Blue Moon over Cuba: Aerial Reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis [NOOK Book]

Overview

Most books on the Cuban Missile Crisis tell the story using the memoirs of those who advised President Kennedy as he struggled to avoid World War III. This book is the only known personal account of the lead photographic reconnaissance squadron?s scouting dangerous low-level operations, flying the supersonic RF-8A Crusader, during the classified Operation Blue Moon. Captain Ecker was the commanding officer of US Navy Light Photographic Squadron 62 (VFP-62, otherwise known as ?Fightin? Photo?) during the Cuban ...
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Blue Moon over Cuba: Aerial Reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis

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Overview

Most books on the Cuban Missile Crisis tell the story using the memoirs of those who advised President Kennedy as he struggled to avoid World War III. This book is the only known personal account of the lead photographic reconnaissance squadron’s scouting dangerous low-level operations, flying the supersonic RF-8A Crusader, during the classified Operation Blue Moon. Captain Ecker was the commanding officer of US Navy Light Photographic Squadron 62 (VFP-62, otherwise known as “Fightin’ Photo”) during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a team created for reconnaissance and aerial photography, and consulted on the movie Thirteen Days, which included dramatic scenes of his first mission over Cuba on October 23, 1962. Blue Moon over Cuba is an authoritative and complete account of the low-level reconnaissance that might be said to have helped JFK avert nuclear Armageddon.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is extensively researched: it gives an even-handed and unbiased account of the US, Soviet and Cuban perspectives leading up to, during, and after October 1962."
--Jerry Jackson, BookMark, www.WPSU.org (September 2012)

"Many books have been written about [the Cuban Missile Crisis] and the decisions made by the president and his advisors, but none have covered the details of the Blue Moon aerial reconnaissance missions and the men who flew them ... The photos in the book are superb, and their excellent captions add greatly to bringing the story of CAPT Ecker and his squadron to life ... This is a great book and highly recommended."
--Doug Siegfried, The Hook (Fall 2012)

"This new book is based on the memoir of a recently-deceased CO of the U. S. Navy RF-8 squadron that flew the first, productive low-level missions over Cuba, and refined with material that only personal experience can bring by a former enlisted technician serving with that squadron at that time. The account provides several viewpoints into a highly readable and creditable story of just exactly how the Navy and Marine Corps aviators and gound crews contributed to the American response to the Soviets' highly provocative act of placing nuclear-armed missiles a scant 90 miles from the U. S. ... All in all, this new book is very welcome as the 50th anniversary of the crisis approaches. It is well worth reading from many perspectives, especially as an account of those tension-filled days when the entire world stood so close to the brink of its own destruction."
--Peter Mersky, Wings of Gold (Fall 2012)

"An entirely new perspective on the crisis, and is a "must" for any collection strong in either military topics or American history."
- The Midwest Book Review (November 2012)

"It is no exaggeration to say the book reads like a suspense thriller—no small feat, this being Jack’s first book."
- www.speedreraders.info

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781472802958
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/23/2013
  • Series: General Aviation
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 587,253
  • File size: 16 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

The late Captain William B Ecker USN (retired) was the commanding officer of US Navy Light Photographic Squadron 62 (VFP-62, colloquially known as ‘Fightin’ Photo’) during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His memoir of the squadron’s dangerous low-level photographic missions over Cuba was written in 1986, shortly after he was honored by the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. However, it was never published. It is the only known personally written account of the squadron’s reconnaissance missions, flying the supersonic RF-8A Crusader, during the classified operation codenamed Blue Moon. Capt Ecker consulted on the movie Thirteen Days, which included dramatic (animated and live) scenes of his first mission over Cuba on 23 October 1962. Actor Chris Lawford played the role of (then) Cdr Ecker and superstar Kevin Costner was a producer and lead actor in the film. Lawford, the son of actor Peter Lawford, is also the real-life nephew of President John F Kennedy, the American president at the time of the crisis.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7

Foreword 11

Author's Notes 16

Chapter 1 The Making of a Fighter Pilot 23

Chapter 2 "Eyes of the Fleet" 33

Chapter 3 The Military Build-up in Cuba - July to October 15, 1962 51

Chapter 4 The Cuban Crisis Begins - October 16-22, 1962 63

Chapter 5 Executing the Mission - October 23, 1962 87

Chapter 6 Pentagon Briefing - October 23, 1962 107

Chapter 7 The USAF Gets its Chance - October 24, 1962 115

Chapter 8 Showdown at the United Nations - October 25, 1962 123

Chapter 9 The Marines Join Blue Moon Missions - October 25, 1962 133

Chapter 10 The Crisis Mounts - October 25-29, 1962 139

Chapter 11 Unarmed, Unescorted, & Unafraid 169

Chapter 12 Night Photo Missions Over Gitmo - November 5, 1962 183

Chapter 13 Verifying the Removal of Missiles - November 1962 189

Chapter 14 Medals and Commendations 203

Chapter 15 Thirteen Days - the Movie 213

Chapter 16 "Hooligans in the Sky" 221

Endnotes 244

Appendices

Scale drawings of the RF-8A 258

Map: The Nuclear Umbrella Facing President Kennedy 260

Map: Cuba, October 1962 261

Map: The Cuban Military Build-Up 262

Address by President John F. Kennedy, October 22, 1962 263

President Kennedy's Remarks in Key West upon Presenting Unit Citations at the Boca Chica Naval Air Station on November 26, 1962 270

VFP-62 Recipients of the Navy Unit Commendation 272

Index 281

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2014

    James

    Oh its Mark.....gtgtb bbt

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    A must read for anyone interested in the history of the Missile

    A must read for anyone interested in the history of the Missile Crisis! Blue Moon Over Cuba gives a vivid account of how VFP-62's high-speed, low-altitude photography provided President Kennedy and policymakers in Washington with detailed photographic evidence of Soviet construction of medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Western Cuba, allowing photo interpreters and the intelligence community to identify precisely what weapons were being prepared, how fast construction was progressing, and to provide the President of an estimate of when the missiles would become operational.

    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, giving a detailed account of how heavily the intelligence community, and the President of the United States, relied on aerial reconnaissance to navigate a way out of a confrontation that had the world on the brink of nuclear war in October 1962.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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