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P-39 Airacobra Recovered from Black Sea

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by GRW, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    Had a very short flight history of 9 hrs 25 minutes apparently. Destined for a museum.
    "The remains of a Second World War-era Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter aircraft have been pulled from the Black Sea.
    The plane was hauled from the water in the Kalamita Bay, near the village of Novofyodorovka, Crimea, as part of a joint expedition of the Russian Geographical Society and the Russian Defence Ministry.
    The aircraft had entered service with the Black Sea Fleet in 1943 but was forced to make a water landing just one year later due to a technical malfunction during a training flight.
    The plane was discovered by amateur scuba diver Alexey Kazarinov in 2017 at a depth of six metres below the water surface and 800 meters from the coastline.
    He told authorities the approximate coordinates of the accidental find but they could not locate the crash site for almost a year.
    An official study of the fighter was eventually carried out in 2019 by an expedition of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation to search for sunken objects relating to the Great Patriotic War and retrieval of the plane began earlier this month.
    'The fighter was raised from the bottom of the sea. It was pulled up to the quay wall and lifted out of the water by a crane.
    'The fighter was transferred to a truck, guards were posted,' Anatoly Kalemberg, a specialist from the Expeditionary Centre of the Ministry of Defence, told TASS..
    It is thought the plane will now become an exhibit at one of the nearby museums.
    Kalemberg added: 'I am a supporter of leaving the aircraft in Crimea, because the history of this aircraft and the history of this regiment are closely related to the peninsula, for this it is necessary to preserve components and assemblies, the fuselage and wings.'
    The Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter entered service with the Black Sea Fleet in 1943 during the Kerch-Eltigen operation and participated in the liberation of Crimea.
    Between 1944 and 1945 the regiment remained on the peninsula as they guarded the airspace during the Yalta Conference.
    But this craft, which was piloted by junior lieutenant Vladimir Shishkin, crashed in July 1944.
    'Seeing the smoke coming from the engine, he landed on the water. The plane sank after 30 seconds, the pilot sailed to the shore, has a slight head wound.
    'Cause of the accident: from the testimony of the pilot and the nature of the engine operation, presumably, the connecting rod broke,' Sergei Ivanov, a researcher at the Institute of Archeology of Crimea of the Russian Academy of Sciences, cited from the official records.
    The total flight time recorded in this plane at the time of the accident was 9 hours 25 minutes."

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