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Francis Gary Powers U-2 -6 decades on

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Francis Gary Powers U-2 -6 decades on

Old 2nd May 2021, 07:22
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Francis Gary Powers U-2 -6 decades on

Sixty years on from the U-2 shoot down.

https://theaviationist.com/2020/05/0...xnNrdmcoZJ8b6c



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Old 2nd May 2021, 07:55
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Don't forget one or two RAF pilots flew those mission years before Powers, the difference being he was the first (as far as we know) to get shot down over Soviet territory.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 08:11
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Given the risk he took he was not treated with the respect he deserved after finally coming home. Like always having to defend himself how he could dare to survive this.

More details of the flight (book extract):
https://coldwar.org/default.asp?pid=...d=y&subid=6191

(Hoping to prevent those links to merge by adding another line in between)

https://dragonladyhistory.com/2020/05/01/u-2-mayday-shootdown-gary-powers/

Last edited by Less Hair; 2nd May 2021 at 10:39.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 08:31
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Although I was only 13 I can remember exactly where I was at the time - visiting my Grandparents in Cairns, Qld when the news came over the radio.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 09:53
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I read it first as a small column near the bottom of the lead page on The Daily Telegraph. Almost inconsequential in its tone.
The following day however...........
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Old 2nd May 2021, 10:44
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Do see the movie, "BRIDGE OF SPIES." It's about the shoot-down and negotiations for his safe return.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 11:11
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Sixty years on from the U-2 shoot down.
Nit picking I know but it is sixty one.

According to The Cold War Museum:
It was May 1, 1960, where the "May Day” holiday was celebrated in the Soviet Union. It was also at a time where Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union were quite high.
I know because I was at South Cerney at the time.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 11:46
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Originally Posted by ATPMBA View Post
Do see the movie, "BRIDGE OF SPIES." It's about the shoot-down and negotiations for his safe return.

Yes, an excellent Tom Hanks film
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Old 2nd May 2021, 11:55
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Ballsy guys cruising over enemy airspace at that height in the bad old days of the Cold War.
A technical fault could kill you and a shoot down could do the same.
His book is a good read too. I don’t blame him for not trusting the destruct button as not being instantaneous
Had he died he would have been an American hero ; because he survived.. not so much.
And in ‘62? ..the Cuban missile crisis things got really “hot” Fortunately wiser heads prevailed.

Was hitching around the US at the time and watched Kennedy’s speech on tv in a department store.
People fell into each other’s arms weeping , like we’re all going to die shortly, and my thoughts were...hop on the first bus to the nearest marina and “borrow” a yacht to sail back to Oz.!
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Old 2nd May 2021, 12:05
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Other ballsy guys took close ups of the missiles on Cuba.


https://www.wpafb.af.mil/News/Photos...to/2000103014/

Last edited by Less Hair; 2nd May 2021 at 16:43.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 13:55
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A Brave man who served Democracy well. "Bridge of Spies" entertaining, and a tribute to Mark Rylance, and Tom Hanks portrayal of Rudolf Abels {pronounced Arbels) and Lawyer James Donovan.
The swapping of Gary Powers / Fred Pryor for Abels resulted in many Spy Swaps through the Office of Wolfgang Vogel.
Vogel's depiction by Sabastian Koch was good but did not reflect some of the actual events. (rather Spielberg moments) Vogel did not drive a Volvo P1800.
Scottish American Diplomat Francis Meehan had much involvement in the negotiations to swap Powers and Pryor for Abels.
There should have been another American traded at the same time. Marvin Makkinen would have been the third, but had to wait for a later swap.
Lance Shippey
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Old 2nd May 2021, 14:02
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Seen bits of Dragon Lady wreckage in the museum of the Revolution in Havana !
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Old 2nd May 2021, 16:26
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Seen bits of Dragon Lady wreckage in the museum of the Revolution in Havana !
I've seen other bits at the Central Air Force museum in Moscow...next to a copy of the missile used. That was in 1999 so things might have changed since.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 16:37
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In the long run the shoot down was a good thing

a) it showed the madder folk in the USA that the Russians had a defence system that worked (some of the time) - talk of preemptive strikes became less fashionable

b) it really boosted the satellite intelligence business - no-one at risk, regular coverage, no bad publicity.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 16:44
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c) Kelly Johnson designed the fantastic A-12 and SR-71.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 17:47
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Other ballsy guys took close ups of the missiles on Cuba.


https://www.wpafb.af.mil/News/Photos...to/2000103014/
Amazing photo, largely due to the shadow of the 101.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 20:34
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Flying the U-2 over Cuba.
https://donmooreswartales.com/2016/03/21/milmoyle/

c-span presentation:
https://www.c-span.org/video/?309079...missile-crisis

Last edited by Less Hair; 2nd May 2021 at 21:16.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 23:11
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
Nit picking I know but it is sixty one.

According to The Cold War Museum:

I know because I was at South Cerney at the time.
doesn’t seem like nit picking at all, the original article posted is a year old. Good call!
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Old 3rd May 2021, 01:20
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I currently work with his stepdaughter...she definitely lives off his legacy!
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Old 3rd May 2021, 02:24
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Another interesting but little known story is the shooting down and capture of the pilot of the B-26 that bombed and sank British ships in Balikpapan harbour in 1958.
Alan Pope - B-26 pilot
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