Friday, June 8, 2012

Oversight, Corrected.

Stretch points out that a long-overdue oversight has now been rectified.

Francis Gary Powers, spy plane pilot shot down over USSR, to receive Silver Star posthumously
BRISTOL, Va. — The American pilot whose spy plane was shot down in 1960 over the Soviet Union is set to receive a Silver Star posthumously.
A ceremony to award the third-highest combat military decoration for valor to Francis Gary Powers is scheduled June 15 at the Pentagon.
Now, I would imagine a good chunk of the delay comes from the easing of tensions between the two countries, the passage of time, and the declassification of Cold War documents has a lot to do with this rather than any intentional snub to Powers. Our intelligence-gathering capabilities and such were a card closely held to the vest, and even now, some 50+ years after the incident, we're reluctant to divulge *anything* about our abilities - even if they are so dramatically different now that we might as well be giving the Soviets the plans for a Model T...

In any case, it's good to see Captain Powers finally receive this award, even fifty+ years late.

That is all.


Armed Texan said...

We hold it close to our vest because the U-2 is still in use.

TheBusinessEnd said...

I was glad to read this. Powers sure got a tough welcome from some folks when he came back.

Funny timing, too. I just last week finished reading "Operation Overflight"(Powers' own account).

Too bad it looks like we'll be getting the good ol' USSR back again soon.

8Notch said...

I went to college in Bristol, and worked with several people who had known him and his family. Apparently the feeling around his hometown was that it was a bad situation, but he really shouldn't have gone along with the commies and pled guilty to espionage. Allowing himself to be paraded around and used to shame his country was not forgiven. I guess he was supposed to have swallowed his cyanide like a good spy, though he said he was knocked unconscious during his little adventure earthward. The community apparently treated his folks pretty shabbily after the event. Between him having the insolence to be alive and the Russians getting nifty gizmos, it is unsurprising that his honor was so long denied.

Chris Byrne said...

I have heard, from people who would know, that Powers already received an intelligence star.

The silver star is... unnecessary at this point for Powers himself; but more of a public acknowledgement for his family.