Cuban Missile Crisis Remembered

One of the first U-2 reconnaissance
images of missile bases under
construction shown to President
Kennedy on the morning of
October 16, 1962 (Wikipedia)

I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was thirteen. We’d just moved to Virginia.

My father worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency at Arlington Hall Station, Virginia, working with reconnaissance photography of the missile buildup. He was gone a lot, and when he was home he was grim. He thought we were going to war.

There seemed no way the Soviets would back down, and we would be attacking Cuba with mostly Korean War vintage weapons, not to mention the potential of Soviet retaliation.

Khrushchev did back down. Score one for JFK.

The crisis raised awareness of the possibility of nuclear war. No, we didn’t get under our desks thinking it’d protect us from radiation, but from the flying glass. Remember, schools in those days weren’t air conditioned and had huge windows.

2 thoughts on “Cuban Missile Crisis Remembered

  1. I bet your could elaborate on your memories. I recall the missile crisis well. Scary scary and feeling sure it would be at war. However you knew more, not that your father gave you details, but just by watching his grim countenance. And you have probably read more than I ever did. My father was in WWII for 2 and a half years. He told us almost nothing. He never went higher than first class private. Early on he was in Iceland working with a camouflage team on the tanks that needed to be painted and sent off to war. Later in France. He talked about visiting bombed-out castles. In one “liberated” two tiny paintings on wood. And the long, terrible marching and marching thru France. Once he said he fell asleep and woke up to see the terrain had changed while he slept on his feet.

  2. My father started military service in 1942 and served in the Pacific doing photo reconnaissance developing and interpreting as well as combat and publicity photography. He worked with the pioneers of aerial photography.
    A good book on that subject is the 1969 book Overview A Lifelong Adventure in Aerial Photography by Gen. George W. Goddard.

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