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Richard Stephen Heyser
Birth: Apr. 3, 1927
Apalachicola
Franklin County
Florida, USA
Death: Oct. 6, 2008
Saint Joseph
Pasco County
Florida, USA

United States Air Force Reconnaissance Pilot. In 1962, he took the first photographs of Soviet nuclear missile sites under construction on the island nation of Cuba. His discovery during an overflight of the island on October 14, 1962, triggered an international showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union, that pushed the two superpowers to the brink of nuclear war. The conflict, which became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, lasted from October 15, 1962 until October 28, 1962 and was resolved after Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the missile sites and return the Russian nuclear arsenal to the Soviet Union. During the thirteen day confrontation, Heyser flew five U-2 reconnaissance missions over Cuba, providing the Department of Defense with thousands of detailed photographs of Russian military activity, and was invited to the White House to meet with President John F. Kennedy during the crisis. He served as a pilot during the Korean War and also served two combat tours in Vietnam before retiring from the United States Air Force in 1974, after completing 30 years of military service. He was the recipient of three Distinguished Flying Crosses, seven Air Medals, a Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal. He died in a nursing care and rehabilitation facility at the age of 81.  (bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.) 
 
Burial:
Magnolia Cemetery
Apalachicola
Franklin County
Florida, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
Record added: Oct 11, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30498010
Richard Stephen Heyser
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Richard Stephen Heyser
Added by: Member #47700116
 
Richard Stephen Heyser
Added by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
 
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- sjm
 Added: Apr. 3, 2017

- Lazer
 Added: Apr. 3, 2017

- sjm
 Added: Oct. 6, 2016
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