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Attention, people of Cuba: Obey the orders of the U.S. Army, or suffer the consequences.

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Photo credit: U.S. Navy

Without a doubt, the event that occurred on Oct. 27, 1962 — designated as “Black Saturday” by the Kennedy White House — was the most significant of my naval career. That day, I found myself, a 23-year-old ensign, standing watch on the bridge of the USS Cony. The Cony was part of the hunter-killer Task Group Alpha, a squadron of eight antisubmarine warfare destroyers and the USS Randolph, an antisubmarine warfare aircraft carrier. We were fully equipped to hunt down Soviet submarines and to destroy them as part of the naval quarantine of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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