Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Russia

Warplanes of the The Great Patriotic War

preserved in Russia

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document Warplanes from the Second World War preserved in Russia.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these aircraft to provide and update the data on this website.  Photos are as credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Warplane Survivors of the Second World War in Russia would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at hskaarup@rogers.com.

Data current to 12 Nov 2018.

Soviet Union

Relations between the Soviet Union and the major Axis powers were generally hostile before 1938.  In the Spanish Civil War, the Soviet Union gave military aid to the Second Spanish Republic, against Spanish Nationalist forces, which were assisted by Germany and Italy.  The Nationalist forces won the war.  The Soviets suffered another political defeat when their ally Czechoslovakia was partitioned and partially annexed by Germany and Hungary via the Munich Agreement.  In 1938 and 1939, the USSR fought and defeated Japan in two separate border wars, at Lake Khasan and Khalkhin Gol, the latter being a major Soviet victory.

In 1939 the Soviet Union considered forming an alliance with both Britain and France or with Germany.  The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939 between the Soviet Union and Germany included a secret protocol whereby the independent countries of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania were divided into spheres of interest of the parties.  On 1 September, barely a week after the pact had been signed, Germany invaded Poland.  The Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east on 1 September and on 28 September signed a secret treaty with Nazi Germany to arrange coordination of fighting against Polish resistance.

Soon after that, the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and annexed Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina from Romania.  The Soviet Union attacked Finland on 30 November 1939, which started the Winter War.  Finnish defences prevented an all-out invasion, resulting in an interim peace, but Finland was forced to cede strategically important border areas near Leningrad.

Germany ended the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by invading the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa on 22 June 1941.  This resulted in the Soviet Union becoming one of the Allies.  Germany then revived its Anti-Comintern Pact, enlisting many European and Asian countries in opposition to the Soviet Union.  The Soviet Union and Japan remained neutral towards each other for most of the war by the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact.  The Soviet Union ended the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact by invading Manchukuo on 8 August 1945, due to agreements reached at the Yalta Conference with Roosevelt and Churchill.  (Wikipedia)

Aviation Museums in Russia

Central Air and Space Museum, 24a Leningradsky Prospekt, Central Aerodrome at Khodinka Field, Moscow, 125040.

Central Armed Forces Museum, Ulitsa Sovetskoy Armii 2, Moscow, 129110. 

Central Museum of the Air Forces, 141170, pos. Monino, Shchelkovo district of Moscow region.  This is the largest aviation museum in Russia.  The facility was an operational air base from 1932 through April, 1956.  The museum was founded in 1958 and opened in 1960 at the original airfield location and in the original airfield structures.

Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Gora, Park Pobedy, St. Brothers Fonchenko 10, 121170 Moscow.  

Kubinka Aviation Museum, Kubinka Air Base and Kubinka Garrison.

Kuibyshev Aviation Institute, Smyshlyaevka Airfield, Samara.

Kurgansk Aviation Museum, Kurgan Airport.  Kurgansky Kosmopark, ul. Gagarina 41 airport, 640000 Kurgan.

Long Range Aviation Museum, Engel’s Air Base.  Open since 6 September 2000.

The Russian Federation Ministry of Defence, Moscow.

Vadim Zadorozhny Museum, Building 9, Arhangelskoe, 4-th km of Ilinskoe Highway, Moscow 143420.

VVS I PVO Museum, Sovetskiy Prospekt, Moscow – Nemchinovka.

Air Museum, Rzhev Air Base; Air Museum, Savasleyka Air Base; Air Museum, Torzhok Air Base.

Museum of History of Civil Aviation, Ulyanovsk, Barataevka, Aviacionnaya Street.

Nemchinovka Museum of Air Defence, Ramenskoye.

Nikolayevsk Aviation Museum.

Samara Aerospace University Museum, Samara.

In addition to the large scale aviation museums, a number of towns, airfields, cities and communities have aircraft preserved as monuments and gate guards.  These include Aerodrome Bobrovka, Samara; Aerospace Lyceum Khimki, Ramenskoye; Anti-Aircraft Warfare Memorial Complex, Abram-Mys; Arkhangelskoe Krasnogorskiy Museum of Technology, Ramenskoye; Aviagarnizon Klip-Yavr, Murmansk Region; Aviagarnizon Kubinka, Ramenskoye; Balashov, Saratov Region; Borskoye, Samara Region Kubinka, Ramenskoye; Bugulma, Tatarstan; Bykovo Airport, Ramenskoye; Cadet Centre Patriot, Ramenskoye; Central Volokolamsk, Ramenskoye; Chkalovsky, Ramenskoye; Domodedovo Airport, Ramenskoye; Drakino (Serpukhov District), Ramenskoye; Dubna (Dubnenskogo District), Ramenskoye; Egorievsk, Ramenskoye; Falcon Territory Training Aviation Regiment, Saratov; Foresta Holiday Village, Ramenskoye; Igarka; IRPA Rosto, Ramenskoye; Kazan; Khimki, Ramenskoye; Kirsanov Technical School; Klin, Ramenskoye; Koltsovo Airport, Ekaterinburg; Kovdor, Murmansk Region; Krasnogorsk, Ramenskoye; Lenin and State University, Stavropol; Lobnensky District, Ramenskoye; Lovozero, Murmansk; Lukhovitsy, Ramenskoye; Lyubertsy, Ramenskoye; Minsk; Monchegorsk, Murmansk Region; Moscow Aircraft Repair Plant, Ramenskoye;

