I just finished the book and I think you hit a "Home Run." I was amazed at how much was going on during those 13 days that I didn't know anything about. Lt Cdr Tad Riley (VFP-62 Blue Moon pilot: vfp62.com/Blue_Moon_Reviews.html .
Blue Moon Over Cuba review by Penn State radio WPSU, a NPR station. Hear the audio review at: wpsu.org/radio/single_entry/LL-4360/bookmark .
CAPT Ecker's memoir of the first mission on 23 October 1962, is heart-pumping stuff. . . .Blue Moon is also a treatise on the F-8 in general, and RF-8 specifically. . . .All in all, this book is very welcome as the 50th anniversary of the crisis approaches. It is well worth reading from many perspectives, especially as an account of those tension-filled days when the entire world stood so close to the brink of its own destruction. And that's no exaggeration.----Cdr. Peter Mersky USNR (ret.) for Wings of Gold
Fall 2012 edition.
The co-author, who was a member of the squadron during the crisis, has taken Ecker's story and expanded it into a much larger narrative that tells how the crisis evolved and ended. . . .The book provides a good brief on the Navy's history of aerial reconnaissance and detailed information on the RF-8A and its cameras. . . .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. --Cdr. Doug Siegfried, USN(Ret)---The HOOK
The authors, both members of Light Photographic Squadron 62 during the crisis---Ecker was the commanding officer---tell the stories of the pilots and the missions they flew through the flak in their RF-8A Crusader jets to obtain the photographs President John F. Kennedy needed to make the informed decisions needed to avert nuclear war with the Soviet Union.---Richard R. Burgess SEAPOWER
"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,
www.WPSU.org (September 2012)
"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
"This new book is based on the memoir of a recently-deceased CO of the U. S. Navy RF-8 squadron that flew the first, productive low-level missions over Cuba, and refined with material that only personal experience can bring by a former enlisted technician serving with that squadron at that time. The account provides several viewpoints into a highly readable and creditable story of just exactly how the Navy and Marine Corps aviators and gound crews contributed to the American response to the Soviets' highly provocative act of placing nuclear-armed missiles a scant 90 miles from the U. S. ... All in all, this new book is very welcome as the 50th anniversary of the crisis approaches. It is well worth reading from many perspectives, especially as an account of those tension-filled days when the entire world stood so close to the brink of its own destruction."
--Peter Mersky, Wings of Gold
"An entirely new perspective on the crisis, and is a "must" for any collection strong in either military topics or American history."
- The Midwest Book Review
"It is no exaggeration to say the book reads like a suspense thriller—no small feat, this being Jack’s first book."
From the Author
Even in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the looming threat of more harm to come from al Qaeda, I don't sense the same national paranoia that my generation experienced during the Cold War. The lingering horrible images of the total destruction of two Japanese cities by two relatively primitive atomic bombs were still imprinted on the American psyche, and the arms race that produced ever more powerful thermonuclear weapons made the Cold War years fraught with danger--both real and imagined.
Our objective in writing this story was to explain the history of the Cuban Missile Crisis through the experiences of those who execute presidential commands--the so-called "tip of the spear," whose courage and competence, or lack of it, hold the security of the United States in their hands. We provide the reader the experience and dangers of the crisis as seen from the cockpit of an operational, low-altitude, photo-reconnaissance jet.
It is our hope that, as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a new generation of readers will learn the vital lesson that emerged from this Cold War stand-off: sometimes nations act irrationally in their national interest, and the resulting unintended consequences can thrust nuclear-armed countries into a death spiral that could impact all of human civilization. This is the story of how men at all levels helped to prevent that fate.