JFK+50: Volume 5, No. 1750JFK PREPARES SPEAK TO NATION ON RESPONSE TO SOVIET MISSILES IN CUBA
The Washington Post reported...
"The sudden appearance of Marines (here) spark wide speculation as to their ultimate objective in this Cuba-conscious city just 90 miles from Havana."
The President, who first attended morning mass at St. Stephen's Church, reaffirmed the decision he made yesterday to order a naval blockade of Cuba.
The Executive Committee of the National Security Council, or EXCOM, reviewed a draft of the speech prepared by Theodore Sorensen for delivery by President Kennedy on Monday night.
Because members of EXCOM agreed that any comparison with the Soviet blockade of Berlin of 1948 should be avoided, the term blockade was replaced with "quarantine."
One of the factors perhaps influencing JFK to stay with his decision was the report by General Walter Sweeney, Jr.*, head of USAF Tactical Air Command, that a U.S. airstrike on the missiles would take out only a maximum of 90% leaving some operational.
*Walter C. Sweeney, Jr. (1909-1965) Born in Wheeling, WVA was commander of the US Army AF Task Group during the Battle of Midway in WWII.
The Four Star General, who became Director of Plans of Strategic Air Command, died in December 1965.
"TWE Remembers: JFK Prepares to Tell the Nation About Soviet Missiles in Cuba (Cuban Missile Crisis, Day 6)," by James M. Lindsay, www.blogs.cfr.org/