Murmashi Airport, Murmansk; Victory Park, Saratov; Myachkovo; North Luostari, Murmansk Region; North Safonovo, Murmansk Region; Novosibirsk Aeroclub, Murmansk Region; Olenegorsky, Murmansk Region; Omsk; Orsk Airfield Sokol, Orenburg; and Orsk Region; Ostafjevo; Perm South; Poliarniy, Murmansk Region;

Polyarniye Zori, Murmansk Region; Pos. Belushya LIP; PPC DSS “Rainbow”, Ramenskoye; Putyatino, Ryazan; Ramenskoye; Revda, Lovozero Murmansk Region;

Sakha, Yakutia Airport; Samara Technical Institute, Smyshlyaevka Airfield; Saratove Region; Savelovo Klentino; Sergiev Posad, Ramenskoye; Severomorsk, Murmansk Region; Sheremetyevo Airport, Moscow; Shaykovka, Kaluga Region; Shong, Murmansk Region; Simferopol; Skeely Soyuz, St Petersburg; Smolensk; Solnechnogorsk, Ramenskoye; Stupino and Stupino Station, Ramenskoye; Taksimo Buryatia; Talagi Airport, Arkhangelsk; Technical Museum Vadim Zadorozhnogo, Ramenskoye; Togliatti Technical Museum of AVTOVAZ, Samara; Totskoye, Orenburg; Tushino; Ulyanovsk;

Ust-Kamenogorsk; Victory Park, the Museum of Military Glory, Saratov; Vidyaevo, Murmansk Region; Vnukovo Ramenskoye; Volodarskogo, Tver; Vorkuta Airport Memorial, Vortuka; Yakutsk; Yegor’yevsk-Shuvoe Airfield, Ramenskoye; Yury Gagarin Park, Samara; Zagashnik Moninskogo Museum, Ramenskoye; and Zhukovsky Airfield and Zhukovsky Racecourse, Ramenskoye.

Warplanes of the SeoncWorld War preserved in Russia

Bell P-39N Airacobra, 7-th Air Army of the Red Army Air Force.  (Soviet Air Force Photo)

 (Gleb Osokin Photo)

Bell P-39N Airacobra (Serial No. 219158), 100.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

The most successful and numerous use of the P-39 was by the Soviet Air Force (Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily, VVS).  They received the considerably improved P-39N and P-39Q models via the Alaska-Siberia ferry route.  The tactical environment of the Eastern Front did not demand the high-altitude performance the RAF and AAF required.  The comparatively low-speed, low-altitude nature of most air combat on the Soviet Front suited the P-39's strengths: sturdy construction, reliable radio gear, and adequate firepower.

Soviet pilots appreciated the cannon-armed P-39 primarily for its air-to-air capability.  A common Western misconception is that the Bell fighters were used as ground attack aircraft.  This is because the Soviet term for the mission of the P-39, prikrytiye sukhoputnykh voysk (coverage of ground forces) is commonly translated ground support, which is often taken to mean close air support.  In Soviet usage, it has a broader meaning.  Soviet-operated P-39s did make strafing attacks, but it was "never a primary mission or strong suit for this aircraft".  The Soviets developed successful group aerial fighting tactics for the Bell fighters and scored a surprising number of aerial victories over a variety of German aircraft.  Soviet P-39s had no trouble dispatching Junkers Ju 87 Stukas or German twin-engine bombers and matched, and in some areas surpassed, early and mid-war Messerschmitt Bf 109s.  The usual nickname for the Airacobra in the VVS was Kobrushka ("little cobra") or Kobrastochka, a blend of Kobra and Lastochka (swallow), "dear little cobra".

The first Soviet Cobras had a 20-mm Hispano-Suiza cannon and two heavy Browning machine guns, synchronized and mounted in the nose.  Later, Cobras arrived with the M4 37-mm cannon and four machine guns, two synchronized and two wing-mounted. "We immediately removed the wing machine guns, leaving one cannon and two machine guns," Golodnikov recalled later.  That modification improved roll rate by reducing rotational inertia.  Soviet airmen appreciated the M4 cannon with its powerful rounds and the reliable action but complained about the low rate of fire (three rounds per second) and inadequate ammunition storage (only 30 rounds).

