Former Air Force airman revealed that 50 years ago his unit received orders to conduct a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.
His unit received these orders on October 28, 1962. He was positioned in Japan in Okinawa at a hidden US missile site. The received orders requested that a Mace B cruise missile is launched. However, US Air Force Captain William Bassett decided not to follow the received instructions. He is the one who prevented a nuclear war from happening.
According to received instructions, the nuclear missiles were supposed to be launched at four targets, three of which were not located in the Soviet Union.
The decision not to engage in nuclear strikes was also influenced by the level of alert. In order to launch a nuclear strike, DEFCON 1 is needed. They received a DEFCON 2, which made the members of the unit suspicious of the received orders.
The Captain even threatened to shoot those who decide to follow the received order.
All people involved decided not to discuss the issue again. Captain Basset passed away in 2011 and his crew never before spoke of this incident.
According to other sources, Russians also stopped a nuclear attack on Americans just a day before the incident in Japan.
Soviet Navy officer Vasili Arkhipov decided not to authorize launching of the B-59’s ten kiloton nuclear torpedo aimed at American destroyers. This event took place on October 27, 1962.
Many organizations now request the release of the documents relating to the incident in Okinawa. However, their release will take years.