These excerpts from the memoirs of a former member of Italy’s 36th Air Brigade, published by the Italian Air Force, provides fascinating perspective on the shock felt by officers when they received the dismantling instructions and then how they planned and carried out their tasks. The following sentences convey the emotional reactions: “The dismantling, for those who experienced it, was a real demolition. A frenetic destructive activity pervaded the military community which, almost with anger and a certain sadism, destroyed and reduced to useless remains everything on which it had studied, worked and operated.” As the excerpts makes clear, not everything was destroyed and junked. Consistent with the Joint Staff’s original proposals, sensitive components, such as the warheads were returned to the U.S., while other parts of the missiles were salvaged and made available to other organizations. Some equipment went to Italy’s “San Marco” space research program, just as Prime Minister Fanfani had proposed to President Kennedy during their meeting in January 1963.
To what extent the dismantling procedure in Turkey paralleled the one in Italy remains unclear, at least on the basis of available documentation.