Crusader pilots and photo intelligence teams
from Light Photographic Squadron 62 (VPF-62) and United States
Marine Corps Squadron VMCJ-2 combined efforts in 1962 to help
ferret out suspected Soviet missile sites in Cuba. Flying F8U-1P
(RF-8A) Crusaders, the Navy and Marine pilots dashed across
Cuba, their cameras grinding, and returned to the Naval Air
Station, Jacksonville, Fla., where the film was processed before
being forwarded to Washington, D.C.
Documentary evidence of the missile build-up, thus acquired,
provided President John F. Kennedy with the ammunition needed to
force eventual withdrawal of the threat.
Personnel of both squadrons received Presidential citations for
their role in the action. The six Navy pilots and four Marines
who piloted the F-8's on the photo reconnaissance missions
received the Distinguished Flying Cross for their work.