|Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Turkey
Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Turkey
The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document Warplanes from the Second World War preserved in Turkey. 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 Turkey would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data current to 15 Feb 2019.
Turkish Air Force
In 1940, Turkish air brigades had more than 500 combat aircraft in their inventory, at the time making it the largest air force in the Balkans and the Middle East. The Turkish Air Force became a separate banch of the Turkish Armed Forces in 1944. Turkey entered the war on the Allied side in Feb 1945. The Turkish Armed Forces were placed on full alert and were prepared for war following the military alliance between neighbouring Bulgaria and the Axis Powers which was formalized in March 1941, and the occupation of neighbouring Greece by the Axis Powers in April 1941. Within a year, Turkey's borders were surrounded by German forces in the northwest and west, and Italian forces in the southwest. The Turkish Air Force made daily reconnaissance flights over Bulgaria, Greece, the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea, and the Dodecanese Islands which then belonged to Italy, to monitor the positions of the Axis forces. The large cities in western Turkey were darkened at nights, and anti-aircraft guns and searchlights were deployed for defence against possible enemy planes. Almost all available funds in the Turkish Government Treasury was used to purchase new weapons from any available provider in the world.
During the war Turkey sent pilots to the United Kigdom for training purposes. 14 are known to have died in the UK. One of them was shot down by a German plane during a training flight in British air space, the rest died in accidents.
The Turkish Air Force received large numbers of new aircraft in this period, including Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I, V, IX and XIX, Curtiss Falcon CW-22R/B, Fairey Battle Mk. I, Avro Anson Mk. I, Hawker Hurricane Mk. I and II, Morane-Saulnier M.S.406, Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk and Kittyhawk, Westland Lysander Mk. I, Consolidated B-24D Liberator, Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV and V, Bristol Beaufort, Bristol Beaufighter Mk. I and X, Focke Wulf FW-190-A3, Martin 187 Baltimore, de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito Mk. III and IV, Douglas B-26B and C Invader, P-47D Thunderbolt and Douglas C-47A and B Dakota.
Curtiss Falcon CW 22 Turkish Air Force ca 1940s.
(Turkish Air Force Photos)
Supermarine Spitfire, Turkish Air Force ca 1940s.
de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk. VI (Serial No. NS930) of the Turkish Air Force at Manchester (Ringway) Airport in 1947.
Turkish Aviation Museum, Yesilköy, Istambul.
PZL P.24 (Serial No. 2145), the sole surviving aricraft. Turkish Aviation Museum, Yesilköy, Istambul.
(World War 2 Eagles Photos)
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt (Serial No. 44-33712), Turkish Air Force (Serial No. 7021), DE-21, Turkish Aviation Museum, Yesilköy, Istambul.
Ankara Aviation Museum
This museum was established by the Turkish Air Force (TUAF) as the second of its kind in the country. It was opened on 18 September 1998 in presence of Sabiha Gökçen, Atatürk's adopted daughter and the first Turkish female combat pilot.
Eskisehir Aviation Museum
(Turkish Air Force Photo)
Focke-Wulf Fw 190, Turkish Air Force, ca 1940s.
During the Second World War Germany delivered 71 Focke-Wulf Fw 190s to the Turkish Air Force in exchange for raw materials such as iron ore and chromium. It has been reported that possibly 50 of these Fw 190s were dismantled, wrapped in oil soaked clothes and carefully buried beneath an air force base in the city of Kayseri for future possible use at the end of the war.
North American P-51D-25NA Mustang (Serial No. 44-73149), "Ferocious Frankie", Reg. No. TC-SMO, MSO Air and Space Museum, Sivrihisair Air Park, Eskisehir, Turkey.