Footage of B-52s at DEFCON 2 alert at Barksdale Air Force Base at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Includes a shot of a B-52 taking off armed with a GAM-77 Hound Dog nuclear air-launched cruise missile. According to the camera operator’s slate, the footage was shot on October 27, 1962, widely regarded as the most dangerous day of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Date: October 27, 1962
Original Title: FORCES BUILD-UP, 10/26/1962 - 12/18/1962
Film Type: Black and White / Silent
Credit: U.S. Air Force
Archival Source: National Archives / 342-USAF / 342-USAF-34534A
Transcript / Shot List
1) B-52 hatch closing, then aircraft beginning to taxi past camera. 2) B-52 taking off with GAM-77 on wing pylon. 3) Series of scenes of B-52's on flight line. 4) Activity at Memphis Airport, showing passengers and crew boarding American Airlines Boeing 707. 5) Terminal building at Memphis Airport.
The section at the end switches to Memphis Airport, where the Strategic Air Command had deployed B-47 bombers as part of its alert procedures to disperse its forces to make them less vulnerable to surprise attack.
More footage related to his is available here.
The camera operator’s slate indicates this footage was shot on October 27, 1962, widely considered the most dangerous day of the Cuban Missile Crisis.