Built by Bell. Ferried from Buffalo, NY across the United States and Canada to Alaska, then to Sibera via the
ALSIB (Alaska-Siberia) route.
Likely assigned to the 307 iap or 308 iap. Used during the Soviet "August Storm" offensive against against the Japanese during August
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 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