The Soviets used the Airacobra primarily for air-to-air combat against a variety of German aircraft, including Messerschmitt Bf 109s, Focke-Wulf Fw 190s, Junkers Ju 87s, and Junkrs ju 88s.  During the battle of Kuban River, VVS relied on P-39s much more than Spitfires and P-40s.  Aleksandr Pokryshkin, from the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (16.Gv.IAP), claimed 20 victories in that campaign in a P-39.

The last plane shot down by the Luftwaffe was a Soviet P-39, on 8 May 1945 by Oblt. Fritz Stehle of 2./JG 7 flying a Me 262 on Erzgebirge Also, the last Soviet air victory was in a P-39 on 9 May 1945, when Kapitan Vasily Pshenichikov scored against a Focke-Wulf Fw 189, in the sky over Prague.  Five of the 10 highest scoring Soviets aces logged the majority of their kills in P-39s.  Grigoriy Rechkalov scored 44 victories in Airacobras.  Pokryshkin scored 47 of his 59 victories in P-39s, making him the highest scoring P-39 fighter pilot of any nation, and the highest scoring Allied fighter pilot using an American-built fighter.  This does not include his 6 shared victories, at least some of which were achieved with the P-39.

The United States did not supply M80 armor-piercing rounds for the autocannons of Soviet P-39s.  Instead, the Soviets received 1,232,991 M54 high-explosive rounds, which they used primarily for air-to-air combat and against soft ground targets. The VVS did not use the P-39 for tank-busting duties.

A total of 4,719 P-39s were sent to the Soviet Union, accounting for more than one-third of all U.S. and UK-supplied fighter aircraft in the VVS, and nearly half of all P-39 production.  Soviet Airacobra losses totalled 1,030 aircraft (49 in 1942, 305 in 1943, 486 in 1944 and 190 in 1945).

iracobras served with the Soviet Air Forces as late as 1949, when two regiments were operating as part of the 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Division in the Belmorsky Miloitary District.  (Wikipedia)

 (Russian Post Photo)

2013 Russian 15 Ruble postage stamp commemorating the 100th birth anniversary of Alexander Pokryshkin (1913–1985).  He was a Soviet military aviator, a Second World War fighter ace; a thrice Hero of the Soviet Union (1943, 1943, 1944), a Marshal of the Soviet Air Force (1972).  The Portrait of Alexander Pokryshkin by Sergey Prisekin (fragment). 1995.  His aircraft was a Bell P-39 Airacobra.

 (Marten Photo)

 (Galin Vladimir Petrovich Photo)

 (aeroprints.com Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

Bell P-63A King Cobra (Serial No. 42-68875), painted as (Serial No. 42-69775), "White 91".  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

The first version to be supplied in quantity to the Soviet Union was the P-63A-7 with a higher vertical tail, and reinforced wings and fuselage.  The fuselage proved to need strengthening, consequently in October 1944, a reinforcement kit for operational P-63s was developed.  Air Transport Command ferry pilots, including U.S. women pilots of the WASP program, picked up the planes at the Bell factory at Niagara Falls, New York, and flew them to Great Falls, Montana, and then onward via the Northwest Staging Route through Canada to Alaska, where Soviet ferry pilots, many of them women, would take delivery of the aircraft at Nome, and fly them to the Soviet Union over the Bering Strait via the Alaska-Siberia route (ALSIB).  A total of 2,397 (2,672, according to other sources) such aircraft were delivered to USSR, out of the overall 3,303 production aircraft (72.6%).

By a 1943 agreement, P-63s were disallowed for Soviet use against Germany and were supposed to be concentrated in the Soviet Far East for an eventual attack on Japan.  However, there are many unconfirmed reports from both the Soviet and German side that P-63s did indeed see service against the Luftwaffe.  Most notably, one of Pokryshkin's pilots reports in his memoirs published in the 1990s that the entire 4th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (4 GvIAP) was secretly converted to P-63s in 1944, while officially still flying P-39s.  One account states they were in action at Königsberg, Germany (now in Poland) and in the final assault on Berlin.  There are German reports of P-63s shot down by both fighters and flak.  Hans Rudel, the highest decorated pilot of the Luftwaffe, states in his memoirs, "We often encounter American types of aircraft, especially Airacobras, Kingcobras and Bostons."  This was in the Courland front towards the end of the war.  Nevertheless, all Soviet records show nothing but P-39s used against Germany.

In general, official Soviet histories played down the role of Lend-Lease supplied aircraft in favor of local designs, but it is known that the P-63 was a successful fighter aircraft in Soviet service.  A common Western misconception is that the Bell fighters were used as ground attack aircraft.

