U2 Forced Landing Incident

U2 lands in Canada

Sent in by Ken Eckert

Photos courtesy Ken Murphy 

Joe Callaghan and the U-2. Note the protective tarp has been pulled back to allow viewing.

15 March 1960 - Captain Roger Cooper landed his U-2 on frozen Wapawekka lake in Saskatchewan after suffering an electrical failure. He was flying U2 tail #  66717 at the time on an Operation Crowflight. The U-2 was still a Top Secret aircraft at the time of this incident - although the subsequent shooting down of Francis Gary Powers in his U-2 over Russia on 1 May 1960 made the U-2 a "household word" around the world.

RCAF Station Cranberry Portage arranged for snow clearing on the lake by a Lac La Ronge contractor. A C-119 landed on the ice with a new engine and the U-2 was flown off the lake . Personnel from Cranberry Portage were used as guards at the site. 

Additional notes

Operation Crowflights were discontinued in February 1965 and U-2 # 66717 was flying with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at the end of 1965 when it crashed.

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Ken Murphy guarding the downed U-2 aircraft.  Crowflight logo visible over the tail # 66717. U2 in flight


Location Map showing Wapawekka Lake and environs


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Ken Murphy standing by the U-2 Joe Callaghan sitting on the wing of the U-2 Ken Murphy sitting on the snow machine that was left by the RCMP

Photos and text 2002 by Ken Murphy

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