Remembering a Hero, Major Rudolph Anderson

South Carolina residents recently honored the life of famed US Air Force Major Rudolph Anderson, pilot of the U2 shot down over Cuba 50 years ago on October 27, 1962. Major Anderson was the only casualty of the Missile Crisis. His rededication was held early this week, and highlighted his career and love of aviation, including model aeronautics.

Major Anderson’s favorite plane was the Sabre F-86, one he flew recon in Korea. This plane is now placed in memorial to him on Ridgeland Drive in Cleveland Park in Greenville, South Carolina, his adopted town of residence.

Serving as a senior pilot, Anderson completed 3,000 hours flying time, of which more than 1,000 hours were as a U-2 pilot. He served in the Korean War as a reconnaissance pilot and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with two clusters. President John F. Kennedy awarded Major Anderson the Distinguished and the first Air Force Cross posthumously.

To learn more about Major Rudolph Anderson visit

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