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Pilot of downed U-2 to get posthumous Silver Star

BRISTOL, Va. (AP) – 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.

An Air Force report last year said that the U-2 pilot distinguished himself with his gallantry during harsh interrogation in Soviet prisons.

Powers was swapped for a Soviet spy in February 1962 in Berlin. He died in a 1977 helicopter crash.

Powers posthumously was awarded a military POW medal and a CIA medal in 2000, after incident records were unsealed.

His son, Francis Gary Powers Jr., told the Bristol Herald Courier ( that the award is a wonderful honor and that the family is humbled.

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