||This article should be divided into sections by topic, to make it more accessible. (April 2014)|
|William B. Ecker|
CAPT William B. Ecker, 1965
April 6, 1924|
|Died||November 5, 2009(aged 85)|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1942-1974|
|Commands held||Light Photographic Squadron (VFP) 62|
|Battles/wars||World War II
Cuban Missile Crisis
|Awards||Distinguished Flying Cross
William Ecker (April 6, 1924 – November 5, 2009) was born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. A career officer and Naval Aviator, he served in the United States Navy from 1942 until 1974. He is most famous for his role in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. On October 23, 1962, as Commanding Officer of Photo Reconnaissance Squadron 62 (VFP-62), he led the first low-level reconnaissance flight over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis and (together with his wing man, Lieutenant Bruce Wilhelmy, and four other VFP-62 pilots) took the first close-up photos of the Soviet missile bases in Cuba. During this mission, they both flew RF-8 Crusader aircraft.
After the end of the Missile Crisis, Ecker received the Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) for his service. The unit he commanded, VFP-62, received the Navy Unit Commendation. This Navy Unit Commendation was the first one awarded for a peacetime operation and it was personally presented by President John F. Kennedy in a ceremony on November 26, 1962.
Captain William B. Ecker, USN (Retired) lived in Punta Gorda, Florida, until his death on November 5, 2009.
Before his death, Captain Ecker began writing a book with Kenneth V. Jack entitled "Blue Moon Over Cuba: Aerial Reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis." This book was released on August 21, 2012.
- RF-8 Crusader Units Over Cuba and Vietnam, by Peter Mersky, page 9.
- "Official US Navy Distinguished Flying Cross Citation for William B. Ecker".
- "Official US Navy Citation for Navy Unit Commendation for VFP-62".
- FR-8 Crusader Units Over Cuba and Vietnam, by Peter Mersky, page 11.
- "Thirteen Days Movie Review by Ivana Redwine".
- Bernstein, Adam (November 13, 2009). "Washington Post Obituary for Captain William B. Ecker". The Washington Post.
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