Kenneth V. Jack

Kenneth V Jack was a photographer’s mate second class during the Cuban Crisis. He was first trained as a US Navy photographer and later as a photographic-electronics technician, responsible for maintaining the aircraft’s photo electronics equipment. He participated in the VFP-62’s implementation of the forward-firing KA-45 camera, which gave the unit unique capabilities for capturing detailed photographic intelligence of the Soviet missile sites being installed in Cuba. He led the first carrier testing of the camera and its night-photography capabilities aboard the supercarrier USS Forrestal (CVA-59) a few months before the crisis began. Following his service in the US Navy, he obtained two college degrees in educational mathematics and post-graduate courses in computer science. During his working career, he taught advanced high school mathematics and retired as a computer software engineer, developing nuclear-safety computer codes for the Westinghouse Electric Company and Russian reactors. In retirement, he developed a website dedicated to VFP-62 (www.vfp62.com) and serves as its webmaster. He wrote an article, ‘Supersonic Hooligans Over Cuba’, for the National Naval Aviation Museum’s October 2011 issue of Foundation, a bi-annual magazine distributed to the naval aviation supporters of the museum. He led his squadron’s contribution to the restoration of an RF-8A, which flew Cuban missions, at the Mobile, Alabama’s Battleship Park Aviation Museum. He and other squadron members provided research and consultation to the producers of the History Channel’s documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis, Man, Moment, Machine (JFK, Cuban Missile Crisis, RF-8A Crusader). Recently, he provided research to the forthcoming Public Broadcasting System documentary on the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation, and provided an on-camera interview detailing VFP-62’s role in the crisis.