Air Force Plans To Award Silver Star To U-2 Pilot

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Air Force says it will award a Silver Star posthumously to Francis Gary Powers, the pilot whose spy plane was shot down in 1960 over the Soviet Union in a defining moment of the Cold War.

A November report by the Air Force says that the U-2 pilot distinguished himself with his gallantry during harsh interrogation in Soviet prisons.

Powers was swapped for a Soviet spy in February 1962 in Berlin. He died in a 1977 helicopter crash.

Francis Gary Powers Jr. said the decision is further vindication of his father, who was criticized by some at the time.

Powers Sr. posthumously was awarded a military POW medal and a CIA medal in 2000, after incident records were unsealed. The U-2 overflights were a joint CIA-Air Force program.

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  • by Bruce Location: Colorado Springs on Dec 19, 2011 at 06:25 AM
    My dad was an Air Force pilot at this time and I remember him being quite concerned about not only the fact that one of our 'spy' planes had been shot down, but also for the pilot because he knew that Maj.(?) Powers would become a POW in Russia; a host of the KGB, not a good situation at the time. But our military had a code of honor then and it meant something to our troops. I believe that Maj. Powers deserves the Silver Star for his actions during his incarceration.
    • reply
      by jazzcat on Dec 19, 2011 at 12:16 PM in reply to Bruce
      A code of honor then? It meant something to our troops then? I'm sure those currently serving appreciate you spitting on them. Bravo!
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