Navy Cmdr. William Ecker, (official U.S. Navy photo by Robert K. Whitfield, PH3 via Wikimedia Commons)
WASHINGTON (AP) - A flight suit worn by an American pilot who flew a reconnaissance mission over Cuba in 1962 that photographed nuclear missile sites under construction by the onetime Soviet Union is being donated to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
The family of Navy Cmdr. William Ecker, who died in 2009, will donate his flight suit Tuesday.
Photographs taken on Ecker's low-level flight over Cuba in October 1962 were used by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to help prove Soviet missiles were being stockpiled in Cuba.
Ecker's flight was featured in the movie "13 Days," recounting that Cold War standoff 50 years ago involving then-President John F. Kennedy and the Soviet premier, Nikita Khrushchev. After days of extreme tension, the Cuban missile crisis was peacefully defused.