Francis Gary Powers Awarded Posthumous Air Force Silver Star
June 18, 2012 at 4:13 AM (PT)
The pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the SOVIET UNION in 1960 and created an international incident, then later became a prominent helicopter traffic reporter in LOS ANGELES, has received a posthumous Silver Star from the AIR FORCE.
The NEW YORK TIMES reports that FRANCIS GARY POWERS, who was imprisoned by the Soviets for over two years, then provided reports for KGIL-A/SAN FERNANDO, CA and NBC O&O KNBC-TV/LOS ANGELES before his 1977 death when his chopper crashed in the VALLEY, was honored FRIDAY (6/18) in another citation that followed his exoneration from suspicion that he provided information to the Soviets to gain his release.
Declassified documents released in 1998 by the CIA revealed that POWERS "endured unmentionable hardships on a continuous basis" by his captors and showed "indomitable spirit, exceptional loyalty, and continuous heroic actions," according to the citation issued with the award. POWERS was previously awarded a posthumous P.O.W. medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and a CIA Director's Medal.