Intelligence Ops during the Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

Welcome to the fifty-second episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast, this will be one of those extreme aviation moments!

My Mom and Dad were very worried when I was just a kid starting school. They watched television a lot a month and a half into my first school year, a guy named Walter Cronkite particularly. The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 had begun. Strategic Air Command’s Operation during the Cuban Crisis of 1962 was declassified years ago and details the intelligence collection operations during the spring into winter of 1962. Lockheed U-2 spyplanes photographed nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in Cuba which could reach Washington DC in fourteen minutes. This is the intelligence collection story detailing the high and low-altitude reconnaissance missions over Cuba.

Lockheed U-2 Spy Plane "B" Camera setup weighing 420 pounds with two canisters of film 6000 feet long

Financial support for the Lessons from the Cockpit show comes solely from Wall Pilot, custom aviation art for the walls of your home, office, or hanger.  

The US Air Force U-2 spy plane was a star of the show in the Cuban Missile Crisis. A four, six, or eight-foot-long print of the Dragon Lady can be purchased here.

The Navy’s P2V Neptune maritime patrol airplane monitoring Russian commercial ships and submarines during the Cuban Missile Crisis can be purchased here.

Thanks for downloading and listening to this episode of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast. This and previous episodes of the Lessons from the Cockpit podcast can be found on my website at

Next week’s episode will cover the air-breathing nuclear response by Strategic Air Command and what B-47s, B-52s and the KC-97/KC-135 fleet did during the October and November Missile Crisis. 

Check out this episode!

Mark Hasara

Have a great Day!

Sluggo Sends!

P.S. — If you’re reading my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in a review on Amazon here, I read them all.

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