Soviet Tupolev SB bomber remnants salvaged in Finland

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Harri
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Soviet Tupolev SB bomber remnants salvaged in Finland

Post by Harri » 03 Jun 2003 15:29

South Karelian Aviation Museum Association in Finland has salvaged a shot down Soviet Tupolev SB bomber (or its remnants) from the bog near the city of Lappeenranta. The found particles (wing, parachute, pilot's armoured seat, front twin MGs etc.) are interesting but the most interesting finding were the papers of the pilot and his maps which were in well readable condition. The map found is so accurate that even all individual houses are in there. The leader of the salvation group could easily found his home house from the map!!

This plane was shot down on 11.3.1940 at about 2:30 pm (Moscow time), two days before the end of Winter War. According to Finnish researcher Carl-Fredric Geust plane belonged to the leader of 4th Squadron / 31st Fast Bomber Regiment Captain Konstantin Orlov. The other crew members were rear gunner MSgt Ilyin [Iljin] and observer-bomber Captain Mikhalevsky [Mihalevskij]. The plane had started its flight near Estonian border and was probably flying to bomb the city of Lappeenranta (or railways nearby?).

According to wittnesses Finnish fighters attacked the squdron of 9 Soviet bombers and shot one down. This aerial victory has not been counted to any Finnish pilot. It isn't either known which Finnish fighter (or reconnaissance) unit was in question.

In April 1940 Capt. Orlov became posthumously the Hero Of Soviet Union because he was told to committed the so called "burning Tara", suicide against an important enemy target with burning aircraft. That was of course utterly nonsence and pure propaganda. In reality Capt. Orlov tried to make a forced landing but he couldn't drop all bombs before landing and the last bombs exploded when the plane hit the ground. The remnants of the plane sunk into the bog for about 60 years. I try to arrange photos some day.

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Korbius
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Post by Korbius » 04 Jun 2003 03:30

Interesting story harri, but lately many planes from the 2nd ww period are being found in that whole region. I'd love to search for such planes in that area :)

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 04 Jun 2003 10:28

Me too. But most forced landed planes were repaired or used for spare parts during the war or scrabbed after war, so there are not many possible wrecks left in Finland. A few possible places are known but usually the planes are in small pieces.

Russia and East Karelia are another cases. There should be several tens rather good wrecks.

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 04 Jun 2003 23:20

Harri wrote:Russia and East Karelia are another cases. There should be several tens rather good wrecks.
Yes. Like this one: http://heninen.net/brewster/english.htm
More info: http://www.danford.net/villiard.htm
Wonder where it´s now?

Regards, Juha

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