Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Southwest Virginia spy pilot will posthumously receive Silver Star 50 years after being shot down
Tricities ^

Posted on 06/07/2012 5:16:25 AM PDT by Perdogg

Famed Southwest Virginia spy-plane pilot Francis Gary Powers will posthumously receive the Silver Star next week in honor of his captivity in the Soviet Union more than 50 years ago.

(Excerpt) Read more at 2.tricities.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: coldwar; francisgarypowers; heroes; pilots; usaf

1 posted on 06/07/2012 5:16:33 AM PDT by Perdogg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

Too little, too late, even though the honor is well deserved. Any idea what the impetus for this was?


2 posted on 06/07/2012 5:20:42 AM PDT by jagusafr ("Write in Palin and prepare for war...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki; SunkenCiv

ping


3 posted on 06/07/2012 5:23:32 AM PDT by Perdogg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: jagusafr

It is obvious that you didn’t read the article.


4 posted on 06/07/2012 5:27:03 AM PDT by Agamemnon (Darwinism is the glue that holds liberalism together)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

Hand Salute.......................two


5 posted on 06/07/2012 5:28:25 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Romney - not Obama - not a Conservative - not a real Christian)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

I remember seeing some of the wreckage of his plane in the Armed Forces Museum in Moscow where it is proudly displayed.


6 posted on 06/07/2012 5:28:36 AM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American that a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monterrosa-24

There are still a lot of questions about that—whether the wreckage displayed really was the U-2 or not; why the CIA continued the flights even after Eisenhower had expressly ordered they be halted, to avoid just the kind of mishap which occurred, prior to his planned first trip to the USSR;
whether the entire incident wasn’t a set-up; etc.


7 posted on 06/07/2012 5:42:33 AM PDT by CondorFlight (I)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

Just this past Monday I met a former AF gentleman who said he had met and spoken with Powers in Turkey. Their conversation had started over a beer and the differences in their (high) security badges.


8 posted on 06/07/2012 5:48:48 AM PDT by Roccus (Obama & Holder LLP, Procurers of fine arms for the most discerning drug lords (202) 456-1414)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alas Babylon!; American_Centurion; An.American.Expatriate; ASA.Ranger; ASA Vet; Ax; Azeem; ...

MI Ping


9 posted on 06/07/2012 5:51:10 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. De Vattel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg; jagusafr
That isn't much of an excerpt.

The bottom line: “Nothing could have happened before 2000, when declassified files were released,” Powers Jr. said. “That’s what started the ball rolling.”
10 posted on 06/07/2012 5:53:12 AM PDT by FreedomOfExpression
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

I was down at Memorial Park in Cranford, New Jersey a few years ago, and there is a memorial marker there for Lt. Charles A Harker, USAF and Cranford Class of ‘48. The marker said that Lt. Harker had been shot down in an F-86 over Korea, captured, and taken to the Soviet Union, where he was held prisoner for the rest of his life.

Powers made it home, but many did not.


11 posted on 06/07/2012 6:15:03 AM PDT by Haiku Guy ("The problem with Internet Quotes is that you never know if they are real" -- Abraham Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

It’s about time! My dad’s brother went to high school for a time with “Frank” Powers, and always thought highly of him.

The CIA and U.S. government treated him like crap after he returned from Russia. And his last act in this life was simple heroic, when he steered his crashing helicopter in Los Angeles away from a park full of kids, knowing that it would probably kill him.


12 posted on 06/07/2012 6:23:07 AM PDT by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CondorFlight

I still think it was no coincidence that Powers was shot down just months after a radar operator for a major U-2 base, Lee Harvey Oswald, defected to the Soviet Union.


13 posted on 06/07/2012 6:46:15 AM PDT by Boogieman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Boogieman

you have it right— read “Programed to Kill” Ion Pacepa


14 posted on 06/07/2012 6:51:46 AM PDT by capt B
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

According to Wikipedia, he was born in Jenkins, KY, and grew up in Pound in Wise County, VA (about 6 miles away). He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery—his grave marker can be seen on “Find A Grave” if you type in his name. The marker says CAPT US AIR FORCE KOREA. His wife died in 2004.


