Francis Gary Powers, Jr. to speak at Air Force Museum

This image shows a U-2 Spy Plane on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The National Museum of U.S. Air Force said Thursday Francis Gary Powers, Jr., son of the former U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, will speak at the museum about spy plane incident in 1960.

The lecture, titled “The U-2 Incident: A Son’s Search for the Truth,” will be held on July 21 at 3:00 pm.

Francis Gary Powers, Jr.

On May 1, 1960, his father, Francis Gary Powers, Sr., was shot down by a surface-to-air missile while flying over the Soviet Union. Powers Sr. bailed out and parachuted safely to the ground where he was captured by the KGB and held for interrogation. The plane crashed, but parts of it were recovered and placed on public display in Moscow. America’s secret reconnaissance missions were exposed and President Eisenhower was forced to admit to aerial spying. After extensive questioning by the KGB, Powers was convicted of spying and sentenced to three years in prison and seven more of hard labor. In February 1962, he and a detained American student were traded for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.

The plane crashed, but parts of it were recovered and placed on public display in Moscow. America’s secret reconnaissance missions were exposed and President Eisenhower was forced to admit to aerial spying. After extensive questioning by the KGB, Powers was convicted of spying and sentenced to three years in prison and seven more of hard labor. In February 1962, he and a detained American student were traded for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.

Powers Jr. will also sign copies of the books “Letters from a Soviet Prison: The Personal Journal and Correspondence of CIA U-2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers;” “Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident,” and “Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers,” in the Museum Store from 1-2 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.

The books will be available for purchase in the Museum Store, which is operated by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc.

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