Major Anderson was the only direct casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962. Fifty years ago today the U-2 spy plane of which he was the pilot was shot down over Cuba.
The U-2 reconnaissance missions which had been conducted by the CIA were turned over to the USAF on October 14 and the planes were badged with Air Force insignia.
Major Anderson qualified as a U-2 pilot in 1957 and had over 1000 hours on mission assignments. The Major’s body was returned to his hometown, Greenville, where he was interred on November 6, 1962. Anderson was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross by the President of the United States. Greenville conducts an annual memorial service for Major Anderson. This year they will unveil the redesign of the Anderson Memorial.