Pigs, Missiles and the CIA

Volume 2 - Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro, the Unholy Trinity, 1962

Linda Rios Bromley

Never before has the world come as close to destruction as it did in October 1962. Barely 18 months after the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the US, Cuba and the Soviet Union once again came toe to toe in a show of intimidation.
Date Published :
July 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Latin America@War
Illustration :
60 photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781915070753
Pages : 72
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


The Bay of Pigs Invasion in April 1961 executed by Cuban patriots to overthrow Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro, ended in a catastrophic failure. Leaders in Washington and Cuban exiles in Florida expected the result to install a democratic government in place, but Castro remained in charge. Finger pointing among the Cuba Task Force in Washington, DC resulted in many fired from their government jobs. The pot continued to simmer and discovery of Soviet missiles by U-2 spy planes confirmed Washington’s worst fear, another showdown with the Soviet Union. At the time, no telephones between Washington and Moscow existed, no real-time communications or computers to accurately identify the location of undersea vessels. John F. Kennedy, the 43-year-old President of the US, and his administration had no experience dealing with or negotiating through a crisis involving nuclear weapons. However, they understood what the results could be for the US and even the world. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened to protect Cuba from attack by the imperialists of the US. Kennedy’s public persona displayed an attitude of a seasoned Cold War supporter, when in fact he was less confident of military solutions. With all US military agencies on high alert, the public feared escalation of the imminent crisis and citizens began preparations for an attack. The 4080th Strategic Recon Wing of the Strategic Air Command assigned the best of its U-2 pilots to dangerous missions over Cuba to confirm nuclear missiles delivered there by a Soviet flotilla of ships. One U-2 pilot died when his aircraft sustained a strike at 70,000-feet altitude. Aerial photographs from each U-2 flight went directly to Washington DC for interpretation and subsequently to the White House. In yet another area of the world, tensions reached fever pitch, when American and Soviet tanks faced off at the Berlin Wall. Communications between Kennedy and Khrushchev, sent through their ambassadors, achieved the desired result when each side withdrew their tanks. In the end, Khrushchev made demands unrelated to the current crisis and Kennedy reluctantly agreed to comply to protect the US and the world from nuclear disaster. The exact details of the resolution had not been leaked to the press until after both sides declared the crisis concluded.

About The Author

A native Texan, Linda was born in Del Rio. Linda retired from the U. S. Government in 1997, after being employed in various occupations during her 33 years Civil Service career, in which she worked in various locations, including the Laughlin AFB, Charleston Naval Base, USAF HQ Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany, NASA, and the Internal Revenue Service in Houston. She has previously written Flight of the Dragon, detailing the story of Chang-di ‘Robin’ Yeh, a Taiwanese U-2 pilot, and Remembering the Dragon Lady, first-person memoirs of many of the pilots, specialists and family members who supported the early US spy-plane projects.

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