The Cuban Missile Crisis
Memorandum of a Conference With President Kennedy


Washington, November 16, 1962, 4 p.m.


General Taylor
General Wheeler
Admiral Anderson
General LeMay
General Shoup
General Clifton

The meeting opened by General Taylor presenting three papers to the President in response to some of the President's inquiries. One paper concerned the level of readiness that we have achieved and the ability to hold this level.(1) All the Chiefs reported that they could maintain this readiness without any hardship for another month, and so recommended.

General Taylor and General LeMay reported that they had altered the SAC readiness so that each crew is getting one training sortie per week. They said that this was satisfactory for the moment.

General Taylor then led an additional discussion on plans and their modification, if necessary.(2)

The President asked several questions about leave and rest policies for men away from home, and the Air Force reserves that had been called up recently.

There was considerable discussion about Soviet ground forces in Cuba.

There was a lengthy discussion of shipping and LSTs, and the President approved a recommendation that they get the LSTs out and maintain them.

Admiral Anderson reported on a meeting between the head of MSTS and shipowners and labor unions.

General Taylor summarized the views of the Joint Chiefs on the present situation, and each Chief in turn spoke about his particular zone of interest. General Wheeler showed pictures and gave a considerable discussion.

The President read to the Chiefs the letter from Chairman Khrushchev and the President's reply which went out this morning.(3) He gave the Chiefs a resume of his present feeling and disposition in regard to this situation.

The President thanked the Chiefs for coming to the meeting.

C.V. Clifton(4)

1 The paper on the issue of level of readiness is Document 186; the other papers have not been further identified. Back

2 See Document 187. Back

3 Documents 176 and 181. Back

4 Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature. Back

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Clifton Series, JCS Meetings with the President, 10/61-11/62. Secret. The meeting lasted until 4:55 p.m. (Ibid., President's Appointment Book)

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