Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy was informed by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara during an afternoon meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council that a U-2 piloted by Major Rudolf Anderson* was shot down by Soviet SAM (surface-to-air) missiles as he was returning from a mission over Cuba.
Anderson, who was 35 years old, died at 11:19 a.m. as a result of shrapnel from the exploding Soviet missile puncturing his pressure suit causing it to decompress at high altitude.
Soviet Major Ivan Gerchenov gave the order to shoot down the U-2 after being unable to get a response from higher authorities.
Robert Kennedy later wrote...
"The President....was more disturbed by the death of Major Anderson...than he was worried about Khrushchev. He asked the Defense Department to find out if Anderson had a wife and family."
When JFK received information that Major Anderson was married with 2 sons, ages 3 and 5, he said to Dave Powers...
"He had a boy about the same age as John, Jr."
*Major Rudolf 'Rudy' Anderson (1927-1962), was born in Greenville, SC and graduated from Clemson University. In 1962, he was in the 4080 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. He was honored after death with the 1st Air Force Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal.
Major Rudolf Anderson
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The White House Situation Room, located in the basement of the West Wing, was informed 52 years ago this morning, October 27, 1962, that five of six Soviet medium-range nuclear missile sites in Cuba were "fully operational."
The information, which meant most of the SE United States was within range of twenty 1 megaton nuclear warheads, was made available to the White House by the CIA.
Range of Soviet
JOINT CHIEFS CALL FOR MASSIVE AIR STRIKES
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) At a meeting in the cabinet room at the White House 52 years ago this afternoon, October 27, 1962, General Maxwell Taylor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advised President Kennedy to authorize massive air strikes on Cuba by Monday morning.
The General qualified the advice of the Joint Chiefs by adding:
"unless there in irrefutable evidence that offensive weapons are being dismantled."
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Radio Moscow read Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's second letter to President Kennedy on the air 52 years ago today, October 27, 1962.
In the letter, Mr. Khrushchev demanded, in addition to a pledge that there would be no armed invasion of Cuba by US military forces, that our nuclear missiles located in Turkey be removed as conditions for Soviet removal of their missiles and sites in Cuba.
The White House issued no comment on this letter.
"Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye" by Kenneth O'Donnell and David Powers, 1970.
" TWE Remembers: Black Saturday--Near Calamities Abound as JFK Offers Khrushchev a Deal," by J.M. Lindsay, Oct 27, 2012, www.blogs.cfr.org