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.
Operation Crowflights were discontinued in February 1965 and U-2, tail# 66717, was flying with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at the end of 1965 when it crashed.
Photo notes : Photos courtesy Ken Murphy