Whitesburg KY
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Mostly cloudy

Last of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Fifty years ago, Travis Air Force Base Airlifters moved troops and supplies to Florida for a possible invasion of Cuba in case the crisis about the Soviet missiles in that country turned into a war with the United States.

It was a top secret mission and to this date some of the war plans have never been cleared.

My printers and I had printed those plans the night before, along with other top secret war plans for other units. While it’s been 50 years since the Missile Crisis and both people and technology change, many war plans don’t.

Travis was under control of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), the unit I was assigned to for 15 years stateside and overseas.

Our printing department was open 24 hours a day until the crisis was over. My printers and I did not get a chance to go to our homes and tell our family that something may happen, and that they would have to be prepared.

My children remember that time, when the school children were taught to ‘duck-and-cover’ in case of a nuclear attack.

The United States was threatened. Everything we do in peacetime is to train for war. It was a tense time; it happened fast, and it ended fast.

(I’d like to wish my penpal and first love of 66 years ago a fast recovery.)

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.

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