(Extensions of Remarks - June 20, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1092]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. H. MORGAN GRIFFITH

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 20, 2012

  Mr. GRIFFITH of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I submit these remarks in 
honor of Captain Francis Gary Powers, a loyal, devoted citizen of the 
United States, who was posthumously awarded the Silver Star last week.
  A native of Virginia's Ninth Congressional District, Captain Powers 
grew up in Pound, Virginia. According to the official award citation, 
from May 1, 1960 to February 10, 1962, Captain Powers served in 
connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the 
United States. While assigned to the Joint U.S. Air Force, Central 
Intelligence Agency (CIA), U 2 Reconnaissance Squadron, Detachment 10 
10, Captain Powers was held captive in solitary confinement in the 
infamous Lubyanka Prison in Moscow after his U 2 aircraft had been shot 
down by a Soviet surface to air missile.
  For almost 107 days, Captain Powers endured interrogations, 
harassment, and unmentionable hardships on a continuous basis by 
numerous top Soviet Secret Police interrogating teams. Although greatly 
weakened physically by the lack of food, denial of sleep and the mental 
rigors of constant interrogation, Captain Powers steadfastly refused 
all attempts to give sensitive defense information or be exploited for 
propaganda purposes. Captain Powers resisted all Soviet efforts through 
cajolery, trickery, and threats of death to obtain the information they 
  Captain Powers was subjected to a trial and was sentenced to an 
additional 542 days of captivity in Vladimir Prison before finally 
being released to the United States in 1962. As a result of his 
unconquerable spirit, exceptional loyalty, and continuous heroic 
actions, Russian intelligence gained no vital information from him.
  For his sustained courage in an exceptionally hostile environment, 
Captain Powers was publicly recognized by the Director of the CIA and 
the Senate Armed Services Committee. By his gallantry and devotion to 
duty in the dedication of his service to his country, Captain Powers 
has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air 
  It is with great admiration, respect, and appreciation that I stand 
before you to honor such a courageous American. I know I speak for so 
many when I say, we're proud of our native son, Captain Francis Gary