My NSA files, January 1962: ‘The closest he ever came to a flinch’

TO JF.K. Pressed: “Why didn’t you flinch in the U-boat attack?” W: “Told the submarine he could get out of the way. I had a hole blow in the floor of my aircraft carrier,…

My NSA files, January 1962: 'The closest he ever came to a flinch'

TO JF.K. Pressed: “Why didn’t you flinch in the U-boat attack?”

W: “Told the submarine he could get out of the way. I had a hole blow in the floor of my aircraft carrier, fully two yards wide, with another 8 ½ feet sticking through the middle. Passengers, alarmed by the loud roar, ran into the stairway of the bomb bay.”

T: “But why didn’t you Flinch?”

W: “Tell ‘em, now they’ll laugh at me.”

NOTE The following commentary appeared in the Guardian on November 27, 1962 (hence the italics):

J.F.K. as President of the United States, in the Haldeman memo may not be such a novelty.

Records of the National Security Agency, the agency that listens in on international telephone calls, reveals that the Cuban missile crisis lasted six days. Later the Senate confirmed J.F.K.’s role in ordering a series of spy aircraft to bomb Cuba.

(J.F.K. loses his plane in the north Atlantic, and the incident later becomes the subject of movie/TV satire in the film “Crisis!”, starring Alan Ladd.)

Jim Howe, former director of J.F.K.’s President Kennedy Presidential Library, reports that the plane he flew from Brazil was one of those that reportedly crashed in the Atlantic. The plane’s classified “secret” designation was “Volga-Three-Hank,” one of the fighters selected to bomb Cuba.

J.F.K. testified before the Senate about the crisis on November 19, 1962. You can see how far the press corps travelled and at what point he was struck by the attacks on the radio waves as this press statement from the New York Times is written about:

NOT EXACTLY A MISSILE BOMB The second presidential radio address by President Kennedy to the nation, transmitted on November 19, 1962, at 1.20 AM in London. President Kennedy says, in this second broadcast, that the Soviet advance to Cuba is “a very serious international situation. It is not merely a naval crisis or even a naval affair. It is a potential nuclear power conflict.” This radio address was telecast to more than 8.7 million people in the United States alone.

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