The Soviets developed successful group aerial fighting tactics for the Bell fighters and scored a surprising number of aerial victories over a variety of German aircraft.  Low ceilings, short missions, good radios, a sealed and warm cockpit and ruggedness contributed to their effectiveness.  To pilots who had once flown the tricky Polikarpov I-16, the aerodynamic quirks of the mid-engined aircraft were unimportant.  In the Far East, P-63 and P-39 aircraft were used in theSoviet invasion of Manchuko and norther Korea.  In the Pacific theatre, the Kingcobras flew escort, close air support and ground attack missions. The Soviet P-63s achieved their first air victory on 15 August 1945, when Lejtenant I. F. Miroshnichenko from 17th IAP/190 IAD, shot down an Impeerial Japanese Armyh Air Force Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa fighter off the coast of North Korea.

Sufficient aircraft continued in use after the war for them to be given the NATO codename Fred.  By 9 May 1945, operational units had still 1,148 Kingcobras on strength.  (Wikipedia)

 (Tacintop Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

 (Mike1979 Russia Photo)

Bell P-63A King Cobra (Serial No. 44-4011).  The restoration was based around a wreck recovered from Shumshu Island in 1998, but completed using sections from other airframes.  On display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia. 

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Bell P-63A Kingcobra.  These remains of an unidentified lend-lease Kingcobra were discovered in 2015 on Shumshu Island, one of the Kuril Islands.  On display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia. 

 (Alf van Beem Photo)

 (Clemens Vasters Photo)

Bereznyak-Isayev BI-1.  Soviet short-range rocket powered interceptor developed during the Second World War.  The BI was flown 12 times under power, seven times with Dushkin's D-1-A-1100 engine, three times with the DM-4 ramjets, and twice with Isaev's RD-1 rocket engine.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Igor Bubin Photo)

Douglas A-20G Havoc (Serial No. 43-9168), c/n 14444, USSR.   Photo in the Museum of the 199 Separate Guards Long Range Reconnaissance Regiment.   At that time, the name of the regiment was 113 Aviation Regiment Night Hunters Blocker.  31 Dec 1942.

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

Douglas A-20G Havoc (Serial No. 43-10052), c/n 15328, "Yellow 14".  Of the 7,500 Douglas A-20 built, 3,414 were delivered to Russia during the Second World War.   Also known as the DB-7, the Soviet Air Forces (VVS) and Soviet Naval Aviation (AVMF) received more than one in three (2,908 aircraft) of the DB-7s ultimately built.  Only fifteen examples now survive worldwide, including this one on display at Monino.  The A-20G was the most produced version, and was the first to feature a solid rather than glazed nose. Post war, it was given the NATO codename "Box".  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

These aircraft were delivered via the Alaska-Siberia air ferry route.  In Soviet Air Force service, the aircraft had its baptism of fire at the end of June 1942.  The Soviets were dissatisfied with the four .30-calibre Browning machine guns, capable of 600 rounds per gun per minute, and replaced them with the faster-firing, 7.62 mm (0.300 in) calibre ShKAS, capable of up to 1,800 rounds per gun per minute.  During the summer of 1942, the Bostons flew ultra-low-level raids against German convoys heavily protected by flak.  Attacks were made from altitudes as low as 33 ft (10 metres) and the air regiments suffered heavy losses.

By mid-1943 Soviet pilots were very familiar with the A-20B and A-20C.  The general opinion was that the aircraft was overpowered and therefore fast and agile.  It could make steep turns of up to 65° angle, while the tricycle landing gear made for easier take-offs and landings.  The type could be flown even by crews with minimal training.  The engines were reliable but sensitive to low temperatures, so the Soviet engineers developed special covers for keeping propeller hubs from freezing up.  Some of these aircraft were armed with fixed-forward cannons and found some success in the ground attack role.  By the end of the war, of the 3,414 A-20s delivered to the USSR, 2,771 were used by the Soviet Air Force.  (Wikipedia).

Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIc (Serial No. BM959), is a war memorial at Revda, 200 miles (320 km) from Murmansk in northern Russia.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIb (Serial No. AP740),painted in Soviet Air Force markings as (Serial No. BN233), is preserved at the Vadim Zadorozhny Technical Museum, Krasnogorsky, near Moscow.

