Francis Gary Powers, Jr. shares his father's story with the Club
Recently, the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club enjoyed a presentation by Francis Gary Powers, Jr. whose father's U2 spy plane was shot down over Russia in 1960. The Cold War incident was dramatized in the movie, "Bridge of Spies." Powers Sr., who parachuted free of his plane, was captured by the Russians. After 18 months imprisoned in the former Soviet Union, he was exchanged for Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel. Powers said his father, who died in a helicopter crash in 1977, returned to suspicions that he was a traitor. He was completely exonerated and, instead, proven to be a hero. Powers Sr. was posthumously awarded numerous medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1996, Powers, Jr., established The Cold War Museum in Warrenton, VA, to honor Cold War veterans, preserve the history of the time and educate the public.