Krasnoyarsk (Russia) : Russian historical enthusiasts are searching for the wreckage of an American-made Douglas A-20 light bomber that crashed into the Yenisei river in Siberia during a delivery flight in World War II, Reserve Air Force Col. Vyacheslav Filippov said Tuesday.
The aircraft, which was lost in 1943, was one of 8,000 planes sent to Russia by the US via the Russian Far East and Siberia as part of the Lend-Lease program of military assistance to the USSR during the war.
"The plane crashed into the water by the railway bridge," Filippov said. "The crew of four was killed. There is no information about the Boston being raised after the crash. Divers have already searched for it, but so far have found nothing. In recent years, the waters of the Yenisei have receded, and the aircraft should now be close to the bank," he added.
An agreement was signed between the wartime allies - Britain, the US and the USSR - in fall 1941 on the delivery of combat aircraft to Russia. A series of 26 airfields were built across eastern Russia to accept aircraft. At least 87 American aircrew died during the delivery flights.
The A-20 was a three-man light bomber that served with the Royal Air Force, USAAF and Soviet Air Force, which operated around 3,000 of them. The aircraft was highly regarded by Soviet pilots, who knew it as the Boston.