John F. Kennedy Typed Letter of Condolence Signed "Joh...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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JFK letter of condolence to the widow of the only casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis
John F. Kennedy Typed Letter of Condolence Signed "John
Kennedy", addressed to Mrs. Rudolf Anderson, Jr. One page,
6.75" x 8.75", Washington, D.C.; November 5, 1962. A short, yet
heartfelt letter from President Kennedy to Rudolf Anderson, Jr.'s
widow, regarding the death of her husband, who was killed while on
an operational flight on October 27, 1962. Anderson was killed when
his U-2 spy plane was shot down during a reconnaissance mission
over Cuba. Fearing that any retaliatory measures would result in an
all-out war, President Kennedy sent Robert Kennedy to meet with
Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin with a proposed, top-secret peace deal.
The U.S. would withdraw its nuclear missiles from Turkey and not
invade Cuba, on the promise that the Soviets would pull out their
nuclear weapons from Cuba. With this agreement, the tensest moments
of the Cuban Missile Crisis came to an end, with only one
Kennedy wrote in his letter to Mrs. Anderson Jr., "Major Anderson's courage and his outstanding abilities were demonstrated throughout his military career. During his assignment to Korea, he performed his duty with such excellence that he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and two clusters...His tragic loss on a mission of the most vital national urgency was the supreme sacrifice of a brave and patriotic man...I have directed the award of the Distinguished Service Medal to Major Anderson, in recognition of his exceptionally meritorious service to the United States of America."
Accompanying Kennedy's letter is a Maxwell D. Taylor Typed Letter Signed "Maxwell D. Taylor." One page, 7" x 10.25", Washington, D.C.; no date [circa 1962]. Taylor was the Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff, and wrote to Mrs. Anderson in part, "Major Anderson was the personification of all military members who stand ready to defend our nation." Anderson was the first recipient of the Air Force Cross. He was also posthumously awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Cheney Award.
Condition: Both letters have moderate toning and foxing throughout. There is minor chipping to the edges. Mild warping to both. Kennedy's signature is bold and legible.
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