Cuban Crisis: AD-5S, and sometime S2F-3 ... pre-MacNamara designations that we still used then.What aircraft?
What years? I was at Boca Chica 1971-74, doing training device support for VF101, and working part time for the base fueling contractor. Every time Hot Pad returned from a scramble we'd get an urgent call to get the birds topped off, muy pronto! If Fidel's boys were active and Willy Victor was out and about, Hot Pad would be scrambling repeatedly, and I would spend my entire shift running back and forth between Hot Pad and the fuel farm. Key West was a favorite destination for cross country "proficiency" flights, and on weekends the transient line often could pass for a military aviation museum.
I was ASW operator then, and we flew 8hr missions, usually 2 a day. We'd flown in birds from all over ... Med and WestPac, where I'd come from in a two-day, non-stop sea/air transfer. Only minor maintenance on ships, and flew trained crews and birds to Key West, Rosey Roads and Jax for major work. We often continued flight ops with our slow birds while a tanker was hooked up alongside, filling the Wasp's AvGas bunkers.
Key West Hot Pad: Mostly '68 in F-4Js.
Would rotate duty from East Coast F-4 squadrons, mostly from Oceana and I believe on occasion, MCAS Cherry Point. We didn't seem too busy at the time, and would be on duty 48 on, 48 off with two crews in staggered rotation. Our TAD was usually 3-4 weeks, and when there (or NAS Fallon for live ordnance quals) I'd go to the local car dealer and buy a beater trade-in from their back lot ... rust bucket or dent queen, with solid running gear but unsalable, so dirt cheap. The car would swap between duty crews. Would sell off base BX bulletin board for chump change when TAD was done ... Before age of rental cars. Great areas for a young, single guy if you had wheels ... beach, sailing, fishing in KW and Reno in Fallon ... and dress whites were chick magnets.
Photo Recon errata: Virtually all current accounts of the '62 Cuban Missile Crisis only mention U-2 photo recon overflights. Strangely, low level flights with USN F8U-1P Crusaders, USAF RF-101 Voodoos and amazingly, a sea skimming USN S2F-2P tour of Havana Harbor, are overlooked. Rather than hijack this thread, I'll start another to discuss.