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Gary Powers

Nikita Khrushchev’s son remembers a great turning point of the Cold War, as seen from behind the Iron Curtain

On May 1, 1960, a Soviet V-750 surface-to-air missile (known in America as the SA-Z “Guideline”) shot down a U-2, one of the “invulnerable” American spy planes. The plane was a phantom—of all the secret projects of those years, perhaps the most secret.

Setting the record straight about my father.

On May 1, 1960, my father was shot down while flying a U-2 over the Soviet Union. After the SAM-2 missile exploded near the fragile tail section of his aircraft, everything appeared to be in order until the plane nosed down and didn’t respond to the controls.

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