Powers Receives Silver Star

Capt. Francis Gary Powers posthumously received the Silver Star medal during a Pentagon ceremony, honored for his heroism during 21 months of Soviet captivity in the early 1960s. Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presented the high military decoration to Powers’ grandson Francis Gary Powers III and granddaughter Lindsey Berry on June 15 before a gathering of family members, friends, service members, and other well-wishers. “At the height of the Cold War, the nation called on extraordinary men like Captain Powers to undertake the most sensitive and dangerous missions,” said Schwartz. “Captain Powers earned this Silver Star.” Powers, who died in 1977, received the medal for the gallantry and sustained courage he displayed while in Soviet captivity from May 1960 to February 1962 after the Soviets shot down his U-2 reconnaissance aircraft during a top-secret overflight of Soviet military installations. Despite harsh interrogation, Powers refused all attempts to give sensitive information or be exploited for propaganda purposes. “We are very honored and humbled to be receiving this award on behalf of my dad,” said Powers’ son Gary. (Washington, D.C., report by TSgt. Richard A. Williams Jr.) (See also Silver Star for Francis Gary Powers.)