Published June 15, 2012
Capt. Francis Gary Powers is being posthumously awarded the Silver Star at the Pentagon for his loyalty while being held captive by the Soviet Union in the 1960s.
Powers served in the CIA as well as the Air Force. His U-2 airplane was shot down in 1960, and for more than 100 days, he was held in a Soviet prison. Secrecy clouding Powers' service meant that he was not quickly recognized for his duties when he returned to the United States.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz says the U.S. owes its Cold War victory to "efforts of dedicated public service and service members like Gary Powers."
The Silver Star is the third-highest military decoration.
Powers died in a helicopter crash in 1977.