The Air Force will award a Silver Star posthumously to Francis Gary Powers, the pilot whose spy plane was shot down in 1960 over the Soviet Union in a defining moment of the Cold War.
The Air Force determined that the U-2 pilot showed “steadfast loyalty” while under harsh interrogation in Soviet prisons. In a report obtained by The Associated Press, it cited his “sustained courage” and gallantry despite “cajolery, trickery, insults and threats of death.”
Powers was swapped for a Soviet spy in February 1962 at Berlin’s Glienicke Bridge. He died in the 1977 crash of a traffic helicopter he was flying in Los Angeles.
Better late than never…