On Monday July 18th, 2022 a captivated audience was given the opportunity to hear the story of the U-2 spy plane, its importance to the US during the Cold War. Gary Powers, Jr. presented his stories to a welcoming crowd of Hopewell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Cincinnati Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (CCSAR) participants. Gary Jr. told about the past events involving his father Gary Powers, Sr. who was the captured pilot of the downed U-2 spy plane in Russian territory.
Members of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Revolution participated in this presentation. The speaker clearly had a vested interest in the content!
Mr Powers shared with the crowd the backdrop of US / USSR relations at that time. There was discussion about the time Mr. Powers spent in captivity, the “trade” of spies which resulted in his release to US customs. Also presented was the partnership between the US Military and the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Powers was classified as a civilian, non-military representative at the time of his capture. Only after the truth about the secret spy flight program was released was Mr. Powers awarded full military honors. Unfortunately these honors were bestowed after his death in 1977.
What a treat to get to listen to a man speak so proudly about his father and the contributions he made to the Cold War efforts. Learning that Gary Powers, Jr. was only 12 when his father passed in 1977 is a harsh reminder of what our military families suffer through when a service member is lost.
Mr. Powers shared with us his participation in the recent movie directed by Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies: an episode from the Cold War. This thriller by Mr. Spielberg deals with an episode from the Cold War: the arrest of Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in New York City in June 1957 and his subsequent exchange for U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers some five years later. I for one will now watch this movie to learn more. Gary Powers Jr. served as a creative consultant with the interest in getting as much fact based truth into a Hollywood script about his father’s experiences.
We were honored by his presence, his sharing of truth, unraveling of mysteries surrounding this very uneasy time in our recent history.
George Stewart, President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution presented Gary Powers, Jr. a Cincinnati SAR Challenge Coin as a token of our appreciation.
We encourage you to purchase Gary Power’s books and see the movie Bridge of Spies to learn more.
Unraveling history always has a sweet ring to it!
PS – if you use Amazon to purchase books or movies, please use http://www.amazonsmile.com and search/select Cincinnati Sons of the American Revolution as your preferred charity. When ready to purchase, you should log onto Amazonsmile.com and select Cincinnati SAR as your preferred charity. When you do this, Amazon shares part of their fees that they charge the retailer with our local chapter. Note when you do this, Amazon keeps your purchase information private and does not share what you purchased with our chapter, just sends us a portion of the fees they charge. Thanks for your support!!
If you want more information on how http://www.amazonsmile.com works, here is a link to our recent blog post explaining how it works and benefits our local chapter.