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  P-63C-5-BE Kingcobra Serial Number 44-4315  
VSS
307 or 308 iap

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Click For Enlargement

Peter Arnold 2003

Aircraft History
Built by Bell. Ferried from Buffalo, NY across the United States and Canada to Alaska, then to Sibera via the ALSIB (Alaska-Siberia) route.

Wartime History
Used in the short Manchurian campaign against the Japanese in August 1945, fighter regiments of the Pacific Fleet maintained them in service until the early 1950’s. These recovered examples are almost certainly from the units 307 and 308 IAP.

Postwar
Remained in service with the Soviet Pacific Fleet until the early 1950s, the were abandoned.

Wreckage
Abandoned in the Kurile Islands probably around Kataoka Airfield on Shumshu Island.

Salvaged
Dismantled and recovered by the Hunt brothers in 2003.

Peter Arnold adds:
"Typically ‘bruised’ by nearly 60 years of exposure to the elements, passing ‘militia’ and local peasants salvaging fitments and fittings, the aircraft however had been parked on their undercarriage, and are not crash remains. Professionally dismantled in Russia, strategic heavy components are in remarkably good condition and the structures bode well for future restoration to quality static or flight status."

One airframe is earmarked for a proposed local museum and the others will be placed on the Warbird market in due course.

References
Thanks to Daniel Hunt and Peter Arnold for additional information

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech Info
P-63
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