During this visit, Kennedy had an opportunity to witness first-hand a demonstration of a Blue Moon low-level reconnaissance run by Air Force RF-101 Voodoo jets. The Blue Moon missions had proved crucial for gathering intelligence on Soviet missile bases and other military bases in Cuba during the recent Cuban Missile Crisis.
Time magazine reported Kennedy’s reaction to the 26 November demonstration: “They were gone the instant they came—a brace of Air Force RF-101 jets screeching 200 ft. above Florida’s Homestead Air Force Base. On the reviewing stand, President Kennedy turned to General Walter Sweeney, commander of the Tactical Air Command, and asked: ‘They wouldn’t have been able to shoot down those ships at that speed and altitude would they?’ The general said no. Said Kennedy: ‘I’d like to see them again.’ And so the reconnaissance jets once more simulated the flights that had helped document the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.”1
- Time, 7 December 1962, p. 14. ↩