Missiles of October

Thunder at the Brink, 1962

KLICKEN SIE HIER FÜR DEUTSCHE SPRACHE

One Pivital Day during the SECOND
Thirteen Days of the Cuban Missile Crisis


On 11/9/62 the USS Newport News was ordered to inspect the Labinsk, the first of six Russian ships removing missiles from Cuba to insure that the cargo was, in fact, missiles and not decoys. Although Kennedy and Kruschev had an agreement, the shooting down of a U2 had reignited the tension. The long delays between our requests to uncover missiles and their responses was evidence that both ships were getting their orders from Moscow and Washington.

One of the canvas-covered missiles can be seen forward of the bridge

(Photos above and below by Chet Robinson, NN61-64)

The standoff lasted for hours as Thunder (Newport News) waited for the missiles to be uncovered


Photos below from Official US Navy film taken from Helo (see Chet's Log Below)
and as shown on the History Channel's Navy at War Series

Note that Turret One is trained to Port and ready to fire a warning shot over the Ruskie's Bow


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REMEMBRANCES:

CLICK FOR MP3 SOUND OF JFK 10/22/62

10/23/62 White House Meeting: JFK predicts a real fight including shooting in order to board and search a Soviet ship. Says we might have to shoot the rudder or even sink a ship-very dangerous and uncertain situation. He suggests the Soviets might have hundreds of marines on board but Bundy says crews on these ships are small and a big fight unlikely. Laughter results when JFK talks about stopping and disabling a ship, towing it to a US port and finding it carried baby food. McNamara says any ship to be towed would be searched first. [Source: JFK Library release notes prepared by Sheldon M. Stern]

I was radar operator in Sky One during this event. After a long wait, the Captain of the Russian ship still refused to uncover the missiles for us to inspect. Under orders from the Admiral, we put Turret One in Automatic and were ready to fire a round over their Bow and, if that didn't work, we were to fire a round into their Bow (or rudder). I saw WWIII unfolding before my eyes, but the Russians blinked first and their shirtless crew came on deck and uncovered the missiles. Dexter Goad NN61-64


Shipmates who shared Remembrances - Chet's Logbook

As far as remembering what went on that day, I remember feeling real anxious when they announced that we were coming up on a Russian ship that was carrying missiles. Like you said, all I could picture was us starting an all out war. Chet Robinson, NN61-64

I was the JP talker for the Gunnery Officer (Gun Boss) at the Open topside Gun Control Station when this happened and I remember that the Russian ship took a long time to stop. Caused a lot of apprehension. I remember that the plan, in case the ship refused to stop, was to fire a warning shot over the bow and then perhaps into the bow and/or shaft area. I remember the ship finally stopped and rolled back the covers. I also seem to recall that we had the Russian interpreters on board. John McMullen NN61-64

Dexter Thanks for the Memories!! I was Mount 51 Gun Captain that day!!! I remember sitting in My gun mount ready to fire on them if they did not comply!!! Very tense times!!!! Along with you, I thought I was going to Start World War lll that day!!! Joe Marceau GMG-2 NN62-64

November 9, 1962: Ships remove Soviet MRBM missiles from Cuba. Six vessels, the Bratsk, Dvinogorsk, I. Polzunov, Labinsk, M. Anosov and Volgoles, have left Mariel since November 5, and two ships, the F. Kurchatov and the L. Komsomol depart from Casilda during this period. During the day, five of the ships are inspected at sea, with the Soviet ships pulling canvas covers off the missile transporters to allow U.S. ships to observe and photograph their contents. Assistant Secretary of Defense Arthur Sylvester later tells reporters that the "responsible people of this government are satisfied" that the ships are in fact carrying missiles. (NYT, 11/10/62)

CLICK FOR SHORT MCNAMARA TV CLIP
(Above plays best on Windows Media Player)


Sounds of Gitmo

Below songs recorded by 1st Lt Don Knepp USMC and
contributed by Leo Lawton of VU-10, Gitmo Bay, 1963

Leeward Tower, This is Navy 101 (3min MP3)
Cuba, Cuba, Cuba is My Home (5min MP3)

In the early seventies when Barbara and I
were stationed at Gitmo I asked my friend, Jim Crouch
why the locals called it LOOward Tower instead of LEEward Tower.
Jim said he wasn't sure, but he thought it was named after that
great Confederate General, Robert E. Loo.
Dexter Goad, January 2001

FROM CUBA TO VIETNAM VIDEO

By Journalist Piotr Wloczyk - Rzeczpospolita
CLICK HERE FOR OCT 2012 NEWS CLIP ONE IN POLISH
CLICK HERE FOR OCT 2012 NEWS CLIP TWO IN POLISH


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