Soviet Union
Steven Spielberg
(Movies & TV)
Cold War
Lockheed U-2
(Aerospace and Defence)
Lockheed Corporation
(Aerospace and Defence)
Barry Goldwater
Prescott Bush

See also

Francis Gary Powers

Knowledge Identifier: +Francis_Gary_Powers


Francis Gary Powers

American pilot whose Central Intelligence Agency U-2 spy plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over Soviet Union airspace, causing the 1960 U-2 incident add

Category: Politics

Born in 1929.

Countries: United States (53%), (21%), Tennessee (16%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Soviet Union, Steven Spielberg, Cold War

Linked to: Milligan College, KGB, Central Air Force Museum, Lockheed Corporation




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Francis Gary Powers was born in 1929 add something


Graduating from Milligan College in Tennessee, in 1950, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force add something


Powers was discharged from the Air Force in 1956 with the rank of captain add something


Soviet intelligence, especially the KGB, had been aware of U-2 missions since 1956, but they lacked effective counter-measures until 1960 add something


Benwell - Using the name Rudolf Abel he was arrested in New York in 1957 as a Soviet spy and was the person exchanged for Gary Powers, the pilot in the U2 bomber incident, in 1962


By 1960, Powers was already a veteran of many covert aerial reconnaissance missions add something


On August 17, 1960, Powers was convicted of espionage against the Soviet Union and was sentenced to a total of ten years, three years in imprisonment followed by seven years of hard labor add something


Lockheed U-2 - In 1960, CIA pilot Gary Powers was shot down while flying a U-2 over Soviet territory


Unmanned aerial vehicle - This plan became intensified when Francis Gary Powers and his "secret" U-2 were shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960


Sukhoi Su-9 - It was reported that a Su-9 was involved in the interception of Francis Gary Powers' U-2 on Soviet territory on 1 May 1960


On February 10, 1962, Powers was exchanged, along with American student Frederic Pryor, in a well-publicized spy swap at the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin, Germany add something


Lockheed, and the Air Force, on March 6, 1962, Powers appeared before a Senate Armed Services Select Committee hearing chaired by Senator Richard Russell and including Senators Prescott Bush and Barry Goldwater Sr. It was determined that Powers had followed orders, had not divulged any critical information to the Soviets, and had conducted himself as a fine young man under dangerous circumstances add something


Powers was originally scheduled to receive it in 1963 along with other pilots involved in the CIA's U-2 program, but the award was postponed for political reasons add something


Powers worked for Lockheed as a test pilot from 1963 to 1970 add something


Powers received the CIA's Intelligence Star in 1965 after his return from the Soviet Union add something


In 1970, Powers published his first – and only – book review, on a work about aerial reconnaissance, "Unarmed and Unafraid" by Glenn Infield, in the monthly magazine, "Business & Commercial Aviation" add something


In 1970, he co-wrote a book called "Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident add something


In 1976, Powers' biography became a television movie, "Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident" add something

Francis Gary Powers died in 1977 add something


Powers' son, Francis Gary Powers Jr., founded a museum of Cold War history in 1996 add something


Prisoner of War Medal - In 2000, on the 40th anniversary of the U-2 Incident, his family was presented his posthumously awarded Prisoner of War Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and National Defense Service Medal add something


In 2010, CIA documents were released indicating that American officials did not believe Powers' account of the incident at the time, because it was contradicted by a classified National Security Agency report add something


Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, it was long essentially a traveling exhibit until it found a permanent home in 2011 on a former Army communications base outside Washington add something


On June 15, 2012, Powers was posthumously awarded the Silver Star medal for "demonstrating 'exceptional loyalty' while enduring harsh interrogation in the Lubyanka Prison in Moscow for almost two years add something


Steven Spielberg - Spielberg's upcoming film, shot from September to December 2014, is a Cold War thriller based on the 1960 U-2 incident, focusing on James B. Donovan's negotiations with the Soviets for the release of pilot Gary Powers after his aircraft was shot down over Soviet territory


In the 2015 movie "Bridge of Spies", dramatizing the negotiations to repatriate Powers, he is portrayed by Austin Stowell, with Tom Hanks starring as negotiator James Donovan add something


Steven Spielberg - Spielberg directed 2015's "Bridge of Spies", a Cold War thriller based on the 1960 U-2 incident, and focusing on James B. Donovan's negotiations with the Soviets for the release of pilot Gary Powers after his aircraft was shot down over Soviet territory