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William Ecker Kenneth Jack BLUE MOON OVER CUBA First Edition

William Ecker Kenneth Jack BLUE MOON OVER CUBA First Edition

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First edition, first print hardback of BLUE MOON OVER CUBA: Aerial Reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis by William B Ecker USN (ret.) and Kenneth V. Jack, published by Osprey Publishing Limited, London, in 2012. Foreword by Michael Dobbs.

The book is in very good condition (Clean white cloth boards with blue lettering on the spine), with only minor wear to the illustrated dust jacket which is not price clipped. Internally, the pages are clean and tight and there are no tears and no inscriptions.

The late Captain William B Ecker USN was the commanding officer of US Navy Light Photographic Squadron during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His memoir of the squadron’s dangerous low-level photographic missions over Cuba was written in 1986, shortly after he was honoured by the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. However, it was never published.

It is the only known personally written account of the squadron’s reconnaissance missions flying the supersonic RF-8A Crusader, during the classified operation codenamed Blue Moon. Captain William B Ecker consulted on the motion picture Thirteen Days, which included dramatic (animated and live) scenes of his first mission over Cuba on October 23, 1962.

Kenneth V Jack was a photographer’s mate second class during the Cuban Crisis. He was first trained as a US Navy photographer and later as a photographic-electronics technician, responsible for maintaining the aircraft’s photo electronics equipment. He participated in the VFP-62’s implementation of the forward-firing KA-45 camera, which gave the unit unique capabilities for capturing detailed photographic intelligence of the Soviet missile sites being installed in Cuba.

He led the first carrier testing of the camera and its night-photography capabilities aboard the supercarrier USS Forrestal (CVA-59) a few months before the crisis began. Following his service in the US Navy, he obtained two college degrees in educational mathematics and post-graduate courses in computer science, becoming a software engineer developing nuclear-safety computer codes for the Westinghouse Electric Company and Russian reactors.

He led his squadron’s contribution to the restoration of an RF-8A, which flew Cuban missions, at the Mobile, Alabama’s Battleship Park Aviation Museum. He and other squadron members provided research and consultation to the producers of the History Channel’s documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis, Man, Moment, Machine (JFK, Cuban Missile Crisis, RF-8A Crusader).

Recently, he provided research to the forthcoming Public Broadcasting System documentary on the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation, and provided an on-camera interview detailing VFP-62’s role in the crisis.

Blue Moon Over Cuba Unearths Crucial Evidence That Helped Kennedy Gather Intelligence on the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962

Insider’s perspective on the aerial reconnaissance missions arrives just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis

October 16-28, 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. One of the forgotten yet crucial details of the crisis are the low- level reconnaissance missions—designated as Operation Blue Moon—flown by US Naval, Marine Corps and Air Force pilots that proved to Kennedy that the Russians had moved missiles onto Cuba.

Blue Moon Over Cuba began as the unfinished memoirs of the commander of the naval squadron that flew the top-secret missions, Captain William B. Ecker. Ecker was the lead aviator on the first mission and went on to play a leading role in the reconnaissance flights throughout the crisis. The book was completed by historian Ken Jack.

In the book, Capt. Ecker tells the story of how on October 19, 1962, American military planners quietly ordered his squadron and their state-of-the art RF-8A Crusader jets to a remote airbase in Key West, Florida. (John Glenn had previously set a speed record in a Crusader.) Once there, the pilots and crews waited as CIA analysts made their case to President Kennedy.

Ecker and his team got their orders on October 23rd. Their mission was to enter Cuban airspace at treetop level at a fraction below the speed of sound and photograph suspected missile sites with their suite of high-speed cameras.

They flew width-wise across the narrow island and then to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, where the Navy’s main photographic lab was located. As soon as the photos were developed and interpreted, they were delivered to the White House.

On October 25th, Adlai Stevenson, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, exhibited prints of Capt. Ecker’s photographs to his Russian counterpart and demanded an answer from him.

From October 23rd-November 15th, 168 Blue Moon sorties were flown across Cuba by naval, marine and air force reconnaissance pilots—often under intense enemy fire. Those missions occurring after October 28th were used by Kennedy to verify the dismantling of the missile sites.

For their role, the pilots and crews were presented with a Navy Unit Commendation by President Kennedy in November 1962, who said in his remarks, “The reconnaissance flights which enabled us to determine with precision the offensive build-up in Cuba contributed directly to the security of the United States in the most important and significant way.”"

'This book is extensively researched: it gives an even-handed and unbiased account of the US, Soviet and Cuban perspectives leading up to, during, and after October 1962.' – Jerry Jackson, BookMark

'Many books have been written about [the Cuban Missile Crisis] and the decisions made by the president and his advisors, but none have covered the details of the Blue Moon aerial reconnaissance missions and the men who flew them … The photos in the book are superb, and their excellent captions add greatly to bringing the story of CAPT Ecker and his squadron to life … This is a great book and highly recommended.' – Doug Siegfried, The Hook

287 pages. Illustrated with black & white and colour photographs.

ISBN: 978 1 78096 071 5

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Blue Moon over Cuba by William B Ecker USN (ret.) and   Kenneth V. Jack

 


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William Ecker Kenneth Jack BLUE MOON OVER CUBA First Edition {PRODUCT-SHORTDESC}
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