434. Memorandum From President Kennedy to Secretary of Defense McNamara0

At the meeting with you and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Friday, 14 September,1 there seemed to be lack of unanimity between General LeMay and Admiral Anderson as to losses our aircraft would incur in attacking an SA2 missile site.

Would it be useful to build a model of such a site for exercises to be observed by an objective and disinterested party? Judgement as to losses to be incurred should include those that would result from the addition of anti-aircraft guns to protect the site. If you believe such a program would be useful, would you provide me with an estimate as to its cost.

Would you assure that contingency plans with relation to Cuba are kept up-to-date, taking into account the additions to their armaments resulting from the continuous influx of Soviet equipment and technicians.

John Kennedy
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD (C) A Files: FRC 71 A 2896, Cuba 381, 22 Oct-27 Oct 1962. Top Secret. A stamped note on the source text indicates McNamara saw the memorandum.
  2. The President held an off-the-record meeting with the Joint Chiefs and McGeorge Bundy at 11:40 a.m. on September 14. (Kennedy Library, Presidentʼs Appointment Book)