DIED Richard Stephen Heyser, whose photos of Soviet nuclear-weapons sites ignited the Cuban missile crisis, once told the Associated Press that he was relieved not to have become the person who started World War III. As a U.S. Air Force major, Heyser flew the U-2 spy plane that took the famous pictures. Those photos prompted President John F. Kennedy to announce in October 1962 that the Soviet Union was building secret missile sites 90 miles (about 150 km) from Florida's coast. A tense standoff with the Soviets ensued. Heyser later won three Distinguished Flying Crosses and a Bronze Star. He was...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!