Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cuban Missle Crisis

Rudolf Anderson, Jr. (September 15, 1927 – October 27, 1962) was a pilot and officer in the United States Air Force, and the first recipient of the Air Force Cross. Anderson was killed when his U-2 reconnaissance plane was shot down during the Cuban Missile Crisis; he was the only casualty that occurred as a result of enemy fire during the confrontation.

Anderson was born in Greenville, South Carolina earned the rank of Eagle Scout, from Troop 19, and graduated from Clemson University in 1948. His body was interred in Greenville on November 6, 1962 at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

A memorial to Major Anderson can be seen at Cleveland Park in Greenville. The memorial includes an F-86 Sabre, the type of plane Anderson flew in the Korean War. The F-86 was used for the Memorial because there were no surplus U-2 planes available at the time when it was erected in the 1960s.