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Fragment of WWII US bomber leased to USSR and crashed over Siberia found in river Yenisei

By The Siberian Times reporter
28 September 2020

Divers fetched a small fragment of Boston A-20 bomber from depth of four metres by the city of Krasnoyarsk.

It was a part of the Boston A-20 medium night fighter’s casing (Douglas A-20 Havoc known under Boston service name in the USSR) found after a lengthy search by the divers. Picture: USAF Museum

ALSIB (the Northern Trace) air road historian in Siberia has described the find as ‘an incredible stroke of luck’. 

‘This find is of top importance for us, it means there is hope for the heaviest parts of the aircraft to still be in underwater pits relatively close to the crash site. We needed this small fragment to prove that we were on the right path. It was an incredible stroke of luck that the diver didn’t miss it among other metal scrap at the bottom of Yenisey’, said aviation historian and Krasnoyarsk member of the Russian Geographical Society Vyacheslav Filippov. 

Fragment of WWII US bomber leased to USSR and crashed over Siberia found in river Yenisei


Fragment of WWII US bomber leased to USSR and crashed over Siberia found in river Yenisei


Fragment of WWII US bomber leased to USSR and crashed over Siberia found in river Yenisei


Fragment of WWII US bomber leased to USSR and crashed over Siberia found in river Yenisei


Fragment of WWII US bomber leased to USSR and crashed over Siberia found in river Yenisei
The plane with four crew on board crashed in April 1943 near Krasnoyarsk railway bridge. Pictures: Russian Geographicl Society Krasnoyarsk, History Museum Krasnoyarsk


It was a part of the Boston A-20 medium night fighter’s casing (Douglas A-20 Havoc known under Boston service name in the USSR) found after a lengthy search by the divers.

The US-manufactured light bombers were delivered to the Soviet Union via the ALSIB (Alaska-Siberia) air ferry route.

The plane with four crew on board crashed in April 1943 near Krasnoyarsk railway bridge. The current multi-stage search operation for aircraft fragments using modern diving equipment was organised by Alexander Matveev, a member of the Russian Geographical Society, head of the "Trassa" search unit of the Siberian Federal University’s Military Engineering Institute.

‘The search will continue. We are doing it to immortalise names of four young lads who did not reach the front line’, said historian Vyacheslav Filippov. 

VIDEORussian Geographicl Society Krasnoyarsk

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