U2 – Forced Landing Incident

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, tail# 66717, was flying with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at the end of 1965 when it crashed.

Photo notes : Photos courtesy Ken Murphy

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

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.

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.