Clemson grad, Cuban missile crisis victim to be honored at game - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson grad, Cuban missile crisis victim to be honored at game

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Maj. Rudolf Anderson Jr. (Clemson University) Maj. Rudolf Anderson Jr. (Clemson University)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A Clemson University graduate who was the only combatant fatality of the Cuban missile crisis will be honored at Saturday's football game in honor of the 50th anniversary of the mission.

The Tigers host Virginia Tech on Saturday for Military Appreciation Day and will mark the anniversary of Maj. Rudolf Anderson Jr.'s 1962 flight during the crisis.

Anderson was a Greenville native, graduated from Clemson in 1948 where he studied textile management, then joined the Air Force where he was a pilot and officer before he was killed on Oct. 27 when his U-2 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down over Cuba after departing from Florida.

The Army and Air Force ROTC units from Clemson and Virginia Tech are teaming up to run the game ball from Greenville to Clemson starting Thursday at 10:30 p.m. until Friday in memory of Anderson and all veterans.

The 33-mile ball run will begin at the Cleveland Park Rudolf Anderson Memorial and end at the Scroll of Honor across the street from Memorial Stadium at approximately 2:45 a.m. Friday.

At 12:30 p.m. Friday, the Clemson and Virginia Tech cadets will participate in a 5-by-1 mile relay race that will end at the Scroll of Honor.

"The Rudolf Anderson squad was named after Maj. Anderson in 1980 in honor of what he did for our country and what he contributed as a Clemson alum," said Col. James G. Riemens-Van Laare, commander of Clemson's Air Force ROTC Detachment 770. "This tribute to Rudolf Anderson has a special meaning for the current Clemson cadets."

Additional events that will mark Military Appreciation Day will include a parade and military procession that will lead the Tiger Band down Fort Hill Street prior to the Saturday's game. After the Pledge of Allegiance, F15s from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina are scheduled to fly over the stadium, with kick-off set at noon.

Army and Air Force military equipment will be on display on Bowman Field on Saturday before the game.

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