Wednesday, November 11, 2009

War stories

In wishing some of my coworkers a happy Veteran's Day, I heard some interesting stories of their service.

The story that stood out was from a fellow who was an Army medic during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He said he was on a troop ship off the coast of Cuba during the crisis and was even loaded into a landing craft. The landing craft circled offshore for hours awaiting orders to land during the negotiations. He was very relieved to return to his troop ship because the big Red Cross on his truck made a really good target.

When the crisis abated his unit went to Puerto Rico. While there, they conducted target practice using the NATO ammo that they were issued for the invasion. He said no one could hit the targets. Their 500 yard shots only went about 400 yards. Had the Cold War gone hot in Cuba, the U.S. Army would have been wiped out. There was supposed to be an investigation into the ammo, but he never heard the results.

BTW - Several of these gentleman are in their 60's. There are no 50 year old retirees in the real world. They are called 'taxpayers.'


Richard Bergeron said...

That is quite the story. I had no idea the US had landing crafts ready to go during the crisis. It kind of doesn't make sense since they would have nuked Cuba before invading, and then you are just sending soldiers into an irradiated area :s

Headless Blogger said...

I had no idea either.

Why would we nuke Cuba? They weren't aiming missiles at the U.S.A. Our missiles were aimed at Russia.

I talked to this gentleman again today. He said that he didn't realize how close he came to invading Cuba until just recently. He was just a kid back then.

I'll have to get around to writing something about the other guy I knew who was a atomic mortar operator when he was in the Army.