Francis Gary Powers

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Powers in 1960

Francis Gary Powers (Jenkins, Kentucky August 17, 1929 – Los Angeles, California, August 1, 1977) was an American pilot. He was known for piloting a Central Intelligence Agency U-2 spy plane which was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union.[1] This caused the 1960 U-2 incident, and played a large role in the Cold War.

Powers was held as a prisoner of war in the Soviet Union. On February 10, 1962, Powers was exchanged in a spy swap in Berlin. The exchange was for Soviet KGB Colonel Vilyam Fisher, known as "Rudolf Abel", who had been caught by the FBI and tried and jailed for espionage.[2] Powers credited his father with the swap idea. When released, Powers's total time in captivity was 1 year, 9 months, and 10 days.

Powers died in Los Angeles County, California in a helicopter crash, aged 47.

References[change | change source]

  1. "CIA FOIA - Francis Gary Powers: U-2 Spy Pilot Shot Down by the Soviets". Foia.cia.gov. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  2. Famous Cases: Rudolph Ivanovich Abel (Hollow Nickel Case) Archived January 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Francis Gary Powers at Wikimedia Commons