31 August 2017
NVAHOF Director TD Barnes, a committee member of the Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial led by Steve Ririe and the committee members were received at the Central Intelligence Agency Headquarters to present the Agency a special plaque that now hangs at the headquarters to the CIA in Langley, VA.
The inspiration for this National Memorial started on November 17, 1955, at 7:25 a.m., a USAF Military Air Transport Service aircraft took off from Burbank, CA with an air force crew, Lockheed and Hycon engineers, CIA personnel and scientists bound for Watertown, now known as Area 51. At 8:40 a.m. the aircraft was first reported missing. The full story of the fourteen men aboard and the U2 reconnaissance plane they helped build remained classified for over 40 years. Also classified as top-secret was the account of the men who risked their lives while they braved subzero temperatures at 11,500 feet elevation to attempt a rescue on Mount Charleston. Now, over four decades later, the time has come to tell one of the most intriguing stories of the Cold War. We honor these men and the hundreds of individuals who have worked in obscurity during the Cold War, many of whom have paid for our freedom with their very lives.