Hawker Hurricane cloaked in Soviet colours, with Soviet General A. A. Kuznetsov.  (National Archives Photo)

Hawker Hurricane.  3,000 Hawker Hurricanes were delivered to the Soviet Union via the North Sea, the Far East and the Persian Gulf.  The Hurricane was the first Western Allied aircraft to arrive in the Soviet Union and thus played a vital role at a crucial stage in the war on the Eastern Front.  The first examples arrived in September 1941 and had an almost immediate impact on the war in the Arctic, where they flew air defence missions around the key warm water port of Murmansk.  Throughout the winter of 1941- 1942, the Soviet Hurricanes suffered heavy losses against the highly-trained Luftwaffe pilots, but a significant number of Soviet pilots gained vital combat experience in the British fighter, before transitioning to P-39s, P-40s, and more advanced Soviet-built fighters.  From Murmansk in the far North to Stalingrad in the South, the Soviet Hurricanes were used against the invading German military forces in a variety of roles, from air defence interception to ground attack aircraft and serving as spotters for artillery.  As Lend-Lease deliveries continued and the Soviet aviation industry began to recover from its monumental evacuation eastward, the Hurricanes were slowly relegated to secondary duties.  By the time deliveries of the British fighter ceased in 1944, nearly 3,000 examples had been sent to the Soviet Union.  Although it was not the most popular fighter in the Soviet Union, the Hawker Hurricane played a key role in the first year of the war, and while Soviet war histories typically portray the fighter in a negative light, the aircraft undoubtedly contributed to the ultimate victory on the Eastern Front.  (VVS Air War)

Lend-Lease aircraft deliveries were also of significance during the Battle of Moscow.  While Soviet pilots praised the maneuverability of the homegrown I-153 Chaika and I-16 Ishak fighters, which were still in use in significant numbers in late 1941, both types were certainly obsolete and inferior in almost all regards to the British-supplied Hurricane.  The Hurricane was rugged and tried and tested, and as useful at that point as many potentially superior Soviet designs such as the LaGG-3 and MiG-3. 

LaGG-3, 915, summer of 1943.  (Soviet Air Force Photo)

(Soviet Air Force Photo)

LaGG-3 on parade, ca 1943.  This aircraft was a refinement of the earlier LaGG-1, and was one of the most modern aircraft available to the Soviet Air Force at the time of the German invasion in 1941.  It was overweight in spite of its wooden construction.  At one stage 12 LaGG-3s were being completed daily and 6,528 had been built when factory 31 in Tbilisi switched to Yak-3 production in 1944.

There were apparently only 263 LaGG-3s in the Soviet inventory by the time of the Moscow counteroffensive, and it was an aircraft with numerous defects.  At the end of 1941 there were greater numbers of the MiG-3, but the plane was considered difficult to fly.  The Yak-1, arguably the best of the batch, and superior in most regards to the Hurricane, suffered from airframe and engine defects in early war production aircraft. 

 (Soviet Air Force Photo)

A total of 699 Lend-Lease aircraft had been delivered to Archangel by the time the Arctic convoys switched to Murmansk in December 1941.  Of these, 99 Hurricanes and 39 Tomahawks were in service with the Soviet air defense forces on 1 Jan 1942, out of a total of 1,470 fighters.  About 15 percent of the aircraft of the 6th Fighter Air Corps defending Moscow were Tomahawks or Hurricanes.

The Soviet Northern Fleet was also a major and early recipient of British Hurricanes, receiving those flown by No. 151 Wing of the RAF, which operated briefly from Soviet airfields near Murmansk.  As early as 12 Oct 1941, the Soviet 126th Fighter Air Regiment was operating with Tomahawks bought from the United States by Britain.  Tomahawks also served in defense of the Doroga Zhizni or “Road of Life” across the ice of Lake Ladoga, which provided the only supply line to the besieged city of Leningrad during the winter of 1941–42.  By spring and summer of 1942 the Hurricane had clearly become the principal fighter aircraft of the Northern Fleet’s air regiments; in all, 83 out of its 109 fighters were of foreign origin.  (Alexander Hill)

DB-3 in white came.  (Soviet Air Force Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Ilyushin DB-3M ("White 12".  This is the sole survivor of the 1,500 DB-3 bombers produced.  It was found in Taiga forests, 120 km from Komsomolsk-on-Amur.  It was recovered in September 1988 from the Taiga forests, and brought to the Irkutsk Aircraft Industrial Association (IAIA) factory on board an IL-76.  After restoration, the aircraft was delivered to Monino on board an An-22.  It was handed over to the museum in December 1988.

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik in action during the war.  (Soviet Air Force Photos)

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, "White 21" replica, possibly including some original parts.  It is on display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, c/n 7826, fuselage.  This Šhturmovík is reported to have been shot down over the Kerch Strait on 1 November 1943.  It was recovered in 2015.  The forward fuselage is complete and in very good condition, while the main wooden sections (wings and rear fuselage) are missing.   It is on display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia.

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, single-seat variant recovered from a lake in the Murmansk region by the Moscow-based Wings of Victory Foundation.  It apparently force landed on 22 Aug 1943 after being hit by ground fire during an attack on German forces at Luostari airfield near Petsamo.  It was flown by Capt Alexander Ivanovich Kalicev, CO of the 3rd Squadron of the Soviet Northern Fleet's 46th ShAP (Attack Air Regiment).  He managed to fly back into Soviet territory before landing on the water and survived the crash.  There are plans to make this aircraft airworthy.

