to see: USMC Photo and information of VMCJ-2 CMC AUGMENTATION DETACHMENT to VFP-62

      • Click to go to Top of "Cuban Missile Crisis" Page

        Additional Stories of the Cuban Missile Crisis

      • USS Enterprise Oct. 22, 1962
        Cuban Missile Crisis blockade---photo via Pete Wallace

        Two carriers (USS Enterprise CVN 65 and USS Independence CVA 62)were part of the US blockade of Cuba during the Cuban crisis. The above photo shows VFP-62 RF-8A Bu No 145645 (nose number 913)forward (port side)on the flightdeck. This aircraft made two night photo missions over Guantanamo Naval Base to check on Cuban activity around the base. Lt. Jim Curry flew those missions. Note the flare compartment covers behind the cockpit are removed.

        This RF-8 is now restored and is at Battleship Memorial Park Mobile, AL.

      • Click on following links for more information

      • (Word Document) Tom Cornelison, wrote this insightful article for the June 2007 Jacksonville Magazine. Tom provides comments from former VFP-62 pilots Capt's Ed Feeks and Newby Kelt. It is reproduced here with permission. Crisis Averted

      • Capt. Jerry Coffee flew VFP-62 missions over Cuba and provides some reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Photo that Averted Nuclear War-Additional information on fighter squadron protection of the mission.

      • Capt. Jim Curry relates his night photo run over Guantanamo Cuba

      • EXTERNAL LINK: Adobe (.pdf)Excellent source of information: Naval History and Heritage Command_

        Cuban Missile Crisis, photos, and numerouse links to historical information.
      • EXTERNAL LINK:Enormous amount of declassified documents : George Washington University National Archives Information on 40th Anniversary of Cuban Missile Crisis. Excellent site full of information.

      • LIFE Magazine Cover Nov. 9, 1962

      • LIFE Magazine Cover Nov. 2, 1962

      • Aerial photos (both U2 and RF-8) of the missiles in Cuba --National Security Archives at George Washington University

      • The Crusader in Action...progression from high altitude U2 flights to low level RF-8's.--Also history of RF-8s 1962-73

        Before the October Flights, "We were Watching"

        [Webmaster's Note: VFP-62 pilot, Phillip J. Smith (P.J.) provides this little known history of U2 and VFP-62 RF-8A reconnaisance flights over Cuba in the Spring of 1962. We are requesting any additional information.]

        P.J.'s account:

        "Skipper [George] Winslow alerted me that we would be flying that weekend. I had no clue as to where we might be going. He briefed that if either went down, flight was to return to Cecil Field. As we continued out over just south of the Bahamas I recognized that we were headed for Cuba. Skipper had said that we would make some photo runs and they would be done on mike clicks, no voice commands.

        I do not recall altitude of runs that we made over Cuba but we ran out of film and got out of there! We landed at Homestead AFB and film was removed by people I had never seen before, nor have ever known again. What happened to that film?

        Skipper told me not to log flights and do not discuss with anyone! Until recently I have not!

        The irony of it all was that Lt Glen Hyde, [USAF] U2 pilot, also went down during those early days, in addition to Major Rudolph...(See story this page...Webmaster). Only a few years ago Lt Hyde was found still in the cockpit in the Gulf. [Webmaster: we are still trying to determine what brought the U2 down; hostile fire or mechanical problems. Information requested]

        Glen and I were friends from the same neighborhood in La Grange , GA. Our families were close and I am still in touch with his younger brother!

        A few years back I authorized the VFW to look at my service jacket to verify eligibility. It was only then that I discovered the Naval Expeditionary Medal (CUBA) award. Skipper Winslow never told me that he had written that up either, it was news to me."

        Before the Cuban Missile Crisis, There was

        The Bay of Pigs Invasion - April 1961

        Interesting story of VFP-62 "Gray Ghosts": Frank W. Schrader,AE2, Det 41-60 USS Independence, recalls painting their RF-8's (F8U-1P's) all gray and their mysterious mission during the VFP-62 and the Bay of Pigs Invasion

        Click to go to Top of "Cuban Missile Crisis" Page

        The Crisis from the Russian Perspective

        Soviet MiG-21 F-13
        Photo Courtesy Sergey Isaev (see link below)

      • The Russian 32nd Guards Fighter Regimant: The Russian Air Force in Cuba --by Sergey Isaev. Personal accounts of the depoyment to Cuba; what life was like during the crisis; Good photos and more. [Webmaster's Note: Some of the information about American reconnaissance is not factually complete, e.g. the Air Force F-101 [actually RF-101C] Voodoo gets most of the attention with no Russian perception of VFP-62's RF-8As doing much of the low-level fly-overs. Nevertheless it is fascinating reading with lots of photos.]--Contributed by Dave Johnson & Walt Quist

      • (11/2/14) Sergey Isaev once again writes about the Soviet deployment to Cuba: "The Stumbling Block". The 759th mine-and-torpedo aviation regiment on Cuba during the Caribbean crisis of 1962"--Translated into English this personal account of the little known deployment of the nuclear-capable Il-28 Soviet medium-range bomber and its squadron. The presence of the Il-28 in Cuba in late 1962, after the removal of the nuclear missiles, was the last diplomatic hurdle that the Kennedy administration had to complete before the crisis was considered over. Lots of photos, a few from Blue Moon Over Cuba makes this memoir a personal historical account. Written with a balanced perspective and no political agenda, it reveals the personal sacrifice Soviet Air Force servicemen made to accomplish their mission.

        An excerpt:

        Americans daily and very punctually, from 9 am till dinner time flied over our airbase . . . At the moment two American planes entered the space of our airdrome. When they were near our command post at a low altitude, someone opened automatic fire. We had no idea who fired. But the Cuban AA machine gun's crews, taking it as a signal, opened fire, too. . . The mission over, the Americans left the space unharmed. But for some time there were no flights over our airbase since then." [as told by Soviet officer, Lev Evseev]

      • (1/18/13)YouTube video of Sergei Khrushchev's (son of Nikita) analysis: The Cuban Missile Crisis from the Soviet Perspective

      Click to go to Top of "Cuban Missile Crisis" Page