15 posted on 06/07/2012 6:57:33 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zot

Gary Francis Powers ping


16 posted on 06/07/2012 7:52:12 AM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

Does anyone know the exact circumstances of the shootdown? I had read that the U-2 experienced some type of mechanical problem requiring Powers to descend to a lower altitude. It was the descent that allowed the Soviets to shoot him down. Does anyone know if that is true?


17 posted on 06/07/2012 8:06:01 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Agamemnon

That is correct, and why I was asking perdogg for a summary.


18 posted on 06/07/2012 9:12:14 AM PDT by jagusafr ("Write in Palin and prepare for war...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: GreyFriar

Thanks for the ping. Just getting shot down doesn’t qualify for a Silver Star, but perhaps courage in captivity does.


19 posted on 06/07/2012 12:10:57 PM PDT by zot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: zot

I was in basic training at Lackland when this incident went down. We had been there for about four weeks and still had no clue what was happening. Then all the officers and NCOs were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. They were convinced that we (minus the recruits) would all be shipping out for points unknown that very evening.


20 posted on 06/10/2012 7:11:46 PM PDT by Ax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Ax

Thank you for your service. On 8 May 1960 I was a B-47 navigator in Strategic Air Command. My crew was on alert when we were told a U-2 had been lost. There was no action taken by SAC that I know of, such as putting more aircraft on alert. (During the Cuban missile crisis, SAC very quickly put ALL flyable aircraft on alert and dispersed small groups of B-47s to other airfields, including civilian airports, to compound the Soviet’s targeting problem. My crew and 5 other crews from Pease AFB, NH, flew our planes to Logan Airport in Boston and were on alert there for a couple of weeks.)


21 posted on 06/10/2012 9:09:39 PM PDT by zot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: zot

Back at ya, zot. The command where I ended up, the Security Service, was involved with this incident. We had a base in northern Pakistan and several stations in Europe and in Turkey and the operators and analysts were tracking the Soviet Air Defense activities


22 posted on 06/11/2012 4:09:55 AM PDT by Ax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg
"On Dec. 8, 2011, the board pointed to two other officers who were shot down in the USSR, held prisoner and eventually awarded for their service, according to the Associated Press."

I believe this is referencing the RB-47H shot down in 1960, and survived by CPTs Olmstead and McKone.

I read about this when I was a kid. Funny how most folks don't remember how many airman we lost to "unfriendly fire" back during the Cold War.

23 posted on 06/11/2012 4:47:32 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("To Serve Manatee" is a cookbook!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jonah Hex

Thanks for your post about McKone and Olmstead. I met that aircrew in 1958 and knew they were shot down in 1960, but had not heard about the book. I just now ordered a copy through Amazon.com.


24 posted on 06/11/2012 1:13:42 PM PDT by zot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Ax

Do you know whether the U-2 experienced some type of problem requiring Powers to descend to a lower altitude?


25 posted on 06/11/2012 1:17:14 PM PDT by zot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: zot
Glad to help. (smile) It amazes me I still remember that book after oh so many years...
26 posted on 06/11/2012 1:35:48 PM PDT by Jonah Hex ("To Serve Manatee" is a cookbook!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: zot

I think it was over/near Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg since 1991), SE of Moscow. We (U.S.) didn’t belive that the USSR’s SAMs were capable of reaching the altitude at which Powers was flying. BZZZZT.


27 posted on 06/11/2012 2:07:17 PM PDT by Ax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: zot

I think it was over/near Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg since 1991), SE of Moscow. We (U.S.) didn’t belive that the USSR’s SAMs were capable of reaching the altitude at which Powers was flying. BZZZZT.


28 posted on 06/11/2012 2:07:35 PM PDT by Ax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: zot

I think it was over/near Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg since 1991), SE of Moscow. We (U.S.) didn’t belive that the USSR’s SAMs were capable of reaching the altitude at which Powers was flying.


29 posted on 06/11/2012 2:08:08 PM PDT by Ax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Ax

Thanks.


30 posted on 06/11/2012 7:16:50 PM PDT by zot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson