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Thread: 1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis
08-30-08, 01:42 AM #1
1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis
I don't know why this memory now surfaces, for it is over five dedicates old now. The story I'm about to lay out is a personal account of two hours in Oct, 1962, better known as The Cuban Missile Crisis. I was at my last duty station at Marine Barracks N.A.S.
Lakehurst, N.J. and 50 mile from home. We were in the middle of the13 days that made up the missile crisis and things were getting tense as all of you that were in at the time no. We were allowed to go on liberty, but had to leave a phone # that we could be reached at, or you could not go. our orders had been cut to FMF and reserves would be brought in the take our places. As I dove home that night I wondered if this would be the last time I would make this trip, if the little town I came from would still be there in a few days, hell I wondered if the state would still be here. When I got home my mother was watching TV and we sat there watching the news about Marines boarding
ships to head for Cuba, B52s on run ways ready to go B52s in the air and holding just off the USSR, Navy ships waiting for Russian cargo ships with ICBM on board headed for Cuba, if the ships would not turn around when challenged the Navy would sink them.
I couldn't take any more good news like this and turned off the TV. My Mother said how about taking me out for some coffee, so off we went to a local diner and sat there talking for 2 hours, but never saying what was really on our minds. That this could be the last time we see each other and we had no control over what would happen in the
next days or hours. The next day I would get up and head back base, and my mother would get up and go to work just like always, In a few more days the crisis would be over and my mother and I would not talk about that night again, but we both new if it went wrong we said our good byes, just not in word but in feelings, the words not spoken some times say more. The truth is if someone did push the button 80 million
people would die in the first hour. And the Marines that would hit the beaches would not have made it, for we now no what we didn't know then was the Russian had 90 armed
tactical nukes on the island,and would have used them as soon as a landing was made. As I look back now I feel I was lucky to have the time to say good bye, for many Marines didn't have that chance. Thank God know one pushed the button.
08-30-08, 02:12 AM #2
Excellent story Bruce.
Kinda makes me wonder about all these badass poolees and wannabees that disrespect their parents and all.
Some folks you can't tell nothing, and only time will show them just how much it means to have parents still around.
The biggest part of us don't, but I can think of a jillion things I would talk about, if I had one more chance.
08-30-08, 10:54 AM #3
I was not in The Corps at this time but my father was a fighter pilot (USAF) was stationed in Tampa (McDill AFB). My mother was with my father and scared to death as he was third wave commander; he advised me that while there would be no more Cuba..there would also be no more father. I was very nervous out in Arizona working and going to college. A dumb 18 year old kid. My family remembers that time for my DAD setting on the runway for four hours while the Kennedys made very serious decisions for the world. My mother almost went crazy for she had seen this stuff before in WWII and Korea. As you stated, thank GOD no one messed up with a landing or air strikes...it would have been a mess...!!
My heart goes out to you for the stress you have faced; your family and saying good-bye is always tuff. I did so in 1967 going over the big pond.
Chuck 'C' 1/9 1967
08-30-08, 11:09 AM #4
I was with BLT 3/2,on board an APA,I think it was the George Clymer.(sp)
We were on our way to Veaques,PR,for live fire training,when we started circleing ,between Hati and Cuba.We had a few boat drills,and zeroed in the weapons as good as we could.
Then we heard JFK's speach on the ships p a system.
08-31-08, 12:34 AM #5
I was fortunate to have a mother who understood my desire to be in the Corps and to be doing what I was doing.
Once, when I deployed to the Middle East on an aircraft carrier, she told me she wished she could go along. And knowing her, there's not a doubt in my mind she was dead serious.
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