Texas Package Store Association Glazer's Luncheon July 27, 2004 Houston, Texas
Cuban Missile Crisis USAF Awards Presentation 11/28/1962 Front to rear: Maj. Edwin G. Emerling, Maj, Buddy L. Brown, Maj. Richard S. Heyser, Maj, James Qualls, Capt. Roger Herman, Capt. George M. Bull, Capt. Charles W. Kern, Capt. Gerald McIlmoyle, Capt. Roger Primrose, Capt. Daniel W. Schmarr. Presenter: Gen. Thomas S. Power.
11 USAF U-2 pilots of the 4028th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron of the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing based at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, temporary flying out of McCoy Air Force Base, Florida, flew reconnaissance missions over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. One of them, Maj. Rudolf Anderson, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile and killed on October 27, 1962. For his actions and sacrifice, Maj. Rudolf was posthumously awarded the first Air Force Cross.
Nearly 42 years later, 7 of those 10 surviving Cuban Missile Crisis U-2 pilots gathered together as the featured panel for the Texas Package Store Association Glazer's Luncheon in Houston, Texas, on July 27, 2004. U-2 pilots Capt. George Bull and Capt. Roger Primrose had passed away during the intervening 42 years, and Lt. Col. Jim Qualls fell ill sometime before and lay hospitalized on the day of the Luncheon (he would pass away just days later).
This is the only video record known to exist of that historic day in 2004 when 7 of the Cuban Missile Crisis U-2 pilots gathered again as one unit to relate their experiences during that historic time almost a half century before.
After a short general introduction, Col. (Ret.) Tony Martinez, the man who "kept their planes in the air, kept their bellies full, and kept their clothes dry" during those infamous 13 days of October, provides an overview before turning the Luncheon over to the U-2 pilots themselves. Of the 7 present, only Lt. Col. Steve Heyser did not speak. In order as they speak:
Col. (Ret.) Buddy Brown Col. (Ret.) Ed Emerling Col. (Ret.) Charlie Kern Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Gerald McIlmoyle Lt. Col. (Ret.) Roger Herman Lt. Col. (Ret.) Dan Schamrr
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Steve Heyser sits to the left of Col. (Ret.) Charlie Kern.
Today, as this video record is posted - August 14, 2018 - only 2 of the 11 Cuban Missile Crisis U-2 pilots survive: Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Gerald McIlmoyle and Col. (Ret.) Ed Emerling.
Our sincere thanks to Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits of America for their permission to share this historic event with you.
Introduction 4:13: President John Fitzgerald Kennedy 4:40: Local ABC news coverage 7:32: Glazer's Luncheon 1:22:36: End