First Air Force Cross
Maj. Rudolf Anderson Jr. was shot down and killed over Cuba during the October 1962 crisis. He was flying a U-2 from McCoy AFB, Fla., and was brought down by a Soviet SA-2 missile. Anderson was posthumously awarded the first Air Force Cross, which had been created in 1960. Anderson and other Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command pilots provided pictures that gave U.S. leaders crucial information and proved to the world that offensive nuclear missiles were being placed in Cuba. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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