 (aeroprints.com Photo)

 (Weslam123 Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

Ilyushin IL-2M3 Shturmovik (Serial No. 301060), "Red 19", built by Plant 30, Moscow.  Some 36,183 of all variants were built between 1941 and 1945.  The M3, also known as the Type 3, had metal outer wings with swept leading edges and straight trailing edges, increasing the types’ manoeuvrability and balance.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Gleb Osokin Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Ilyushin Il-4 (Serial No. 17404), "White 2".  This is the sole surviving Il-4 and was shot down by Japanese fighters in 1945.  It was recovered from the crash site in the late 1990s and was then rebuilt by the Aircraft Restoration Company in Moscow, going on display in 2004.  It is a combination of original components and new build mock-up.  It is on display in the ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia. 

 (Alf van Beem Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Ilyushin Il-10M.  The Il-10 was designed as a replacement for the famous Il-2 Shturmovik.  While it resembled the earlier type in basic layout, it was an entirely new aircraft.  The original production run was from 1944 to 1949, with Avia building 1,200 of the type in Czechoslovakia as the B-33 between 1951 and 1956.  In 1951, experience in the Korean War showed a further use for lower speed ground attack aircraft and a new version, the Il-10M went into production with 146 being built from 1953 to 1954.  The ‘M’ variant was larger overall, had four cannons in the wings and was almost capable of all-weather operation thanks to newer navigation equipment.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Gleb Osokin Photo)

Junkers Ju 88.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Kochyerigin Di-6, "White 3" replica, possibly including some original parts.  On display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia.

 (Soviet Air Force Photo)

Lavochkin La-5, ca 1944.

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

Lavochkin La-5 "White 15" replica, possibly including some original parts.  On display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia. 

 (aeroprints.com Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

 (Alf van Beem Photos)

Lavochkin La-7, White 27.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Igor Bubin Photo)

Lisunov Li-2.

 (aeroprints.com Photo)

Lisunov Li-2DB, "Yellow 6".  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Lisunov Li-2, c/n 23440808.  Douglas DC-3 built under license in Russia.  NATO codename "Cab". Although built as a Polish Air Force bomber trainer, this Li-2T was civil registered in 1965 and joined the museum in the late 1970's.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 (Wk. Nr. 411768), ex-FN + RX, ex-RW + ZI, ex-II./JG 5 "Black 1", rebuilt from a wreck salvaged from its crash site.  It is on display in the Vadim Zadorozhny Technical Museum, Arkangelskoye, Moscow, Russia.

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 (Wk. Nr. 14658), ex-KG-WF, ex-6./JG 5 "Yellow 2", Museum of the Air Forces of the Northern Fleet, Severomorsk, Russia.

Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/Z (Wk. Nr. 7504), ex-7./JG 3 "White 10 + |", pilot Fw. Rudolf Berg, crashed 28 March 1943.  Russia.

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 (Wk. Nr. 13427), ex-9./JG 5 "Yellow 2".  Russia.

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 (Wk. Nr. unknown), "Yellow 3", JG 5.  Believed to have made an emergency landing on the frozen surface of a lake innorthern Russia, and was partially salvaged before it sank.  Remains recovered early in 2018 and transported to Moscow for restoration.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Messerschmitt Bf109F-4 replica, coded -+-.  On display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia.

 (aeroprints.com Photo)

 (Alf van Beem Photo)

Mikoyan MiG-3 replica.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.  The MiG-3 was a development of the MiG-1 by the OKO (opytno-konstruktorskij otdel - Experimental Design Department) of Zavod (Factory) No. 1 to remedy problems found during the MiG-1's development and operations.  It replaced the MiG-1 on the production line at Factory No. 1 on 20 December 1940 and was built in large numbers during 1941 before Factory No. 1 was converted to build the Ilyushin Il-2.

On 22 June 1941, at the beginning of Operation Barbaross, some 981 were in service with the Soviet Air Force (VVS), the Soviet Air Defence Forces (PVO) and Soviet Naval Aviation.  The MiG-3 was difficult to fly in peacetime and much more so in combat.  It had been designed for high-altitude combat but combat over the Eastern Front was generally flown at lower altitudes, where it was inferior to the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 as well as most of its Soviet contemporaries.  It was also pressed into service as a fighter-bomber during the autumn of 1941 but it was equally unsuited for this.  Over time, the survivors were concentrated in the PVO, where its disadvantages mattered less, the last being withdrawn from service before the end of the war.  (Wikipedia)

 (SDA&SM Photo)

Mikoyan MiG-3 in service during the war.

 (Alex Polezhaev Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

 (Anna Zvereva Photo)

Mikoyan MiG-3 (Serial No. RA-1563G), "Red 65", rebuilt by Avia restorations and is 40% original.  On the flightline at the Russian Air Force 100th Anniversary Airshow, Zhukovsky, Russia.

