Built by Bell. Ferried from Buffalo, NY across the United States and Canada to Alaska, then to Sibera via the
ALSIB (Alaska-Siberia) route.
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.
Remained in service with the Soviet Pacific Fleet until the early 1950s, the were abandoned.
Abandoned in the Kurile
Islands probably around Kataoka
Airfield on Shumshu
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
One airframe is earmarked
for a proposed local museum and the others will be placed on the
Warbird market in due course.
Thanks to Daniel Hunt and Peter Arnold for additional information
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January 31, 2018