Francis Gary Powers
Francis Gary Powers (August 17th 1929 - 1977) is a pilot American recruited by the CIA during the Cold war in order to control a U-2, Reconnaissance aircraft, it had the rank of Capitaine in the United States Air Force.
May 1st 1960, Gary Powers, more tried out pilots of U-2, took off of the base of Peshawar in Pakistan for a flight which was to lead it to Bodø, in Norway: 6100 km including 4700 above the Soviet territory.
The beginning of the mission occurred normally, with its harvest of catches of sights, but whereas it carried out its turn above Sverdlovsk, Powers noticed a trail of condensation which followed the same road as him: a hunter which tried to intercept it, but which in any case was well too low to constitute a real threat. Suddenly, a terrible noise resounds with the back and the apparatus went into a reversed tailspin, the nose in the air. Rather than to use its ejector seat, Gary Powers waited to be with: 10000 m to release its canopy and only jumped to 4500 m because it had problems of oxygen connection. Its parachute was spread normally.
The eyewitnesses of the scene with Sverdlovsk (today Iekaterinbourg) tell that by seeing the shootings of SAM rockets they thought of a fireworks celebrating on May 1st, with crowning the whole of the jumps in parachutes. The salvo of rockets SAM had indeed also cut down the MIG which continued U-2 de Powers, and the pilot of MIG had also jumped in parachute.
Captured by the Soviets then condemned to ten years of prison, unusual treatment at the time in Soviet Union. After two years of captivity, it was exchanged with the Pont of Glienicke against the spy of the KGB Rudolph Abel and could return to the country.
Many people within the world of espionage and USAF (in particular Hover) wanted some to him to be ejected instead of injecting a cyanide capsule. Because with its capture, the Soviets had a means of pressure against the United States which allowed the release of Rudolph Abel, which never revealed anything with the American services of against-espionage.
He worked then like Test pilot for Lockheed Corporation of 1963 to 1970
It is only in 1987, ten years after its death and 25 years after its return, which to him is decreed the Distinguished Flying Cross .
- Sergueï Khrouchtchev - wire of Nikita Khrouchtchev - made a very detailed account of the incident of May 1st 1960 seen Soviet side and whose details were held a long time secret (in English).
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