June 15, 2012

Capt. Francis Gary Powers posthumously receives the Silver Star medal during a Pentagon ceremony, more than 50 years after the Soviets shot down the U-2 pilot. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presented the decoration to Powers’ grandson Francis Gary Powers III and granddaughter Lindsey Berry. 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.