The Strategic Air Command (“SAC”) was the operational establishment in charge of America’s land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) strategic nuclear arsenal from 1946 until it was disbanded in 1992. SAC had operated at Defense Condition 3 (also known as “DEFCON”, this signals the level of military readiness) essentially since its inception. DEFCON 3 roughly translates to something above “yawn”. And so it was until the morning of 23 October 1962, when events led SAC Commander General Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay to raise the level of readiness to DEFCON 2–roughly translated, “be ready for anything.” A good thing too, for on that day at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Dayton, Ohio was born one Marjorie Ann “Midge” Kuntz–someone for who personifies that “ready for anything” attitude and the love of my life. Her twenty-five years with me have proven that she operates well at DEFCON 2.
Any connection between the raising of the Defense Condition and the Cuban Missile Crisis is strictly coincidental.
Happy Birthday, Midge.
P.S. Bombs Away!
P.P.S. LeMay’s other nickname was “Old Iron Pants”. I’m taking huge credit for refraining from working that into this birthday tribute (such as it was) cum history lesson.