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Lost WW2 Douglas A-20 Havoc finally located in Siberia

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by zwiebel, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    An American Douglas A-20 Havoc, missing in Siberia since WW2, has finally been located.

    'The aircraft was lost in the taiga over Kemerovo region in western Siberia 71 years ago en route to the eastern front in Europe from Alaska. '

    'Wreckage of the bomber had been spotted by a hunter in the taiga 48 years ago but despite some parts being clearly visible from the air, he was unable to retrace his steps to the crash site in the 4,129 square kilometre Kuznetsky Alatau wildlife reserve.'

    Another research team stumbled upon the wreckage last month, which was in surprisingly good condition with the tail number F216 still clearly visible. No remains of the 4-man crew were found, sadly, but military records may show who they were. Russian authorities say the plane was lent by the US as part of the lend lease program to the Red Army, and would have had a Soviet crew for the flight over Siberia. It's not known what will happen to the wreckage.

    http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/first-pictures-of-us-warplane-lost-over-siberia-in-1943/

    *Laughing out loud at myself, because I didn't believe what the article said about having a Soviet crew. If the planes flew from Alaska, how would it have a Soviet Crew? There weren't any Soviet troops in Alaska. I was deeply suspicious.

    Much reading later.....Oh yes there were. All to do with the war in the Pacific really, but it meant the US wanted an open route from Alaska to Siberia and lent 'Uncle Joe' Stalin planes. He agreed, but only if Soviet troops could fly the planes over there. So a base for them was built in Alaska.

    BBM
    'Gambell, St. Lawrence Island
    Constructed 1943 by Air Transport Command, used as refueling/servicing airfield for transfer of Lend-Lease aircraft to Siberia; Transferred to Eleventh Air Force, then to Alaskan Air Command, 1945 and closed, turned over to War Assets Administration for disposition, 1946. Jurisdiction transferred to private ownership in 1950 and now Gambell Airport.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_World_War_II_Army_Airfields

    The planes for the Soviet Union were flown by way of the Northwest Staging Route to Ladd Field at Fairbanks.....The first planes from the continental United States reached Fairbanks in September 1942 and, after inspection and acceptance by the Russians, were flown off by them before the end of the month......the air route operated by the Army through northwestern Canada and across Alaska served principally and very largely the purpose of delivering airplanes to the Russians, an activity which continued unabated until the summer of 1945.

    http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/Guard-US/ch10.htm
     
  2. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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  3. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    Hauntingly beautiful....
     
  4. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    I wonder if the missing crew could possibly have been found and buried by troops on the ground, who later died (as so many did on the Easter front) and so it was never known? Their remains would still be there, if so, I'd have thought.

    I'm not even going to try and look up if there were ground troops in this area at the time though. It would take me forever. It's far from being a bad resting place for those poor guys, but it would be nice if their remaining family members could at least be informed of their fate.
     
  5. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    Well, I am sleuthing it. I can't help myself. This was and is a mining region. But It's huge and this may be a desolate bit where there were never any troops or people nearby in '43. I found this article that names the local mountain (which hopefully hasn't changed post-soviet) and it also says there was no fighting in the area, they think it was a weather-related crash.

    'The search continued for 48 more years until the bomber was finally discovered in the Kuznetsky Alatau wildlife reserve, according to the reserve's official site.
    The wreckage is resting on the slopes of the Zelyonaya mountain in Kemerovo region, the report said Monday.'

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/mobil...ld-war-ii-bomber-found-in-siberia/503976.html
     
  6. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    The Daily Mail's just kindly posted a map:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...n-route-Alaska-Second-World-War-70-years.html

    And this aircraft enthusiast blog says there was no military activity in the area. I think I trust their opinion. Sadly, they don't seem to have found the photos yet. I hope they do.

    http://aircraftnut.blogspot.de/2014/07/soviet-douglas-20-havoc-re-discovered.html

    It is probably nature rather than burial that disappeared the remains and they are gone forever. I guess it will be up to military historians to find the names of the crew. They'll probably manage it.

    Rest in peace soldiers, whoever you are.
     
  7. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    I agree gf. It's a beautiful resting place.
     

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