American spy pilot Francis Gary Powers is swapped for Soviet Colonel Rudolf Abel,
a senior KGB spy who had earlier been convicted of murder in the US courts but
not executed and held as a possible agent swap for a later time.
two men were brought to separate sides of the Glienicker Bridge, which connected
East and West Berlin across Lake Wannsee. They both crossed the white line that
separates East and West at 8:52 am, Berlin time.
In another transfer, Frederic Pryor an American held by East German police, was
released at another checkpoint.
Gary Powers, a CIA agent, had been shot down by the Soviets in his Lockheed U-2
while flying from Peshwar, Pakistan to a military airfield in Norway. En route
he was collecting military intelligence. His plane was shot down in the Ural Mountains,
but he parachuted from the plane only to be captured by Soviet agents later.