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Russia Shoots Down U.S. Spy Plane

May 6, 2010 |  7:12 am

May 6, 1960, Cover

May 10, 1960, U-2
May 10, 1960: A Lockheed engineer says this Soviet photo of the downed U-2 is a fake.

May 6, 1960, Spy Plane

May 6, 1960: Although the Soviets shot down a U-2 on May 1, the story didn’t appear in The Times until five days later. It’s particularly interesting to note that the paper treated this as a second-day story, even though there was no previous coverage.  I suspect this was in response to TV and radio reports, but that’s only a guess. 

50504395[1] Photograph by the Los Angeles Times 

Francis Gary Powers, who formerly piloted the CIA's U-2 spy plane, eyeballs traffic for KGIL-AM in 1973.

Pilot Francis Gary Powers was convicted and served nearly two years before being freed in February 1962 in exchange for spy Rudolf Abel. Powers eventually became a helicopter pilot for KNBC-TV Channel 4. He and his engineer, George Spears, died in an Aug. 1, 1977,  crash near a Little League field at 17500 Oxnard St. The helicopter was evidently out of gas, The Times said.

Newer, highly modified versions of the U-2 aircraft remain in service.

May 6, 1960, U-2

May 6, 1960, Analysis

May 6, 1960, Analysis