B-52 bombers in the Strategic Air Command on alert at Barksdale Air Force Base 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) Sequence showing B-52 taxiing to maintenance area, being towed by tug to pit for refueling and maintenance. 2) Two scenes of B-52 takeoff to left. 3) B-52 landing to left and taxiing toward recovery crew. 4) B-52 crew loading gear into aircraft. 5) Ground crew unhooking start cart after engine start, aircraft begins to taxi. 6) B-52 takeoff, then landing. 7) B-52 crew leaving aircraft, boarding flight line bus. 8) Ground crew hooking tow bar to B-52. 9) LOX man filling B-52. 10) Series showing ground crew beginning refueling process.
More footage related to this is available here.
The camera operator’s slate indicates this footage was shot on October 27, 1962, often referred to as “Black Saturday.”
About 1/8 of the Strategic Air Command’s B-52 force was on airborne alert at this time, with most of the others on 15-minute ground alert. All SAC’s forces were at DEFCON 2 at the time and would remain on that alert until November 21 when they downgraded to DEFCON 3.