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

 (Vitaly V. Kuzmin Photo)

 (Artem Katranzhi Photo)

Mikoyan MiG-3, "White 1".  On the flightline at the Russian Air Force 100th Anniversary Airshow, Zhukovsky, Russia. 

Mikoyan MiG-3, preserved at Novosibirsk.

Mikoyan MiG-3 (Serial No. RA-2224G), "White 14", private owner.

 (SDASM Archives Photo)

Naval Aircraft Factory PBN-1 Russian Navy, 1945

 (aeroprints.com Photo)

 (Alf van Beem Photos)

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

North American B-25D Mitchell (Serial No. 43-3355), c/n 100-23681, previously coded "White 50", it is currently painted as "Yellow 50".  The Soviet Air Force received 862 B-25 during the Second World War.  The D model was equipped with the dorsal turret in the rear fuselage. There are several non-standard modifications on this aircraft.  The dorsal turret is of Soviet design, and a twin-gun ventral turret is fitted.  Ventral turrets were usually plated over on USAAF operated B-25s.  The aircraft appears to be fitted with the engines and propellers from a Douglas A-20 Havoc.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

Petlyakov Pe-2 bombers in action during the war.  (Soviet Air Force Photos)

 (Galin Vladimir Petrovich Photo)

Petlyakov Pe-2.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Polikarpov Po-2.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

Polikarpov Po-2, "Yellow 2", (Serial No. RA-0524G).  Post-war Polish built aircraft on display at the Russian Air Force 100th Anniversy Airshow, Zhukovsky, Russia.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Polikarpov I-15bis, c/n 4439, "White 19", Reg. No. FLARF-02089, on the flightline at the Russian Air Force 100th Anniversary Airshow, Zhukovsky, Russia. 

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Polikarpov I-15bis (Serial No. RA-0281G), "Red 23", a converted 'DIT' which was the 2-seat training variant, on the flightline at the Russian Air Force 100th Anniversary Airshow, Zhukovsky, Russia. 

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

 (Alf van Beem Photo)

Polikarpov I-16, Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Gleb Osokin Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Polikarpov I-16, "White 61" replica, possibly using some original parts.  On display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia.

 (Alf van Beem Photos)

Polikarpov I-16, Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Alf van Beem Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Polikarpov R-5 (Serial No. 3316).  The R-5 was the standard Russian reconnaissance bomber of the 1930's.  Some 5,000 were produced, serving between 1930 and 1944.  This is possibly the only genuine complete example.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (IWM Photo, E 23983)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. Vb fighters in Russian markings being checked before delivery to Russia, via Abadan, Iran. The three aircraft closest to the camera are (Serial Nos. BM186, AD236, and BL625).

Supermarine Spitfire.  The Soviet Union received its first Spitfires in 1943 and until 1945 a total of 1,331 examples had been delivered.  Most of them were Spitfire Mk. IXs (with the exception of two HF Mk. IXs all of the sub-type L.F Mk. IX), but a relatively small number of Mk. VBs and at least one P.R. Mk. IV were also delivered to Russia.

Two front-line fighter aviation regiments of the Soviet VVS 57th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment (GIAP) and 821st Fighter Aviation Regiment (IAP) were re-equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb.  These aircraft were flown against the Germans in the deadly air battles over the Kuban in May 1943.  The first 35 Spitfires wered delivered through the port of Basra, Iran via the transport ship City of Derby, on 10 January 1943, ferried to Abadan, Iran, and taken over by Soviet aircrew in early February.  The remaining aircraft arrived at the end of March.  Of the 149 Spitfires shipped from England, six were lost leaving 143 being received by the Soviet Air Force.

Supermarine Spitfire fighters in Russian markings.  (Soviet Air Force Photos)

By Order of the People's Commissariat of Defense No. 63 on 8 February 1943, the 36th IAP was re-designated to the 57th Guards IAP.  The Guards badge was authorized to be worn o the breast pocket of each member of the Regiment. The order stated the following:

For courage displayed in battles with the German-fascist invaders, for determination and discipline and excellent organization, for the heroism of its personnel, the 36th Fighter Aviation Regiment is re-designated to the 57th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment.

It was in this time frame that the regiments distinguishing symbol, a depiction of the Guards badge, began to appear on the horizontal stabilizers of the Supermarine Spitfires.   The other distinguishing mark of the regiment was a yellow lightning bolt down the entire side of the fuselage, which began to appear when the regiment was still fighting in Polikarpov I-16s. The lightning bolt also appeared on the regiment's aircraft later when it began to fight in the American Bell P-39 Airacobra, and survived on several airframes of one version when later they were handed over to a PVO (protivo-vozdushnaya oboronaair defense) regiment.

