Maj. Rudolf Anderson The Cuban missile crisis was a very tough moment for the United States government and the Russian government as well. One moment out of all these important moments seems to stand out more than any other. Yet the American people still seem to have no clue who this person is, and what they did to save the world. Amazingly during all this havoc/chaos only one person was killed in the line of enemy fire and that was Rudolf Anderson. “Rudolf Anderson was a pilot and officer in the United States Air Force and the first recipient of the Air Force Cross”, (1).

While on mission flying over Cuba during the Russian invasion he was shot down by “SS-4 medium range ballistic missiles” (2) He died immediately upon impact. After his death a memorial was made for him and is located in Laughlin AFB Texas. “The Soviet Union moved dangerous missiles and etc, to the Cuban shorelines Just 90 miles off of Florida. As tension grew JFK announced to America about 4 days after the missiles were in Cuba that they were there. The Soviet Union leader Khrushchev denied any allegations, but JFK gave him actual proof with 13-2 pictures, the same planes Maj.

Anderson flew. As time passed on October 27th Anderson voluntarily ecided to go do a fly over mission over Cuba and take more pictures of the site. On that day was the day he was shot down and it loosened tension between both countries and allowed Khrushchev to pass the bill with JFK allowing no WW3″ (3). So lets talk about Major Rudolfs life now, well he was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. He also attended high school in Greenville and graduated there as well. From high school he went to Clemson University and graduated as a member of the Air Force ROTC Detachment 770″ (1) “While at Clemson University he earned a major of Textile Management. He also played football, basketball and oftball at Clemson” (2) The one thing that Maj, Rudolf Anderson is most known for is his tragic death. Although he was the only casualty during the Cuban Missile Crisis his death may have saved the whole world. Like I mentioned earlier Rudolf stepped up in a moment when no one would; and he had the courage to fly that plane over Cuba knowing that he could have been shot down. The date was set by president JFK to invade Cuba by October 29th 1962, on October 27th Anderson took a extra step and stood up for his country to go and take a voluntary mission over Cuba, on that day he was shot down and killed. Whatever appened on the day happened and we do pay our respects to Anderson but the important message is that If things wouldn’t have happened the way they happened we wouldn’t be here today the world could have been destroyed. America would have gone to battle, and would have been destroyed by Russia’s tactical nuclear missiles” (3). Although Major Anderson was the only combat fatality during the crisis, eleven crew of three reconnaissance Boeing 8-47 StratoJets of the 55th Strategic 27 and November 1 1, 1962″ (2). “While studying at Clemson Anderson experienced a near death situation he was “chasing a pigeon down a flight of stairs and was unable o stop; luckily he hit a wall and it broke his fall but he did fall 3 stories and had a fractured pelvis bone, lacerated forehead, and dislocated wrist” (4).

Right after Major Anderson was announced dead “President JFK immediately awarded Anderson with the 1st Air Force Cross which is given to anybody in the Air Force that shows great heroism and etc. Also JFK awarded him the Distinguished Service Medal, The Purple Heart, and The Chaney Award” (2). A “Rudolf Anderson follower named Jack Parillo (A Greenville Architect and Korean War veteran) thinks Anderson deserves more and should be awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honor.

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He also thinks Anderson should get a educational memorial at Cleveland Park near his original memorial but he only really wants one thing, for people to recognize him and understand the impact he made on the Cold War and the world. ” (3) “After Rudolf Anderson was announced dead his “body was immediately returned to the United States and buried in Greenville South Carolina (Rudolf’s Hometown) at Woodlawn Memorial Park. A memorial was made for him in Cleveland Park, the idea was to put a U-2 aircraft over his memorial but since there were no surplus U-2 aircraft available at that time they instead used an F-86 sabre like the ones he flew in

Korea; each late October a memorial service is held. Also, the auditorium of the 47th operations group (Air Force flying group) is named in his honor as well. Some wreckage from Major Andersons aircraft is actually displayed in 3 museums over Cuba, there is also a movie portraying the shooting down of Anderson in “Thirteen Days” Anderson is portrayed by Chip Esten. ” (1) “There is proof that when Major Anderson was on his route to Cuba he overflew and passed Guantanamo Bay and made a sharp left to head back towards Florida when Soviet. Col. Georgi Voronkov gave his men orders to take out the U-2 Aircraft.

When the plane fell down it landed in Veguitas, near Banes (cities in Cuba). After the plane was shot down Soviet. Col. Georgi Voronkov congratulated his men on the successful shoot down. ” (5) After learning about the Cold War last year in 1 lth grade and how the Cuban Missile Crisis played a big part during the cold war. Also, how if Major Anderson’s death would not have happened in the circumstances they did than the world we know of today would most likely not be this way. Two days after Anderson was shot down JFK was going to execute an invasion into Cuba, but because Anderson was killed.

JFK immediately put an intense amount of pressure onto Khrushchev and Khrushchev responded by taking out the missiles 24 hours later. So sometimes I sit down and think we always remember Americas heroes but why don’t we sit and remember Major Anderson for his brave work and sacrificing his life and saving ours. Cited Page (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Rudolf_Anderson) (1 ) www. clemsonwiki. com/wiki/MaJor_Rudolf_Anderson,_Jr (4) http://www. youtube. com / http://cualumni. clemson. Edu/page. aspx? pid=1176 (2) http://militarytimes. com/citations-medals-awards/recipient. php? recipientid=3448


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