AFROTC Distinguished Alumnus

Posted 31 July 2011
Clemson University Photograph

Maj. Rudolf Anderson, Jr., the first-ever recipient of the Air Force Cross and the only combat fatality of the Cuban Missile Crisis, was named an Air Force ROTC Distinguished Alumnus in late July ceremonies at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama. Anderson, Clemson University Class of 1948, is the first non-general officer to receive the honor. Air Force ROTC established the Distinguished Alumni program in 2007 to recognize AFROTC graduates who attained a high level of distinction for an accomplishment with Air Force-wide or national/international significance or for historically notable service or combat achievements. Anderson flew U-2 surveillance missions that provided conclusive evidence of long-range offensive missiles in Cuba. His U-2 was shot down during a flight on 27 October 1962.