Spitfires were flown by pilots serving in the 216th Mixed Aviation Division (smeshannaya aviatsionnaya divisiya SAD) of the 4th Air Army (vozdushnaya armiya VA).  This division was redesignated the 9th Guards IAD on 17 July 1943. 

Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks being assembled in Iran for Russia, 1 Mar 1943.  (Library of Congress Photo)

 (Digs Photo)

Tomahawk Mk. II (Serial No. AH965) of the 126 IAP flown by Lt. S.G. Ridnyi, Moscow area, December 1941.

By April 1943, the 216th SAD comprised five regiments: 16th Guards IAP, 45th IAP, 42nd IAP, 57th Guards IAP, and 765th Ground-Attack Aviation Regiment (shturmovoy aviatsionnyy polk ShAP).  The division had been executing combat missions while based on Popovicheskaya airfield, not far from Krasnodar, since early April.  Altogether the division had 114 aircraft, by type: 14 Yak-1, 48 P-39 Airacobra, 8 P-40 Kittyhawk, and 29 Spitfire.  The division complement also included a ground-attack regiment, which had on hand 15 Il-2 Shturmoviks. (Igor Zlobin)

 (Soviet Air Force Photo)

Sukhoi Su-2 in service, 1942.

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

 (Mike1979 Russia Photo)

Sukhoi Su-2, "White 15", replica possibly using some original parts.  On display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia.

 (parfaits Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

 (Pavel Adzhigildaev Photo)

Tupolev Tu-2S Bat.  The Tu-2 was designed as a high speed daylight bomber and dive bomber, along the lines of the Ju-88.  What resulted turned out to be one of the most outstanding aircraft of the Second World War.  It was certainly fast, being equal to many single engine fighters, and was also extremely agile.  It could also take heavy damage and still get home.  These features made it very popular with it's crews.  It remained in Soviet service until 1950, but continued in service in other countries for many years after that.  The last 30 Chinese examples remained in service until 1982. Sadly, few of the 2,200 produced have survived (outside of China). Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

Tupolev SB 2M-100A.  This aircraft was a very successful Soviet bomber design which served with ten different air forces and was in service during the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War.  t's Tupolev designation was ANT-40.  Of the 6,500 produced, this is the only known survivor.  It was recovered from the Yuzhne Muiski mountain range in the late 1970's, and was restored by a volunteer group of Tupolev employees.  It was initillay on display outdoors in 1982, but has been moved inside. Central Russian Air Force Museum. Monino, Russia. 

 (Dmitry Avdeev Photo)

 (Alex Beltyukov Photo)

 (Alf van Beem Photos)

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

Tupolev Tu-4 (Serial No. 2805103), 01.   NATO codename Bull.  The Tu-4 was a direct copy of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. It first flew in 1947 and was the first Soviet strategic bomber.  A total of 847 were built, some serving until the 1960s.  There are three known survivors, two in China and this sole example in Russia.  It is on display at the Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino, Moscow Oblast, Russia.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Yakolev Yak-3UTI-PN, c/n 9/04623, "White 27", Reg. No. F-AZIM.  This aircraft is an ex-Romanian Air Force Yak-11 which has been converted into a single seater.  On display at the Russian Air Force 100th Anniversary Airshow, Zhukovsky, Russia.

Yakovlev Yak-9 fighters in service during the war.  (Soviet Air Force Photo)

 (aeroprints.com Photo)

 (Galin Vladimir Petrovich Photo)

 (Mike1979 Russia Photo)

 (Clemens Vasters Photo)

 (Pavel Adzhigildaev Photo)

 (Alan Wilson Photos)

Yakovlev Yak-9U (Serial No. 4116/21), c/n 1257.  The U was the definitive variant of the Yak-9.  It had the 1,650hp Klimov VK-107A engine and in early 1943 the prototype reached 435mph, which was remarkable for the time.  This genuine 1944 example was exported to the Bulgarian Air Force after WW2 but in the late 1970’s it returned to Yakolev and was restored for static display at the Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.  

Fundamentally a lighter development of the Yak-7 with the same armament, the Yak-9 arrived at the front at the end of 1942.  The Yak-9 had a lowered rear fuselage decking and all-around vision canopy.  Its lighter airframe gave the new fighter a flexibility that previous models had lacked.  The Yak-9 was the most mass-produced Soviet fighter of all time.  It remained in production from 1942 to 1948, with 16,769 built (including 14,579 during the war).  Towards the end of the war, the Yak-9 was the first Soviet aircraft to shoot down a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

 (Mike1979 Russia Photo)

Yakovlev Yak-9.  On display at the Vadim Zadorozhny Technical Museum, Arkhangelskoye, Moscow Oblast, Russia.

 (Frank Kovalchek Photo)

Yakovlev Yak-9.  On display at at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, for comparison.