The son of the U-2 pilot made famous on 1st May 1960 when he was shot down over the Soviet Union, is on a European lecture tour. Gary Powers Jr is visiting the Czech republic, Denmark, Germany and the UK.
I had the pleasure of escorting Gary on the UK portion of his tour last week. He gave talks to a private military club in London, and the Heathrow Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society (where I am a committee member). Then it was off to Alton, Hants for an event organised by the founder of the nascent Iron Curtain Museum. Finally, we drove to RAF Fairford for a visit to the 99th ERS, followed by a talk in Fairford town organised by one of the local aircraft enthusiast groups.
The 99th ERS summoned up its pilots and maintainers for a group photo (below). Gary is the one in the white shirt. The jet in the background is 68-10329, the very first U-2R (now a U-2S). More about this unique aircraft on my sister website shortly.
In giving his talks, Gary’s main purpose is to set the record straight regarding the misinformation that surrounded his father’s shootdown; endured following his return to the US; and can still be found today on the Internet. I am pleased to have assisted Gary in this task over the years. You can find much more about all this on Gary’s website and in my books.
In the photos below, Gary is signing books at the enthusiasts’ event in Fairford, and we are both enjoying a well-earned pint in one of the local pubs.