Friday, April 3, 2015

U.S. veterans reveal 1962 nuclear close call dodged in Okinawa | Kyodo News

At the final moment of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, the U.S. nuclear missile men in Okinawa received a launch order which was later found to have been mistakenly issued, according to testimonies by former U.S. veterans given to Kyodo News.

In the fall of 1962, the Soviet Union introduced nuclear missiles into Cuba from where Moscow could target the mainland of the United States. U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his top advisers then seriously considered military options as a countermeasure, and the two superpowers were on the brink of nuclear exchanges.

The testimonies by the veterans, who gazed into the "abyss" of a nuclear war, shed new historical light on a nuclear close call which could have triggered the use of nuclear weapons, highlighting the potential risk of an accidental nuclear launch.

According to John Bordne, 73, former member of the 873rd Tactical Missile Squadron of the U.S. Air Force, several hours after his crew took over a midnight shift from 12 a.m. on Oct. 28 in 1962 at the Missile Launch Control Center at Yomitan Village in Okinawa, a coded order to launch missiles was conveyed in a radio communication message from the Missile Operations Center at the Kadena Air Base.

Another former U.S. veteran who served in Okinawa also recently confirmed on condition of anonymity what Bordne told Kyodo News in an interview last summer and in following e-mail exchanges. Bordne has mentioned the incident in an unpublished memoir based on his diary.

Complete story at - U.S. veterans reveal 1962 nuclear close call dodged in Okinawa | Kyodo News

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