Skip to comments.Cold War pilot Francis Gary Powers to get Silver Star
Posted on 06/09/2012 11:02:47 AM PDT by moonshot925
(CNN) -- An American pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union will be posthumously awarded the Silver Star next week, 50 years after he was released from prison and returned to the United States.
The award for valor is being bestowed on Francis Gary Powers for exhibiting "exceptional loyalty" during harsh interrogation while in captivity by the Soviet Union for nearly two years, the Air Force said.
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration awarded to members of any U.S. military branch for valor in the face of the enemy, the Air Force said. The award will be presented to his family Friday during a ceremony at the Pentagon, officials said.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Obama Hussein is really a Flaming Butthead! I am sure Putin ordered Obama to have this award posted now to highlight the Superiority of Communism.
I call Jefferson "the copycat".
But remember, this was common back then. It was a measure of one's education. Hence, we have the Federalist papers.
He knew the risks. We traded an asset more important than FGP. Why didn’t he destroy the aircraft? When time came for him to perform he failed.
Huh? The aircraft was shot out from underneath him. The pieces landed in what is now Azerbaijan.
Am I missing something in your post?
FGP was much closer to being classified as a spy than a pilot. Granted the U2 was difficult to fly at cruise his real job was to guard the secrets entrusted to him. He failed miserably and gave Dwight a big black eye.
More interesting is to compare Dwight’s behavior when behind the eight ball to our current White House Occupier in his time of trouble. In fact you can’t compare them. Dwight was much more of a man.
He had self destruct capability for the classified equipment.
He parachuted safely to the ground so he obviously had some time to make decisions.
I guess now that the Zero is convinced he’s going to loose, he’s got that flexibility he was talking about.
How often does good news turn out in the end to be bad news after all.
Correct, and he did have some time before the aircraft came apart. How much, I don't know, but it probably wasn't much at that altitude and speed.
Do we know if FGP was Catholic?
Mortal sin to commit suicide.
An entry in Wikipedia notes that the Vilyam Fisher, the nom de guerre of the KGB agent operating as an illegal (i.e. without diplomatic cover, and thus immunity) who was traded for Powers, was a nonentity that the Soviets nonetheless accepted in exchange for Powers, pretty much for the same reason that we did the trade - for employee morale:
It suited the KGB, for the sake of its own reputation, to portray "Abel's" nine years of being an undetected agent in the U.S., as a triumph by a dedicated NKVD member. The myth of the master spy Rudolf Abel replaced the reality of Fisher's illegal residency. The party hierarchy was well aware that Fisher had achieved nothing of real significance. During his eight years as an illegal resident he appears not to have recruited, or even identified, a single potential agent.
Understatement of the year.
His primary job was as a pilot. He was NOT expected to kill himself, never was required, either.
From: Memorandum of Discussion at the 445th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, May 24, 1960.
“Secretary Gates asked whether the pilot of the U-2 had been briefed to tell the truth if he were captured. Mr. Dulles said the pilot had been told to reveal whatever he himself knew, including the fact that he worked for CIA.”
FGP acted honorable and with courage given the situation, expectations and circumstances.
Given that Americans don't exist to improve the stature of any national equivalent of the Man on a White Horse, it's not clear that this is such a big moral defect on Powers's part. If Ike blamed Powers for not killing himself, then he was asking for something far above and beyond what we asked of combat troops in WWII. Imagine the national furor and the impact on morale if bomber crews over Berlin or Tokyo had been asked to kill themselves to avoid revealing operational secrets in the event of imminent capture.
Please tell me the kenyan didn’t say that.
Hopefully that kind of thing is worked out before someone is chosen for a mission and is issued the poison with everyone thinking that everything is in place.
In ground units where that might be called for, you can hope for a friend to do it to you before they have to move on.
I remember reading about Abel’s post-exchange fate. He was given a chair at KGB headquarters. Not even a desk...a chair. And he wasn’t assigned anything of consequence.
When a friend crossed Abel’s path in Moscow after his return, and asked what he was doing now, Abel lamentably replied “I’m a museum exhibit”.
Post 33 raises the fact FGP was not explicitly told to (or expected to) kill himself.
The pill would be an option, not a requirement.
Option? If the soldier tells you that I am Catholic I cannot comply with that part of the mission if chosen, then the “option” is off the table, the pill serves no purpose.
There were missions requiring not being taken alive in WWII almost certainly, even in the 1980s some GI's knew that suicide or a team mate's assistance was known to be a reality in worse case scenarios.