jm + nukes   4

This Heroic Captain Defied His Orders and Stopped America From Starting World War III
Captain William Bassett, a USAF officer stationed at Okinawa on October 28, 1962, can now be added alongside Stanislav Petrov to the list of people who have saved the world from WWIII:

By [John] Bordne’s account, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Air Force crews on Okinawa were ordered to launch 32 missiles, each carrying a large nuclear warhead. [...]

The Captain told Missile Operations Center over the phone that he either needed to hear that the threat level had been raised to DEFCON 1 and that he should fire the nukes, or that he should stand down. We don’t know exactly what the Missile Operations Center told Captain Bassett, but they finally received confirmation that they should not launch their nukes.

After the crisis had passed Bassett reportedly told his men: “None of us will discuss anything that happened here tonight, and I mean anything. No discussions at the barracks, in a bar, or even here at the launch site. You do not even write home about this. Am I making myself perfectly clear on this subject?”
wwiii  history  nukes  cuban-missile-crisis  1960s  usaf  okinawa  missiles  william-bassett 
29 days ago by jm
Violet Club
eye-poppingly bizarre half-assed safety features of the 1950s -- a megaton nuclear weapon rendered safe from accidental criticality accidents only by a plastic bag full of ball bearings
nuclear-weapons  nukes  safety  1950s  uk  funny  bizarre  violet-club  ball-bearings  via:cstross 
july 2016 by jm
The Okinawa missiles of October | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
'By Bordne's account, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Air Force crews on Okinawa were ordered to launch 32 missiles, each carrying a large nuclear warhead. Only caution and the common sense and decisive action of the line personnel receiving those orders prevented the launches—and averted the nuclear war that most likely would have ensued.'
okinawa  nukes  launch-codes  pal  cold-war  cuban-missile-crisis  history  accidents  ui  security  horror  via:mattblaze 
october 2015 by jm

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